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Tim has been interested in photography for many years. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's in Environmental Science. Writing nature articles allows him to combine his interest in photography and nature into one medium.

Flying Gull Dropping Clam

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Coastal Center at Milford Point
Gull Dropping Dinner

Gull Dropping Dinner

Above is one of the shots of the flying gulls that I took yesterday at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point.  The gulls were taking these clams (or mussels?) and dropping them (as Gulls are apt to do) to aid in getting to the meat inside.

I was playing around with Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 to see what effects I could make with this shot, so please excuse the borders, etc.

There are a lot of good guides on the internet on how to photograph flying birds (the Everglades Photographic Society has a good one), but here’s a few lessons I learned yesterday that I haven’t seen anywhere else:

1)  If you even suspect that you need additional clothes, take them with you instead of getting a mile away from the car and then needing them.  I was debating yesterday about taking my earmuffs with me, but it was relatively warm in the protected area of the parking lot.  However, out on the sandbar, it was another story and my ears froze.

2) A Canon 7D in “Continous High Shooting Mode” and “Raw Quality” will fill up a CF card REALLY quickly.

3) It really bites when you are a quarter mile away from your vehicle and you fill up the only CF card you brought with you (see bullet point 2 above), even though there’s another one in the car.

4) Always have your CF cards with you and bring twice as many as you think you’ll need (see bullet points 2 and 3 above).

5) Focusing on the flying birds wasn’t as hard as I expected, but acquiring them quickly was harder than expected.  Most of my shots were in focus;  unfortunately, they were mainly of birds flying away from me.

6) Shoot in a high enough ISO to freeze the shot, but no higher.  I was worried that I wouldn’t have a fast enough shutter speed (I was in Aperture Priority mode), that I set the ISO at 800 and didn’t pay attention to how fast I was shooting.  This shot was 1/3200 of a second, which is way faster than is necessary.  All I did was add unnecessary noise and lowered the image quality.

7) Enjoy your time out and have fun (did I mention to bring plenty of storage cards?).


Series NavigationYawning GullGreen Winged Teal at The Coastal Center at Milford Point

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