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on Jul 13, 2011 in Photography

Winter Wildlife Challenge Closer to Home


Yeap, the Arctic fox might seem like a project a bit out of your reach. Considering where they live and the difficulty reaching them summer and especially winter, that’s why you’d do you homework. The once species no one ever things about and basically ignores are gulls. But they are a perfect example of the perfect challenge. Gulls have a very distinctive winter and summer plumage. The winter tends to really mess with birders because they are so nondescript. Photograghing though, you can see here with this Laughing Gull example, there is quite the difference. What’s great about gulls besides they are every where and everyone ignores them, when you do make a great photo of them, everyone can relate. That’s cool!

But here’s the deal, you can’t do common of the common! The challenge is not just the biology, but making what many think a “trash” bird look glamorous! How do you accomplish that? Light is a great place to start, dramatic or soft light helps gulls look better. As my good friend Artie says, “What a gull for ten minutes and it will do something stupid.” That stupid act makes for a great photo, always! Lastly, get down on their level. Both of these photos where taken down at their level. There are so many possibilities and that’s the beauty of the challenge. It’s photographic, it’s biological, it’s story telling and my favorite part, it’s just darn fun!

Photos captured by D3x, 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film