How I Got The Shot: ‘Bird Of Gloom’

How I Got The Shot

Camera: Canon T1i
Lens: Canon EF-S 55 – 250 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 250 mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority
Photoshop: Increased the contrast, and converted to black and white.

Bird of Gloom

'Bird Of Gloom'

The Story Of The Shot

This was taken on a recent trip to St. Ives in Cornwall, and was the only photo I really liked from the day. I was actually waiting outside while my wife was shopping, and I noticed this bird above me, and thought it would make an interesting shot. It was daylight, but a bit cloudy, so I chose a relatively low ISO of 200, and I shot in Aperture Priority mode (‘AV’ on my Canon camera). I shoot in this mode a lot, as I often want to control the depth of field in the shot, but, in this case, it didn’t really matter too much what aperture I used, as the background was the distant sky.

By using my telephoto lens ‘racked out’ to its longest focal length of 250mm, I managed to get pretty close to the bird, and I framed it so it was just to the right of the shot, with the wire creating a pleasing diagonal across the image. By increasing the contrast, and converting it to black and white in Photoshop, I think I’ve created quite a strong, impactful image – I especially like all the ‘white space’ in the shot, and how this deeply contrasts with the black bird.

Critique The Shot

What do you think of the photo? Write a comment below and let me know – all your thoughts are really appreciated.


  1. That’s a pretty sweet shot. Love the high contrast of the bird against the sky. Really sharp – I’d be pleased if I had taken this one, too!

  2. Hi James – thanks a lot for commenting and your kind words!

  3. I like this shot allot. Love the high contrast and the framing. A shot to be proud of and certainly one that should have acquired a damn site more comments. If you have a flickr account let me know I’d like to see more.

    All the best.

  4. Hi Troy, thanks a lot for your kind comment! This is one of my fave shots, definitely. I do have a Flickr account, but I’m afraid to say I just don’t update it – too busy with this site and the site’s Facebook page too, really.

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