a photographer's view to the world – a traveler's blog
Today is the first day of my summer vacation. I’m supposed to be where I could hear the sound of the seagulls, the wind, and the waves while having a distinct smell of salty air in my nose. But, it’s pandemic time. Still, many regulations although some travel is allowed again for a few days. Fortunately, the weather is still too cold for the end of May, it’s raining a lot and the weather is changing very quickly. It looks more like early April than late May. Thus we’re enjoying (or at least try to) our vacation at home. But, I guess, farmers and rangers are quite happy about the rain. And old farmers rule says: when May is cool and wet, it fills the farmer barn and barrel. ( in German this saying rhymes)
So, this memory of three black-headed gulls standing in the wind captured in April 2019 has to comfort me.
While I was in Wales, my wife changed the destination for our summer holiday. Instead of heading south to the Bavarian Alpes for staying two weeks near the National Park “Berchdesgardener Land”, we were heading north to the Dutch province Groningen. Beach instead of mountains. Fair change in my eyes 🙂
But, what a surprise. No beach 🙂 Only a harbor for ferries and fishing boats. But, a huge lake with no tide and lots of birds was nearby. So, from a wildlife photographers point of view fantastic opportunities. But, this wasn’t her intention. So, she was quite disappointed with her choice although the area was very nice and offered many options for walking, hiking or biking, but no town nearby. The next shops were about 15 km away.
I also was a bit disappointed, because I left the lens, I usually use for wildlife, at home. I didn’t expect these conditions. So, I have to return 🙂 Is anybody out there willing to accompany me?
So, now tons of images are waiting on my hard-disk to get developed. Most of them are birds, but I also have many landscape images. Some of them are a mixture of both kinds, just like the one above: a flock of seagulls is chasing a spoonbill at sunset. In one of the next frames, you can see them attacking the spoonbill. But, I like this one more because of the light conditions.
When taking wildlife images, I use a technique called panning. The camera settings are continuous shutter speed, a fixed shutter speed depending on the kind of animal and expected action, fixed aperture (wide open), continuous auto-focus spreading over a couple AF fields and Auto-ISO with spot metering. The camera has an APS-C sized sensor and a tele-focus lens sitting on a monopod. These settings help me to get pretty sharp images even of flying birds. I start taking photographs in a certain moment and following the movement of the birds with my camera. That’s quite easy because it’s mounted on top of the monopod and follows my turns. So, I’m able to follow the movements of my main subject. Back at home, I have to view lots of images and many of them get deleted. But, this technique gives me the opportunity to not miss a shot.
The exact settings for the above image are: APS-C sensor, 1/1000, f5.6, 80-400mm lens at 280mm (~420mm equivalent for a 35mm camera or full-frame), ISO 500
Some images taken during the trip are already on my Instagram account. Check them out over there and consider following me on Instagram, too.
My contribution to this weeks photo challenge at “The daily post” is this young seagull. I took the photo at the beach of Helgoland, a small island in the north sea in January 2011.
As the topic sais “foreshadow”, I picked this photo, because you can easily see, what will happen next.
Usually I don’t put more than one photo in a competition post, but I make an exception today for those of you don’t having an idea, what’s coming next, I put the complete series online here:
By the way, as usual you can acquire licenses or prints.