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Sweet Love ( Gannets - Morus basanus)



Gannets taken on the cliffs of the North east of Scotland

Gannets taken on the cliffs of the North east of Scotland
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2 Comments | Report
catherinethompson PRO
 
catherinethompson November 04, 2016
Stunning capture. Congratulations.
Djfoster171
 
Djfoster171 July 06, 2017
Beautiful

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Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo on the North east coast of Scotland at a place called Troup Head. The cliffs are steep and these gannets come back year after year to Aberdeenshire.
Time
This was in the afternoon but you can visit from early morning ill evening time as the birds are always doing something, whether building nests which is great to watch as they steal each another's nesting material and you wonder if they will ever get a nest built. I spend a lot of time also looking for what I want out of my image as having them near my home means I can visit whenever I fancy going.
Lighting
The lighting in photographing these birds is crucial as too bright and the whites are challenging and too dull and you don't get that lovely yellow showing or those gorgeous blue eyes. I look at the weather forecasts and try and get a bright day to show the birds character.
Equipment
I have a canon 760D and had my 70-200mm f2.8 ef lens with a 2x converter, my focal length was 390mm at F5.6 ; 1/640 and ISO 400. I do most of my shots on these cliff edges hand held for safety reasons as we are at the edge of the cliffs either looking down or along at the birds with very little space at times.
Inspiration
My inspiration in capturing this image was the way that these birds are away at sea through winter then come back and find their partners then go through this ritual of their love for each another, over and over. Getting a pair by themselves is sometimes was a challenge as their are thousands of Gannets along these cliffs amongst the other seabirds. I wanted an image to capture the emotions of the pair bonding again for another season.
Editing
I usually try and do very little post processing to my wildlife images as I try to capture what I want in the camera. I used my canon disc and elements to sharpen , boost the saturation and contrast with this as whilst playing with the image wanted the yellow and blues to stand out as I think that is what makes this bird popular to photograph here in Scotland.
In my camera bag
First lens I put in is either my 200mm prime f2.8 or the 70-200mm f2.8 and my 2x converter. The bag has the other 18-55mm kit lens and a 50mm f1.8 in it also along with my remote trigger just in case I see something else to capture. The most important zoom for me is my feet though as I get as close to my subject as I can.
Feedback
For anyone visiting these lovely cliffs to capture these birds would need very sturdy footwear firstly as one wrong slip could be costly. Spending time watching your subject is always a good thing as this will help you with their behaviour which was a crucial factor in my image. give the birds time and they will soon forget you are there and that is when can get close to get the images I want now , when I visit them. You don't need great long lens either as knowing these birds can get you images with any kit lens too. The lighting with these birds as I said earlier is another factor to take into consideration, but you will have plenty of time to play about with settings and get it right.

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