Photography Times: Seagull in Flight

February 10, 2010

Although not as simple as it sounds, photography is all about being at the right time, at the right place and a steady hand. This photograph of a flying Seagull showed me how hard that could be.

It was Thanksgiving, and I was visiting South Padre Island, strolling on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The beach wasn’t crowded, but the hundreds of Seagulls made up for it. Camera in hand, I walked across the waters looking for the best position to catch shots of the Seagulls. I stood on Picnic benches, sat over an abandoned fishing boat, stood deep inside the waves, knelt on the white sands, all in an attempt to capture that ideal shot I had pictured in mind – a flock of Seagulls just about taking off a feet or two from the ground.

If finding the right place was tough, the tougher part was waiting for the Seagulls to fly as a flock. It was cute watching the Seagulls walk on their two little feet, but heck, I wanted them to fly. Fly, you birdie!

That was a long wait. There were a few moments, when it seemed the birds were about to take off, whilst I kept adjusting the aperture and the shutter speed and kept snapping one click after another. But none of them ever got off the tarmac.

It happened at the moment I went walking into the waves, trying to get closer to the birds. The closer I moved the farther the birds went. Anticipating a few to fly quickly, I increased the shutter speed to 1/1600 seconds. The high speed is generally good enough to freeze any object in a fast motion. It was at that very instant when one of the birdies, took off from its walk and flew towards me. Within the next second, my eyes went peeping into the Viewfinder to track the bird down, followed its flight for the next second and when it was right over my head, snapped three consecutive shots in a row.

And thus came into existence – the Seagull in Flight. I never managed the shot of a flock of Seagulls taking off – the one I originally set out to capture. Maybe that’ll happen another day, another time, and hopefully an equally steady hand.

Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 90mm
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/1600 sec
Camera: NIKON D90

Vidhya is an Independent Artist and a student of New York Institute of Photography. Twitter. Facebook. Facebook Photography Page. LinkedIn.
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