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


{ 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.

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 🙂

Ron February 7, 2011 at 04:02

Great job , great capture. ! It looks really cool. =)

problem windows February 7, 2011 at 04:26

wow. . .amazing ^_^

Rob McCance February 7, 2011 at 04:53

That’s pretty good and the 100% crop of the head is unbelievable.

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.

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.

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…..

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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