Practicing wildlife photography – seagulls

seagull bird
Zombie Photography

I’m not an action or wildlife photographer, but I practice every now and then so that my skills don’t get too rusty. Birds are probably one of the easiest wildlife to practice on. They’re everywhere. Ubiquitous. That’s my word of the day. In other words, easy to find. And they’re flittery and jittery and they move fast. Definitely helps push your reaction time.

I like seagulls because they’re big, and I don’t need to get super close to get a halfway decent shot, which is good because if I’m ouside, I usually have a velcro dog glued to my side and birds don’t seem to like him. Today there was a flock fighting over dead crabs, and I stopped to take a few many pictures. And out of all the pictures I took, the above was the best of the bunch – and it’s not perfectly in focus. A little Unsharp Mask helped with that.

If action or wildlife photography is a genre you’re interested in, practice in your own backyard to start. If the birds fly away before you can get close enough to fill the frame, try bribing them with seeds or even scrap food.  And pay attention to your light! Don’t do as I did here – shoot midday. Early morning or late afternoon lights are best. Alternatively a flat gray day.

And don’t get frustrated if out of dozens and dozens pictures you took, only one or two are halfway decent. National Geographic recently explained that most NG photographers will take over 2000 pictures and only use one or two from that batch.