Ring-billed Gull In Flight – Changing Backgrounds From One Frame To The Next

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Ring-billed Gull in flight in front of a Willow, Salt Lake County, UtahRing-billed Gull in flight in front of a Willow – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When I am photographing birds in flight there are times when the background changes drastically from one frame to the next, some times that is a good thing, sometimes it isn’t great because it can affect the exposure dramatically but there are times when the results can be very pleasing to my eyes.

On New Year’s Day this year I had a Ring-billed Gull in flight in my viewfinder as it flew quickly over my local pond, I knew that from one frame to another the background would change and that the exposure might too but since I like gulls and practically anything Larus I decided to photograph the gull anyway.

In this first frame the Ring-billed Gull  was flying in front of a leafless willow tree that showed blue sky in the background, I had a great pose, nice light and eye contact with my subject. Even as I took the shot I knew that by the time the next shot in my burst was taken the gull would have flown past the last branches of the willow towards a more open sky background.

Ring-billed Gull in flight in bright afternoon light, Salt Lake County, UtahRing-billed Gull in flight in bright afternoon light – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

What I didn’t anticipate was that a tree further in the distance would be at the bottom of the frame, I expected nothing but the sky there. Even though it has been months since I took this image I still don’t know if I like having that out of focus, darker tree at the bottom of this frame but I know I like having the willow in the first image. I do like the sky in this frame though because there were some clouds in the distance that made it so that I didn’t have a solid blue sky.

From one frame to the next there are situations when I just don’t know what kind of background I will get when photographing birds in flight and I guess that makes bird photography even more interesting to me.

Life is good.

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover November 20, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Love the first image–simply beautiful.

  2. Marty K November 18, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I really like the dark contrast in the second shot, Mia. Both shots definitely show lots of wonderful feather detail in those outstretched wings. 🙂

  3. Elephants Child November 18, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Life is varied. Sometimes second by second. I am quite happy with these changes – and that dark area doesn’t detract from the bird’s beauty at all for me.

  4. Tim Derry November 18, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Yes it is the surprises in life too that keep it interesting. Nice work!

  5. steven kessel November 18, 2018 at 6:15 am

    I like the darker area at the bottom of the frame of the second image. If it hadn’t been there you might have had a solid blue background, which would have made the image less interesting.

    You did an impressive job exposing the gull properly! I have the tendency to blow highlights when I get something that pale against a significantly darker background.

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