New Photos – Torbay Seagull

IMG_3501_Torbay_Seagull stockphoto by John Rocha at


Torbay Seagull


A seagull on a headland in Torquay, England.

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There are all sorts of photos that sell well as stock.

It’s easier to know the successful ones after they’ve sold a few times.

But what about shooting pictures for the future – is there any way of predicting which can be successful?

For the next few posts I’m going to showcase some new photos – photos shot this year.

Only time will tell how things will work out.

I took this photo on a magical day.

I had gone out with a view to concentrating on the landscape of a particularly scenic part of Devon in England.

Just by chance I saw dolphins and seals in the bay and noticed the gulls flying round the bay.

I noticed gulls frequently perching on this outcrop and of course there was nowhere for them to move except nearer.

From the photographic point of view there are a number of challenges:

Gulls of this type have white heads.

This means that if there is bright overhead sunlight it’s almost almost impossible to get the exposure right – the sensor simply can’t handle the contrast.

Here the overcast day provided ideally diffused light.

Although I was able to position myself relatively close and wait for the gull, I was still at some distance.

This meant I needed to use a long focus lens.

As my position was fixed I preferred a zoom lens as that makes different framing possible.

I used my 75-300 Canon IS Zoom.

This is a good quality lens but I always try not to use zooms at their longest or shortest length where quality often falls off a little.

I was looking for a blurred background but the very narrow depth of field made focussing difficult.

The most important point here is to get the eye sharp.

It’s not easy to choose such a small, off centre area, with the autofocus system of the Canon 5D Mark 11.

I took a couple of auto focus shots but also switched to manual to concentrate entirely on the eye.

So what was I looking for?

A clear, sharp shot, showing the bird as the main subject but with enough extra information to indicate the environment.

This is my first post since about a month away – I seem to have missed one post and my site disappeared from the internet for a few days.

Hopefully all is well now – apologies if these problems spoilt the reading experience.

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February 2021
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Stock photography by John Rocha at Alamy

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