Gannet BIFs

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They look and act pretty goofy on the ground but in the air they are visual poetry. As the wind shifted over the course of a day the flight patterns would adjust accordingly. The following are not all from one pass by one bird but the sequence more or less illustrates how things went.

1) Banking in toward the cliffs.
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2) Coming closer...
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3) ... and closer. Eye contact.
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4) Staring back at the critter with one big eye covering its whole face.
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5) And continuing on by.
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6) And passing by close enough for in-flight portraits
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7) A different flight pattern in the afternoon made for cool shots against the shady side of the cliff.
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Butlerkid

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Very well done! You did a a fine job keeping the eye in focus in #6. AND excellent exposure control of a white and very dark bird!

I'm amazed at the focal lengths. I was shooting my 600mm (on a full frame body) and needed a lot more focal length! LOL!
 
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Very well done! You did a a fine job keeping the eye in focus in #6. AND excellent exposure control of a white and very dark bird!

I'm amazed at the focal lengths. I was shooting my 600mm (on a full frame body) and needed a lot more focal length! LOL!
Thanks, Karen. Yes it was amazing how close the birds flew when the wind was in the right direction. Over three days I spent enough hours out there to figure out the winds and where to position myself for the close ups, BGs, etc.
great set Dan
I shot them at a somewhat famous place, Bempton Cliffs in the UK
Thanks, Randy. Yeah that sounds like an awesome place to shoot.
 
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Terrific job with keeping the focus on these beautiful birds.
Thanks, Louis. Actually some of the easiest BIF shooting I've ever done. At least after figuring out the winds. The only time the birds flapped there wings was when taking off and landing. 90 percent of the rest of the time they were gliding on the wind currents. So if you could figure out how to get the wind at your back they were moving fairly slow and steady when they came towards you. Relatively speaking. It was a blast.
 
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WOW! Amazing bird, amazing shots. Very well done!
Thanks, Nick.
As good as it gets, Dan! Breathtaking shots for all the reasons above!
Glad you enjoyed the shots, Dossy. Thanks for commenting.
Real nice set, very nice flight shots, good on you
Thanks, Andreas.
Excellent. To me, #7 really stands out.
Thanks, Bobby. There was just a narrow patch of dark cliff that they passed by unfortunately when flying fast downwind. With the D7200 "only" shooting 6fps it took a few passes to get the timing down.
 

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