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Resting Gull

By heyitshenry
Hello there,
Just wondering about good compositions for gulls and other birds perched on top of poles or ledges? and whats a good F Stop to use when taking them? Does the Colour look good?

Henry FGrin

Tags: Seagull Fishing boat Wharf Wildlife and nature

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dudler Plus
15 877 1496 England
10 Jul 2019 10:49AM
Not f/1.8, if you can avoid it.

If there's no special need for either shallow or deep depth of field, I'd stick to the medium apertures, f/4 to f/8 - that's where most lenses will be at their best. 1/250 would have been fine as a shutter speed.

With the (bright) sky as the background, a little positive exposure compensation would be good - maybe 1/2 stop, or a little bit more.

Compositionally (and birds are no different from any other subject) I'd tend to put the gull on the upper left third, looking down and across the frame. 'Thirds' are not sacred, but they're a handy rule of thumb. Focus and recompose (I suspect that you don't have AF points very far from the centre of the frame). This is an OK technique when the lens is stopped down a bit, but can lead to focus errors if you're working at very wide apertures. The reasons for this are fairly complex - worth looking up in a book on optics.

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banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4012 Canada
10 Jul 2019 1:06PM
By now you are realising theres no silver bullet re settings. You need to factor in depth of field (determined by aperture); shutter speed (is the subject tending to move, is the shutter fast enough to had hold at your focal length). f/1.8 is called "wide open" and most lenses would perfom better at a smaller aperture, i.e "stopped down"

Focus and recompose here means that if you have used the centre focus point to focus on the seagull, you hold the shutter half pressed, and then move the camera to place the bird in the top left third and then press.

Also loaded a mod which is a lot brighter, and has some white balance tweaked to be warmer.


mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2019 1:40PM

Ideally a longer lens to be able to go in closer; with lenses it's a case of horses for courses, and this isn't really a lens for wildlife.

Smaller aperture (higher F number). Just because the lens gives you F1.8, don't assume that it's compulsory or even desirable to use it. It has its uses, but better results will kick in at around F2.8 or F3.5.

And a plus exposure compensation, maybe +0.7 stop, because you are shooting into the sky and the bright background light will trick the camera's 'brain' into underexposing.

Then compose / crop to use the lines as well as the bird. They can give a structure to the image.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2019 1:53PM
Mod uploaded - cropped to bring diagonals into both bottom corners, colour warmed slightly, plus 0.7 exposure, plus 10% brightness, and a bit of dodging and burning.

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