Photo of the week: Flying Seagull (I think?)

by Klaus on February 4, 2011

in Photo of the Week

For this photo of the week I decided to go with a lucky shot I captured the other day. I think it’s a seagull, but to be honest, I was never really good at recognizing animals, especially those I don’t see too often.

I was walking along the waterfront with my Nikon D7000 in aperture priority mode when I noticed this seagull about to take off not that far away from me. I didn’t have time to really change any settings on my camera so all I did was turn the command dial a few clicks to increase the ISO to make sure I at least had a fast enough shutter speed as it flew over my head. I ended up with ISO 560 and a shutter speed of 1/4000. Now, 1/4000th of a second should be more than enough to capture this bird – in fact, I would probably have plenty fine with the ISO at 200 which would have given me shutter speed at around 1/2000.

Or, even better, have switched to spot metering so the bird would have been better exposed and I could avoid having to play around with “fill light” etc. on my RAW file in post processing.

But in the heat of the moment I didn’t have time to think about my settings – and I don’t think the bird was willing to let me have another shot at it…  I was just surprised that I managed to get the camera to my eye fast enough – and more surprised that the bird was actually in the viewfinder – and even more surprised that I managed to get a focus lock that fast!

What I learned from this photo is that maybe I should consider setting one of the User settings (U1 or U2) on my Nikon D7000 to “shutter priority – fast action”. That way I can set the camera to always give me a fast shutter speed while setting autofocus to continuous (AF-C) and maybe 9 focus points or just a single focus point. I don’t know yet.

By using one of the User settings, I don’t have to first rotate the mode dial to “S” (Shutter priority) and then select AF-C as autofocus mode, but simply switch it to U1 or U2 and it will load all the settings needed for a fast action shot.

Anyway, here’s the photo…

ISO 560, f/4, 1/4000, 110mm

And here’s a 100% crop of the eyes (don’t mind the halo/ghosting around the head, it’s a screenshot).

I wonder what he/she is looking at?

100% crop

Photo shot using:

Animoto - The End of Slideshows

Comments & Leave a Comment


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna February 4, 2011 at 18:11

It is definitely a seagull and judging from its eyes a demented one too! Great shot!


Barbie Movies February 5, 2011 at 10:12

I haven’t seen a seagull in personal, but I really like that bird.


Sire February 6, 2011 at 03:27

All in all I reckon you did a pretty good job. They may even call you quick draw seeing as how you didn’t have all that much time and still managed to pull off a pretty good shot.
Sire recently posted… Do You Want To Outrank The Probloggers


Klaus February 7, 2011 at 09:33

Thanks Sire. I might have another two seagull photos for later this week. One of them being technical better than this, I think, and the 2nd being funnier – or at least luckier 🙂
Klaus recently posted… Using Visual Similarity In Image Searching on Your Mac


Ron February 7, 2011 at 04:02

Great job , great capture. ! It looks really cool. =)
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problem windows February 7, 2011 at 04:26

wow. . .amazing ^_^
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Rob McCance February 7, 2011 at 04:53

That’s pretty good and the 100% crop of the head is unbelievable.
Rob McCance recently posted… Commutes Around Atlanta


darcy February 7, 2011 at 16:34

That is a nice photo, great job! It is hard to take pictures of bird especially when they are flying.


Ricardo February 7, 2011 at 17:12

Nice picture. You have very good camera.
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Barry H February 8, 2011 at 10:54

Interesting fact for you – there is no such bird as the ‘Seagull’ – they are different species like herring gull etc… also even though it is illegal fancy restaurants will pay large amounts of money for gull eggs . See, you learn something new everyday. Great shot.
Barry H recently posted… Are You Ready For 83pc Tax


Klaus February 8, 2011 at 11:09

I had no idea. Thanks for sharing that info, Barry 🙂


DJ ARIF February 8, 2011 at 14:36

I think this photo is not well enough to be a “Photo of the week”…
It would be much better if you publish this photo after editing with some photo editing software’s…..
DJ ARIF recently posted… The Reasons Why You Should Recite Quran Everyday


Tom February 8, 2011 at 17:32

Yep, it’s a seagull. Nice picture, did you mean to get it’s wings outstrectched or was it a lucky shot?


Delena [email protected] Codes February 9, 2011 at 08:28

Definitely a seagull! I’ve always found them to be beautiful birds, absolutely graceful in flight. It’s too bad that their habits are so filthy! But on the whole, very beautiful. What a lucky shot with your camera!



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