Saturday, October 22, 2011

Floating birds

I walked out on deck last night at 1am and saw the most interesting thing.
We're at anchor near Galveston Texas, again, and the boats flood lights are on so our unit will be lit up, easy for vessel traffic coming and going to see us.

An area of the water about 50 ft square is illuminated by these lights.
It seems the lighted area of the water is quite an attraction to the local seagulls.
It was floating room only as there were hundreds of gulls floating in this area.

The bundle of birds floating together would drift slowly toward the stern of the boat as the tide was coming in. As the birds drifted out of the light and into the darkness they would fly about 50 feet up into the front edge of the illuminated water, then settle in, bobbing in the water. Those birds that just landed would ride the tide for about 45 seconds before they would again enter the darkened area, prompting them to fly again, back up to the far edge of the illuminated water before landing for the 45 second ride back down to the stern.

It was like watching a choreographed dance.
I tried to get a photo of this dance but because I had to use a very slow shutter setting to capture the light, I also caught streaks made from the floating and flying birds.
Still working on my night photography.

For your viewing pleasure, read my article in "Gather News"
No Monument for Coretta King, and That's Alright.


Anonymous said...

It's a neat photo. Might make a neat texture for all those photo texture addicts.

Karen said...

Amazing, some of the animal behaviors we get to witness now and then... I'm not good with night photography yet either, but it can be some of the most compelling.

Jerral Miles said...

Your night photography is just fine... I very much like the impressionist photograph you and the birds made together. Thanks. Jerral

Donna said...

The mechanics of night photography still eludes me too; any good images I get are purely coincidental - but captures as lovely and impressionistic as yours of the birds might be preferable!

SueAnn said...

Night photography is hard!! You definitely need a tripod and manual setting so you can get that shutter to open slowly!! Need a lot of patience as well! Ha!
Your shot was so cool! So ethereal!

Marilyn said...

fascinating! Can just imagine how it looked. Working on my night photography too. It is tricky, especially on a rocking boat.