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Steve Foss

GIF in BL = practice, practice, practice

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Hey all:

I drove my lady to Duluth and the North Shore today. She's not as excited about living in Ely and the wilderness as I am. Her heart always beats its fastest when she breasts the hill above Duluth and gets her first look at the Big Lake. So because the 3rd Annual Sportsperson's Swap Meet in lil ole Twig, Minn., went so well for me yesterday, I thought I'd gas up the vehicle and surprise her with a spontaneous Sunday trip to Lake Superior.

When I bought that extra bag of popcorn she was on to me. She loves spending time along the shore tossing pcorn to the gulls. Flying rats, some call them. Graceful, opportunistic and emblematic of her favorite Great Lake, Lisa says.

Oh yeah, GIF stand for gulls in flight, and BL stands for bad light. gringrin

Gulls are great practice for BIF shooters, or for anyone who shoots action photos and needs to stay in shape. They come close, they are a challenge exposure-wise against the sky/water, they hover and glide so it's possible to nail them sharp, but they dodge and weave, so there's still some challenge.

And since I spent a few dollars on the winning $143 Powerball ticket today, I figure I better get in shape for when I pick up the Canon 1D Mk3, 1Ds Mk3, 300 f2.8L, 500 f4L, 600 f4L and 800 f5.6L. Yeah. Guy can dream, right? gringrin

And you know what's even better BIF practice than gulls? A species in most every town and farmyard? The lowly rock dove. Yes, sports fans, pigeons are amazingly agile and fast on the wing. Hard to pin down indeed. If you can capture sharp images of PIF, you can get most anything. So get out there and make perfect through practice. Those PIFs and GIFs will keep you at the top of your game while you're waiting for the peregrine or prairie falcon to show up. gringrin

I'll post the ring-billed gulls first, then a second post with the herring gulls. All with the Canon 30D and Canon 200 f2.8L Mk2, iso200 and 400, various shutter speeds at f5.6, handheld, Ai servo, most (but not all) on center focus point.

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I think the Ring Bills overdo it with the lipstick.

I think Mother Nature has more to say about it than they do. smilesmile

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Great series! I have to agree with X on the make up with those ring billed! They look like clowns! Particularly like the head on, open mouthed shot!

Brought my wife down to Duluth today, too. Brought the camera along but it didn't get out of the bag. wink Oh well, building points for the next great excursion! grin

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Nice work, I worked in Duluth for many years doing highway construction, It brings back memories, especially when we worked on the 35 bypass through town, along the lake. Bringing your lunch out and fighting the "Sky Rats" was always a Hitchcock type experience. Enjoyed the pics alot, THANKS!!!

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All great crisp details in the shots Steve!....I have yet to see gulls here in Hibbing.....usually the big parking lots at Wally-World have the first gulls here...these birds really get "sold short"....If people just take the time to really look at the beauty in these ceatures....Your shots capture that beauty well!...

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Nice work Steve. Especially enjoyed that second shot, not something you see everyday!

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I'm going to have to find me some gulls. Unfortunately, I don't believe we have the Ring Billed variety here. They are much more photogenic. But, with our winds gusting at over 30 mph again, I believe I'll wait a few days. crazy

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Pigeons are pretty darn gorgeous, actually, with all that shimmer in their feathers, and I bet there are dozens in and around Marshall, especially at the grain elevator. smilesmile

Well rock dove sounds a bit more romantic than pigeon. winkwink

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Hard to pick favorites, but I like the last shot of the ring billed, and the last shot of the herring. The detail in the ring billed is awesome. The last herring gull photo, the wings look like crepe paper.

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