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Thread: Common Tern

  1. #1

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    Bobo

    Common Tern

    Common Tern.
    Comes in within reach of the zoom but never when it catches anything.

    2-4 were too far off for the zoom and I did not want to crop too close.

    1. Looking for food
    Common Tern

    2. Got something
    Common Tern

    3. Hmmm, too small
    Common Tern

    4. Ahhhh, much better
    Common Tern

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Common Tern

    I think the particular strength of #3 is the powerful narrative it carries. In it, we are really told the story of how this bird lives its life in terms of hunting for food. That's because, I think, we're seeing it in a wider setting, not just with a sky or water behind it, but a full-blown landscape.

    It certainly appeals to me.

  3. #3

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    Re: Common Tern

    I too like #3 best: you can find a million photos of terns against the sky (one good tern deserves another?), and they all look alike after awhile. But not so many people are taking photos of terns that place them in the context of the environment in which they live. That's part of what makes this photo stand out from the others, and it makes it a much more engaging and interesting image.

    In another thread I mentioned the work of the great Swedish wildlife painter Bruno Liljefors, who was a master of composition and almost always placed his subjects in the context of their environment. One of my favourites is this painting of a fox, which is not just a painting of a fox but the fox in its natural environment; the surrounding marshland plays as big a role in this painting as the fox does, in fact, and the texture of the grass is echoed in the texture of the fox's fur.

    Common Tern

  4. #4

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    Re: Common Tern

    Thanks Donald and Brad.

    Will go study that painters work - I find the idea of wildlife "landscapes" quite appealing. In a way it can help reduce the need for an even longer lens.

  5. #5

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    Re: Common Tern

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    In a way it can help reduce the need for an even longer lens.
    One of my I'll-get-to-it-someday projects is to make myself spend a year taking photos with just one prime lens (equivalent to a 50mm), including landscapes, wildlife, plants, etc. I think it would be good discipline.

    I effectively did this during my 20s, because I had an SLR with a decent 50mm lens but I had no money to buy another lens so I made do..and I think in the end it helped me grow as a photographer. I didn't get many good photos of birds that way, though. Most of them were birds we caught in a mist net when I was doing ornithological research

  6. #6

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    Re: Common Tern

    Economics is a great driver most of the time. It is only that when conditions have improved it is hard to not to just go get the thing that will do it.

    At this time, now that I know the basics (and still get it wrong more often then not), I try to do things differently each time. Maybe that is from the collected experience but also keeps the juices flowing. Doing the same thing time and again gets boring quickly.

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