Flying Solo

The best way to finish off the first day of basic training is with aerial work. Since we already covered ground techniques with the morning shoot, the next step was the basic panning techniques needed for the rest of the week. For this we went to a really cool wharf that had some fisherman on it and had attracted a lot of attention. It was one of those finds that you normally wouldn’t think about. Simple really after you get there and realize why, the birds are beggars and easy meals, free fish. The cool thing are all the Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls, and Royal Terns Flying around.

Well I’m a little rusty with my panning technique, not quite used to the birds anymore, too used to planes and their rather uniform pattern; easy to track, easy to follow. It was nice to get back to basics of bending at the trunk, eye peice tight against the eye, elbows in and following the subject. The one that got me the most that i noticed was the cutting off of wing tips in my shots, which has to do with being quicker with panning technique and knowing where the subject goes. This is good though gives me something to practice over the week.

Images captured with D3, 300f4, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Cleaning up for the ladies


It seemed like an itch that went around the group. All of the terns and gulls we were working with started cleaning themselves. Don’t know why it seemed unusual to see them bathing in salt water but it kind of was. Anyways the intense cleaning made for some more entertaining shots.


My personal favorites came from this Royal Tern who kept putting a feather in his beak and would run the feather through getting what would appear to be dry. He did this several times with his primaries and tail feathers. Maybe it’s just me but again it’s about that orange bill. It just stands so far out compared to the bird itself and the water he’s standing in. Just like the Oystercatchers.


Then there is this fellow. He was at the far end of the group we were working, which kind of annoyed me because i wanted to get closer on him but couldnt without flushing everyone else. This good looking Laughing Gull was cleaning himself out in the surf, he kept puffing up and shaking off. That wasn’t however, what caught my attention. It was the reflection he was creating in the water that i liked. Almost like having a second gull present.

Images captured with D3, 600f4, TC-14e, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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