Gul on sand patterns, Swansea Bay

When I set off for Swansea Bay my initial plan was to photograph the flock of Oystercatchers in the bay. For this I took my 500mm lens and 1.4x converter only.With the birds being quite far out and the tide not really pushing them as high as I would have liked, the Oystercatchers were never really close enough for good compositions. Luckily gulls were around all over the Bay and quite close to the promenade where I had positioned myself. This gave opportunities as they wandered over the sand, and this gull entered the area I had been photographing previously with the sand patterns. I tried to place the gull on the top left hand third in accordance with the rule of thirds and had the gull facing into the image as well.

Pebbles and shells, Swansea Bay

It is easy to get into the mindset that longer lenses are only good for wildlife images and getting closer to your subject. I have found this year that I have used them for plant portraits, details and patterns as much as for wildlife images. When in a location with one lens, it provides a good exercise in developing your eye for a photograph, but also it makes it easier as well as there are no other alternative views to consider as you have no other lens options. So instead of looking at a subject and thinking, do I go wide with a wide angle, and how wide do I want to go, or should I get in close with a macro lens, or flatten the perspective with a telephoto, you only have one option available and have to work with it.

This is a great exercise to set yourself sometime, and one of the training tools I use on my workshops and day courses. You will miss some other images occasionally as you don’t have the correct lens with you, but you will find plenty of other images to photograph as you tune your eye into the angle of view of the lens you have with you.


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