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Hail to the Chief

Hail to the Chief
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: 2007-04-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, NIKKOR AF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED DX VR
Exposure: f/11, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): !Craphawks, hawks, ... [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-29 20:41
Viewed: 4086
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Pacific Gull can be found around Australia’s southern coastline. This is a very intelligent bird. It feeds on crustaceans, crabs and sea urchins, sometimes dropping them from a height onto rocks to crack them open. It will also feed on nestlings.

This is a very large gull, the largest to be found in Australia, growing up to 67 cm with an average weight of 1 kg. It is much less common and shyer than the more abundant and more aggressive Silver Gull.

These gulls breed in scattered single pairs or small, loose colonies on high points on headlands or islands. Both sexes build the nest with the female doing most of the incubation while the male forages for food and stands guard near the nest.

They may achieve full plumage as you see them here after 8-10 partial or full molts taking up to 5 years.

I initially had a problem with the ID of this gull and thought it might be a Kelp Gull. The main difference that I can see between the two is that the Pacific Gull has a very distinctive orange red tip on the end of his bill. I’ve blown this up in the workshop so you can see it better.

Much of this from: http://www.birdsaustralia.com.au/cockatoo/pacificgull.html and
ID from: Simpson K. and Day N. (2004), Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Penguin Books, Camberwell.

Workflow was as follows:
Shot in Raw - Adjusted NEF shadows and highlights
Adjusted levels
Adjusted curves
Used overlay layer with 5% opacity brush for “burning and dodging”
Over applied Smart Sharpen on a separate layer
Used layer mask to tone it down for selective sharpening
Saved as tiff
Cropped, reduced image size, framed and saved as jpeg for this post

JoseMiguel, lawhill, Mariol, Ken52, dew77, PaulH, pablominto, ramthakur, mlines, Shoot_Score, SelenE, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Shoot_Score: Pecking OrderJPlumb 1 06-26 06:07
To snaphappy: Clicked at the Right TimeJPlumb 1 05-30 18:38
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,
Excellent capture of this couple!
I like so much your POV and the position of each gull into the frame.
I think it's very good the composition made with the stone, the water and the sky at the background.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • Mariol Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 15 N: 1654] (8221)
  • [2007-05-29 23:49]

Hi John,
Good informative shot of this interesting bird. I like the composition showing their natural habitat. Very good note.
TFS, Mario.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-05-30 0:01]

I really like this John. Great composition with the pose of the two gulls and the water splashing against the rocks. The DOF is excellent and the colors are very natural looking for a bright sunny day.

i think you clicked at the right time the breaking surf adds to the static composition of the birds:)

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-05-30 4:19]

Hello John,
Beautiful capture.I liked pose of gulls,BG,framing and composition a lot.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-05-30 4:31]

Hi John,

the splash of water really adds to the whole 'shoreline' feel to this shot. I find the shape of their beaks quite intriguing too. Nice light and colours, great work.



Hello John,
Pleasant composition, where you make use of the full tele!
The yellow beaks and legs really stnd out, and the blurry surf tells about the maritime environment...
Well composed, attractive image!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-05-30 12:06]

Hello John, very good shot! the gull's pose is marvelous, congratulations in a fine capture..well done

Thanks for dropping by and writing your critique on my recent landscape picture, John.
You have given an amusing caption to your picture of two Pacific Gulls facing each other.
This is a beautiful capture of the birds with the sea spray forming an impressive background.
Best regards.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-30 23:24]

Hello John

A lovely shot.I really like the composition with the wave crashing in.Wonderful focus and details.The colours are well saturated.Very good POV.TFS


Hi John.
Good caption. Very clever. Great shot. Good composition and timing. Nice framing. Well done.
Regards, Steve.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-06-01 13:23]

Hi John

This is indeed a splendid capture and the title couldn't ba any better :))
What a terrific pose from the one to the left ;)
Other than that, i really like the somposition here as well as the terrific BG that you managed to catch - with the wave splash - giving a lot of action to the scene.
Lovely colors and nice sharp details, too.

Bravo and TFS

Hi John. I like the way this is composed. Very natural and the birds are well arranged in your crop. I admire the research you do to identify so much of our flora and fauna. Good notes on how this fine result was achieved. TFS. Murray.

Buena expresión de las aves, aunque para mi lo mejor es la composición junto con los contrastes roca-agua que crean un conjunto vivo y diferente. Saludos.

Is there courtship activity here John? Either that or a pecking order eh! I really like the way you also included a foaming background! Tfs, Jay

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-07-06 5:40]

Hi John,
It's a beautiful capture, looks like a painting. Composition is great. TFS

Hi John,

A nice image of the pacific gulls, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


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