20 December 2009

Black-backed gull, evening

Last light
Bird portraits seem predominantly to focus on portraying the subject in vivid colours with strong light that maximises detail. Fine — done well, they can be spectacular — but sometimes a different approach can be refreshing. One doesn’t often see soft light and pastel colours in bird portraits (I’m not saying they don’t exist, just that they seem under-represented). Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s my form of protest at the excesses of Velvia-like over-saturation and high contrast.

The bird is a black-backed gull (Larus dominicanus) on the coast of Wellington harbour on a midwinter evening in 2006.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


Zhoen said...

Seems to be posing for you. I like the softer colors, the way we usually see birds.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Zhoen. They are posers.

Tim Parkin said...

I have to agree ... there are good times to use velvia and bad times. I can't imagine velvia is high up in the list of 'best film stocks for wildlife'.

pohanginapete said...

Tim, you'd be surprised. Before most wildlife photographers switched to digital, Velvia was hugely popular despite its low ISO rating.

Thanks for writing the post I've used as the link, too — much better than the misleading Wikipedia entry.