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Lucky bird, lucky shot!

Seagull

Some of the images that I like most, were made when I was least expecting them. That is just the fun of photography! A few years ago, Georgina and I wanted to see the sardine run in South Africa. Of course we were eager to see the large bait balls with dolphins jumping in, hunting sharks and the odd great white shark or killer whale!
Well: we did not see anything of that. We spent ten days at sea and did not see a single sardine. So we sat on the boat, but still had a good time. We snorkelled with humpback whales, dolphins and dusky sharks, but the sardines just did not show up.
So what do you do, when your subjects are not there? You look for other things. Every now than then we would roll into the water to check something out, but the blue waters seemed to be deserted most of the time. I would be floating on the surface, peeking into the blue, waiting for the large predators to show up.
One time, I noticed I was being watched. It was a young white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis). There was a flock of petrels on the water, but most of time moved away when I lifted my camera. But sometimes, younger animals are more curious than adults, and will stay to check you out. I looked at the bird, the bird looked at me. I carefully exhaled, to get a bit deeper to get the shot I wanted. After all, I am an underwater photographer. I turned my camera so the bird would be in the picture diagonal and I could capture more of the body and its legs. I did not turn to far, so both eyes are visible. The bird and I looked at each other for around a minute, then it left.

Photo data:

  • 1/640 sec
  • F/11
  • ISO 1250
  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 16mm fisheye
  • Sealux underwaterhousing

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