A Ring-billed Gull – Light on Dark

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Ring-billed Gulls/A Ring-billed Gull – Light on Dark

Ring-billed Gull in flightRing-billed Gull in flight – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 270mm, natural light, not baited

It seems that more than a few bird photographers avoid taking images of gulls perhaps in part because they are common in so many locations or because gulls are associated with trash but I enjoy taking images of gulls especially if they are in flight or in a great setting. For new photographers who want to work on flight photography gulls make excellent subjects to practice on.

In most areas of North America Ring-billed Gulls are the most commonly seen gull and not only are they beautiful they are also fun and challenging to photograph. The day I photographed this Ring-billed Gull at Fort De Soto’s north beach there were baitfish in the hundreds of thousands running just off shore and pelicans, egrets, terns and gulls were all in a feeding frenzy. Most of the images I took that day had water or sky in the background but when this Ring-billed Gull flew into the beach to land it had dark trees in the background. The light gull against the dark background was and still is very appealing to me and I also enjoy the wing position, flared tail and head angle.

Common? Maybe. I knew as soon as I saw this through my viewfinder I was going to love the image. I wasn’t wrong.



  1. Keith Nichols January 18, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    That is an amazing photo. Simply beautiful.
    Nice job Mia.

  2. eric c11 January 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    hi mia
    it s a nice action picture, and the contrast with the black backgroung works wery well
    take care

  3. Bryce Robinson January 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I love this photo Mia. Gulls are under-appreciated. It’s nice to see a great photo, even if it is a commonly seen species.

  4. Elephant's Child January 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Common? Only if your eyes/heart/mind are closed to beauty. A wonderful capture – thank you.

  5. Sally Wood January 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I see no reason not to photograph gulls, they are beautiful birds. This image, the clarity and the whiteness remind me of a line in a collection of poems I received written by a friend once – can’t remember the line exactly … something about their cries being ‘immaculate, as laughter’ … very nice Mia, equal to poetry.

  6. Wally January 16, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Yep, that’s a great contrasting background to show off the beauty of the gull!

    I’m trying to make gulls a special mission this year. Not only to help with improving my imitation of a photographer, but to enhance by ability to identify gull species and their myriad plumage variations.

  7. Patty Chadwick January 16, 2014 at 8:40 am

    This image is spectacular…love the high contrast!, wing spread, flare of tail and position of head…really beautiful!…Looks “angelic”…

  8. Montanagirl January 16, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I love it too! It’s a stunning capture.

  9. Stu January 16, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Great narrative and picture ..great composure both.. you and the bird 😉

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