When we are out with our cameras capturing nature photographs it is beneficial to notice small, commonplace events as they can still produce interesting images. This article features a selection of images of a gull swallowing a fish at 15 FPS (frames per second).
Let’s start this short article with a few images of the gull with the fish in its beak to establish the relative size of the fish.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
As we can see from these first few captures, the gull has manipulated the fish into a ‘head first’ position in its beak in preparation for the bird swallowing it.
To create a feeling of immediacy and intimacy with these types of images it can be helpful to lower your camera down closer to the action. In this case I got on one knee and hunched down over my camera.
The next 14 photographs are consecutive images that were captured using a frame rate of 15 frames-per-second with a Nikon 1 V2 fitted with a 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. I shot in Manual mode using continuous auto-focus (AF-C) with subject tracking, and Auto-ISO 160-6400. It took the gull a little over a second to swallow the fish.
There were over a dozen other photographers on the same bridge where this gull was feeding. None of them paid any attention at all to this gull feeding, missing the opportunity to capture some images of this behaviour.
These photographs are not award winners, and due to the type of behaviour captured in the images, may not be of interest to everyone.
What they do illustrate is that if one is observant some interesting images can still be captured of commonplace birds ‘doing their thing’. You don’t have to spend a fortune travelling to exotic locations, or drain your bank account on high end telephoto gear, to have some fun photographing local wildlife.
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection. All photographs are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping.
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