Our Images Can Tell a Story

Sometimes we can get so caught up in the act of photographing subject birds that we forget that our images can tell a story. This short article features a small selection of photographs that (hopefully) illustrate that images can tell a story… even with common birds like gulls.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-800, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, subject distance 69.5 metres, cropped to 3917 pixels on the width

Last week I was out for a few hours testing the combination of Pro Capture L with Bird Detection AI to see how well these two technologies would work together. Most of my image runs we intended to photograph birds-in-flight with interesting wing positions.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, subject distance 63.9 metres, cropped to 3914 pixels on the width

As a result I timed many of my image runs to capture birds banking while in flight, coming in to land, or other mid-air behaviours. Determining the intent of our image run in advance is critical, especially if our cameras have fairly small image buffers.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3586 pixels on the width

While the wing positions of the gull in the above photograph is similar to the first two image in this article, you’ll notice an important difference. It has something in its beak. Whenever we notice that a bird is carrying something… it is often prudent to let the bird fly a bit more before executing our image run. Our images could tell a story about fighting over food. Nesting behaviour. Perhaps a courtship display or other bird behaviour.

In the next 7 consecutive images you’ll see some specific interaction between two gulls. Perhaps they are already a mated couple… or the offer of food could be a courtship display by the male gull. The birds in this image run were about 66 to 68 metres away.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 4153 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3977 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3936 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3894 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3149 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3263 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3284 pixels on the width

A general rule of thumb when you see a bird flying with something in its mouth… be careful with your buffer as something interesting may be about to occur!

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted for each photograph.

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