A few more photos, words are overrated. Keen to see if I could do any better than yesterday I went back to Southend, there to meet up with Mick, Richard and a few Med Gulls. Mick, as you will know if you have ever clicked his web page (over to the right somewhere, in the photo-bloggers section), is mildly fanatical about Gulls and photographing them. I can't think of anybody who does it better, and that includes any pro you care to name. I on the other hand have a great deal to learn about this art form, so spending a bit of time with him is always worthwhile, and I hoped to get some killer shots. The light however had different ideas, and I barely pulled the trigger, ahem. In between not taking blindingly amazing shots of Gulls, we nattered about camera settings and how today was a complete waste of time, about forthcoming trips such as Morocco and Iceland, and theorized on why some so-called bird photographers that plaster their 'work' all over the net are able to consistently take such shockingly poor photos. And why lots of other people acclaim them as amazing when in fact they are shit. A mixture of the usual nonsense in other words, highly cathartic, good to get various things off my chest rather than just tweet or blog about it. Oh.
Ah, it is all good fun really, and indeed my new moniker of "Internet Birder" has even provoked some blog posts from a couple of people who are always worth a read, and who tend to make you think. For example the words Pompous and Ass were used, which at points in the last couple of weeks I almost certainly have been (see example above, written for illustrative purposes). This of course isn't unusual, I would not be me without the occasional outburst, venting spleen. Highly correlated to periods of bank-based employment it appears. Unbecoming though, and as Gav points out, in this internet age it will live on without you if people can be bothered to look for it. Interestingly though, the comment the prompted this, the curious insult of Internet Birder (no, I have little idea either - if anything I write less about birding than many birders), has now been deleted by its author and I cannot find it. That tells its own story if you ask me. I am not going to elaborate, and like most things on the internet, it will all just drift away until people will read this post in isolation in a few years and wonder what on earth I am going on about. Very little really. Storms and teacups, the usual shite. I really must learn to keep my big mouth shut is the key take-away here, hard though that is. Tolerance, tolerance, tolerance.
Anyway, the light was awful. Technical specs can be found later on my other, nicer, blog. But suffice to say that flight shots were largely out of the question, and even portraits ended up looking flat. But it was still enjoyable, and trying to coax images out in dire conditions is always good for a laugh. I.e. you look at the back of your camera and just laugh. Oh for white clouds rather than grey, but other than this slight issue today, I can't think of many other things I'd have liked to have done this weekend. Funny how you get a bee in your bonnet about some things - an itch to be in a specific place doing a specific thing. This weekend that was Southend-on-Sea. Next weekend it could be something completely different. Even though I exist on the internet only, I lead a relatively varied birding life. A bit of this, a bit of that. And of course the key thing to remember is that my view of what birding is about trumps anyone else's. And as long as that's clear we'll get along just fine.