Tell me what you’re doing about it

Today, February 21st, is Get Around To Doing Something Because It’s Been A Year And There’s Nothing To Shoot Anyway Day and so, prompted by this, I put together this little animated gif (pronounced “gyl-EN-haylll”) of fifteen frames that I shot a year ago. As you undoubtedly recall, that day opened quite foggy and I went down to the lake to take advantage of it. In the middle distance out there sat a depth marker in the water, serving as a perch for a seagull because of course – before humans came along to put lots of poles and buoys in the water, seagulls were stronger since they had to fly farther between perches, so that’s even more blame we can shoulder. I had the longer lens on to do esoteric abstract compositions, and as I was shooting, another gull came in and usurped this primo spot and I simply fired off a sequence. I kept looking at them and thinking I should do an animation, but knew that would be a little time-consuming, between ensuring that the frames lined up reasonably well and touching out all the dust on the sensor because it becomes really damn noticeable in plain grey situations.

[My shooting habits are largely responsible for this dust, because most of my lens changes take place out in the field in less that optimal conditions, plus my main body doesn’t have one of those ultrasonic dust-clearing functions. I need to clean the sensors more often, but it’s slightly tricky and stands a distinct possibility of damaging the sensor if I’m not careful, so I tend to put it off more often than I should.]

But enough stalling.

animated sequence of gulls disputing perch
If you look close, you can see the perched gull following the intruder – I could have shown this in better detail but it would have made the image that much bigger, and with the fog and shutter speed and distance it wouldn’t have added much anyway. Personally, I have my doubts that the second gull even needed a perch, and only wanted to demonstrate its dominance (read: assholiness) to that insolent, lazy gull on the marker.

You may have noticed the distinct color cast, significantly different from the photos shown last year, and that’s because I was shooting these in Sunlight white balance, essentially no correction – the light really was that blue, I just tweaked the others for an effect that looked more normal to us (because our eyes and/or brains automatically compensate for color casts, at least to a degree.) The weather conditions right now are vaguely threatening more fog, but they’re also threatening a thunderstorm, so if the next post doesn’t contain lightning photos, it either didn’t happen, or the conditions didn’t permit being out there doing time exposures, or I was too tired and slept through it.

[Such excuses could really apply to everything here, couldn’t they? “I was going to go out and shoot some photos of California condors, but the weather never got nice enough, and they don’t live around here, and I don’t know how to use a camera anyway.” It’s like deflecting all the blame away. I should try this more often.]

Enough about me. Tell us in the comments what you’re doing for the holiday!

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