Dolphin Gull, Saunders Island, Falkland Islands
Fujifilm X-H2S, 150-600mm, 1/2000 second @ f8, ISO 800

As amazing as a voyage to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica is, there has always been a part of me that wanted to stay behind just a little longer on the Falklands. One of the reasons I enjoy visiting Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, can be found in the little blue cafe a hundred metres from the wharf. Inside I can purchase not only a rich hot chocolate, but a large, scrumptuous sultana scone with ample strawberry jam and cream. 

Of course, the photography is pretty good too. In fact, it's amazingly good for bird life, everything from penguins to albatross - and the Dolphin Gull shown here. Okay, so now I'm a little nervous. I think it's a Dolphin Gull, but there's a part of me fearing a polite email explaining that it's actually an XYZ gull. There are seven types of gull and over 200 species of bird on the Falklands.

One of the big advantages of shooting on the Falklands is that many of the locations are on private property and so access to our subjects is less restricted. Of course, this doesn't mean we can trample through the middle of an albatross colony, but it does mean there are a lot more angles available to us - and most importantly, as much time as we need to get that perfect gesture, the best wing position and a glint in the eye.

And while time is an essential ingredient, I confess that equally important for my technique is a fast frame rate, so I can shoot a burst of images as my subject hopefully moves into position. On this occasion, we were on the edge of a cliff crowded with Rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatross. The gulls were sneaking meals wherever they could and eventually I managed to capture this bird with a wing shape I'm very happy with. But yes, there are lots of frames where the pose isn't quite as picturesque.

In camera, I set my exposure compensation to -1 EV to be sure I keep detail in the white feathers. While post-production can help, getting the exposure right is the best approach.

However, my biggest secret when it comes to shooting wildlife and bird is to travel with someone who really knows what they are doing! Scott Portelli and I are leading a workshop to the Falklands from 30 Nov - 14 Dec 2024 - you can see details on Scott's website -