A Day with the Gulls

While trying to calibrate my camera and lens I needed to go spend some time photographing and see how well a job I have done. But I had to do more than just photograph, I had to push the camera and my skills a bit to see just how well my calibration efforts worked.

I wanted to photograph birds, but not just any typical bird setting would do. I wanted to photograph flying birds to see how well the camera and lens were working together to get a crisp clear focus. Moving objects are always a hard target to photograph and get focus and birds are probably at or at least very near the top of the list for difficulty for photographing.

I packed up my gear and headed to my sweet spot. YES, you guessed it, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. Even though it was mid afternoon in late winter, not particularly the best time to find birds, I figured even the refuge would have some birds moving around.

Well, I spend an hour or more looking for birds with little to no luck. The ones I did find, large flocks of waterfowl, were just too far away to do any good. I then came across some gulls fighting over a dead fish on the ice. I had never given gulls much thought for photography as they are extremely common here but I needed a model, a test subject if you will, and I was running out of daylight so the gulls got the job.

I spent the remainder of the day watching and photographing the gulls, fishing and fighting over their spoils. I learned not only what I needed to about my camera and lens but I also learned not to overlook the most of common birds for photography and bird watching. I learned something about photographing birds I had not really thought about but that will be for another days blog. Enjoy my first and not my last efforts of photographing the gulls on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.