Wellington pelagic trip November 2018

After trying to get out onto the Cook Straight twice earlier on in the year, I finally guessed the weather right this November.
Windy Wellington lives up to its name and I had previously booked trips in early winter that had to be cancelled due to high winds. However, I got the weather right this time and November the 17th was fine and it was a happy and excited group of 12 hopefuls that put their trust in captain Jonno and out into the choppy sea we went.
Every trip is different and on this trip saw heaps and heaps of taiko or Western Black Petrels along with the other usual suspects.
The main culprits were

  • Salvin’s Mollymawk
  • White-capped Mollymawk
  • Black-browed Mollymawk
  • Giant Northern Petrel
  • Western Black Petrel
  • Flesh-footed Shearwater

At times there were so many birds circling the boat it was impossible to single one out, without so many others photobombing my subject.

Too many birds in the frame is not really a reason for complaint but rather a challenge.

This trip sea was lumpy due to a stiff breeze. These are ideal conditions, as the breeze assists the birds to skim across the rises and troughs making for more dramatic images.

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Watch your background

The scene is set. At last the bird you have waited for, for so long is right there in front of you. You have waited an eternity for this opportunity and clickerty click, click goes the hard working camera.

Zoned out and seeing long

When that opportunity comes and that bird is right in front of us, our focus tends to be locked on to that bird and our world is reduced to that distance between us and our prize. Our attention to detail is trapped in the zone between us and our subject and we don’t notice things outside of that zone and beyond. Sometimes we are guilty of missing some small out of focus object between us and our subject as we tend to see past/through things, but equally important is what is beyond our subject.
Seeing long, seeing beyond our subject is a skill that needs to be developed as a failure to do so can cause us to miss elements that rob the image of its potential emotional impact.

Firstly the most important person you need to impress with your image is YOU. All the others that ooh & ahh over your image are meaningless if all you can see is a great big blooper staring back at you and if only you could go back in time and reposition your self so that the background of your image did not detract from your image.

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