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Ride the Wind

Ride the Wind
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 IF ED DX
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-04-30 18:58
Viewed: 3960
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I came across several Silver Gulls (Larus novaehollandiae) at Coogee Beach in Sydney, riding the wind. It was late afternoon, with a storm threatening all day; the wind coming off the water was very strong, and these birds were content to just coast. They used very little exertion and moved very little allowing me to get up close and personal for my shots.

This is a spot where people, with food gather. The birds were content to just ride the wind waiting for a handout. I talked a little about their eating habits in my last post.

This was one of several shots taken of these birds. I’ve have included another couple as workshops seen here and here. I liked this one as it had almost a highkey look to it, especially with the second gull. The second gull was my subject of focus in this shot, I liked how he looked over at me as I was setting up for the shot.

Workflow for this shot was as follows:
The shoot – shot in Raw with Jpeg reference (55 mm ISO 250 f8 1/250)
NEF file adjusted for exposure, shadow, vignetting, brightness and contrast
Levels – midpoints adjusted by eye, sky masked to minimize levels effect
Curves - adjusted RGB for contrast – very slight s-curve
Added saturation layer +20 to master
Saved as a tiff
for this post crop for position, resized, created a new layer, selectively sharpened through use of a mask layer, framed and saved as a jpeg.

writerscrawlz, iris, Jamesp, inked, marhowie, goldyrs, Ken52, mvdisco, CeltickRanger, angela926, uleko, mlines has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

This smacks of freedom, of the ability to enjoy nature as it was intended. I love the grace portrayed here, the details of the gulls, not only in their faces, but also the white areas on the tips of their wings. There's fluidity here. Nicely composed.

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-04-30 22:06]

Hey John,
This msut not have come easy with the impening wind and the storm , but a good capture of the pair of silver gulls.Yes, they must have let the wind swoop them around and it must have been quite a strong gust of it..I like the grey tones of the cast sky and the nice patterns brought out by the spread wings.Well done.
TFS & cheers

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-30 23:03]

Hi John

Great shot - catching two in mid flight would have taken great skill - the one looking towards you is excellent - I also like the fact that this is a very 'white' composition - it works well.


Hi John,

Beautifull shot..
Excellent timing.


  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-05-01 0:31]

hi John,
2 in the one shot, very nice! nicely cropped and composed with good depth. nice exposure and detail, with the poses you've caught allowing nice views of the wings. not an easy shot, very well done!

Hi John
The birds fill the frame very nicely and nice detail on the birds...thanks for sharing

Hello John,

Very good in-flight shot of these two gulls. Excellent composition. Beautiful detail. Nice natural colours.

Hi John,
Nice "twofer", the near gull is very well focused, good detail/exposure. And he seems to be looking at you :)
Great post with links to your other great captures as well..

This shot, John, confuses me.I love it for its perfection, and I hate it for the same reason.I just can't understand.A great shot, nonetheless..

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-05-01 7:41]

Nice in-flight gull shots (all three).
Excellent exposure and good focus. I know they were just coasting, but think you got a good shot for 1/250s shutter speed.

Hi John,
Beautiful catch of this seagulls, well taken and presented with nice colors and sharpness, Excellent POV. and details, Excellent done.

hello John

excellent in-flight shot of these Gulls, fine POV,
great sharpness and details of the birds and their plumage
specially at the wings, i love the smoothness of the colour's
of the composition, TFS


Hi John,

Really nice work on this, excellent exposure in the whites of the gulls, good detail, well framed, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

John, so clear! great composition and i like the way it's all presented - terrific.

Hello John,
Lovely birds, gulls..!
Maybe a bit discredited because of some habits and large numbers, hehehe...
This is a fine image with good details as they are captured in a typical situation, a well composed presentation!
Pablo -

Hello John,
nice capture, excellent composition and point of view, lovely colors, good light, and nice contrast, great in flight shot, very good sharpness and depth of field.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-02 8:01]

Hi John,
Excellent shot of this in-flight Sea Gull duo wandering about looking for food. Great timing and a fabulous moment freezed. Very neat and sharp image with nice colours and perfect lighting. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-05-04 5:57]

hello John
good timing and capture
i like dynamic composition, POV, light, sharpness and details

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-05 12:25]

Hello John,
I remember these beautiful Silver Gulls from Manly This is a beautiful in-flight capture of these two, both nicely in focus and showing sharp details.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-06 8:33]

Hello John

Great POV,it is like you are right in the thick of things.
The shot has an airy atmosphere I like.
Lovely details and sharpness.
Nicely done.


Hi John, Good capture which is good and sharp, not an easy thing to achieve usually. I've tried similar shots and failed many times. This result is outstanding. The POV of the bird on the left is particularly good. TFS. Murray.

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