Free Photography Tutorials, Beginners to Advanced

Bird Photography

seagull coming towards the camera

One fine day in spring I found myself on an organized walk to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. Apart from the famous apes the other wildlife Gib has in abundance are seagulls.

A year or so earlier I remember being really awed by a photo of a seagull on the Photopoints website. The difference between this shot and all the other seagull shots I had seen was that this one was shot from above, with the sea as the background. I asked the photographer how he had got the shot, thinking hanglider or some such contraption, and was rather disappointed with the mundane answer ‘from the top deck of a cruise liner’. Anyway I thought the Gibraltar trip would be a good opportunity to try my hand at seagulls, hopefully from above.

I quickly learned two things about photographing birds, they fly very fast and you can’t really use auto focus. The plain sky in the background sends the auto focus crazy if the bird is not in the zone and, even on the ’sport’ setting the camera cannot keep up. So I changed to manual focus and prepared myself for the inevitable collection of fuzzy photos. Among the fuzzy ones though were a few winners. I'm particularly pleased with this one where the bird seems to be coming straight at me. Usually I know when I have taken a good shot but in this case I had no idea until I got home.

I did eventually get a shot of a seagull from above but I prefer this one.

Learn Digital Photography with Geoff Lawrence eBook

If you enjoyed this page you might
be interested in my eBook
Learn Photography with Geoff Lawrence