focus and take the shot


Recently I challenged myself to try to catch some action shots with my phone’s camera.


seagulls on beach


Not much action here. Just some seagulls, hanging out.


seagull reflection


Although, some gulls took a little time for reflecting.


seagull showing off


Others stretched their wings–or showed off.

Can’t say for sure as I’m not really a gull expert. 


I do know that birds like bread.


seagull eating bread crumb


They will crane necks to get bread. 


seagull landing


They will swoop and fly.


seagull frenzy


They will get rowdy.


seagull standoff


Not all though. Some will be cautious–maybe even a bit suspicious.

This gull probably has an agent.


beach boys


So I moved on to other subjects.

Replaced the bread with a Frisbee.


beach frisbee


And … action.


playing Frisbee on beach

beach frisbee action

catching frisbee on beach


What challenges have you set up for yourself lately? 

Happy Monday!!

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60 thoughts on “Gulls (and Boys) Just Want to Have Fun

  1. Beth K. Vogt

    I guess the action depends on the “who” and the “what” you’re focusing on, right?
    (I know … the brilliance of that statement is astounding, right? Sorry. I’m one dimensional today, after 16+ hours at my daughter’s volleyball tourney yesterday.)
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face … and a longing for the beach in my heart.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Sixteen hours. Wow. That’s a long day–for both of you. I have a photo I took of my 5 year old nephew laying on the sidelines after a full day of watching his brother play in a lacrosse tournament. Sheer exhaustion. But dedication too. 🙂 Thanks, Beth!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Yes! I have a Samsung Galaxy 3. I’ve used a fancy camera before, but what I’m loving about photography right now is learning composition and telling a story through pictures and the phone works better for that (for now). Thanks, Pat. 🙂

  2. Kitt Crescendo

    Hmmm. It seems to me like we could learn a little something from watching those gulls. I loved all of your photos…the joy for life was shining through clearly…especially with the Frisbee pictures. Thanks!

  3. Jenny Bailey

    I love these! I just found your blog and I’m already loving it. I worked as a photographer for a few years and I kind of lost the warm-fuzzy feeling of a day out taking pictures for fun. One of my goals in 2014 is to get that back so maybe I’ll copy your idea and find some “action” next weekend!

  4. Jennette Marie Powell

    My phone usually takes horrible pictures. I’m not much of a photographer, either, so that wasn’t a big deal to me when choosing. Yours is quite impressive, though I suspect much has to do with the skill of the operator. Love that last one!

  5. CJ Burright

    Great photos, Coleen! I don’t have a single photographer bone in my body, so I’m definitely not taking any photography challenges. I do have a writing challenge, though – at least one chapter of my current WIP a week. Thanks for sharing the pics!

  6. Patricia

    Awesome (or hideous as Susie would say) shots, Coleen! And you got your guys to show off a little. How cool is that? Of course now I’m going to go around the rest of the day humming “Feed the Birds,” but oh well.

    Thanks for the fun. Now I’ve got to learn how to do that with my camera (I rarely use the camera on my phone because I don’t have the technology to get the pix off of it.)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I saw Saving Mr. Banks this past week, but somehow I didn’t make the connection between feeding the birds and Mary Poppins. Ha ha. Next up: kite photography! LOL
      I use Google Drive to transfer photos from my phone. No wires necessary!
      Thanks, Patricia!

      1. Patricia

        Oh – Google drive can interface with phones? Hmmmm.

        I’m so non-techy, but I’ll have to check that out.

        Thanks for the tip. Can’t wait to see the kites.


  7. tomwsk

    Lovely pictures. It must have been colder than a well-diggers a** out there. My goals: more time with the camera, more time in the gym, stat on the diet and keep with acupuncture.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      It was cold, but not freezing. Lucky for us there was no wind. I wouldn’t have lasted! Great goals, Tom. They sound similar to mine–camera and health. 🙂

  8. Patricia Tilton

    Those are great action shots with a cell phone. Loved the one you caught in mid air. Seeing the beach with all of the sub zero weather we’ve had makes me long for a trip south.

  9. 4amWriter

    Love seagulls. Most people can’t stand them, but they are meaningful to me. I think your photos are great. They make me want to go to the beach, which I would if it wasn’t 10 below zero degrees right now. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I didn’t know that most people don’t like seagulls. Is it like a pigeon thing? Because I kind of like pigeons too. Probably because I watched a lot of Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street. 🙂

  10. Aussa Lorens

    This reminds me of childhood trips to Galveston, Texas. I love seagulls, always enjoyed throwing bread their way.

    What challenges? Hmmm….. I’m feeling like it is enough of a challenge just returning to work after a 2 week hiatus so I’ll have to get back to you on that one!

  11. Phil

    These are all great shots! My gal has the Galaxy phone too and her camera is awesome. I sometimes swipe it to take pics for my blog posts!

  12. clay

    I like the gull shots – it looks like you had a good time at the beach with your family… I have been toying with the idea about taking a picture of something every day for a year, I got the idea from ‘That Tree’ – a photographer who took a picture of the same tree every day using an iPhone camera. He took each photo from a different point of view – sometimes it was the entire tree and others it was a part of the tree. He posted one photo each day for a year to Facebook.. pretty cool idea. as for me, right now, I am just trying to stay warm and catch on a few things. It is gonna be a great year.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I love that idea. I guess it’s that fascination with time and change. We took photos of our kids in the same spot on the porch every September, for the first day of school. 🙂
      Thanks, Clay!

  13. Inion N. Mathair

    Coleen only you could take pictures this exquisite with a phone. I can barely work my cell & your turning out art with yours! LOL. Funny enough we’d never taken the time to actually look at seagulls up close. So this was a treat for us indeed. I had no idea they we’re that beautiful. We really loved the shadow you caught of the one flexing his wings. Extraordinary!! Sharing this now!

  14. Anonymous

    Your pictures are so good! I love the gull reflections captured. I feel like that’s something I’ve never seen before. Maybe I always thought seagulls were like vampires and didn’t have reflections. The frisbee action shots are awesome – your boys did well!

  15. Beth Teliho

    Still can’t believe those photos are with your phone! Amazing. I love the one of the group of seagulls flying, and the last action shot is crazy-cool!

    and thanks, btw, I have major beach envy right now!!! LOVE the beach.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      The beach is awesome, right? I also like rivers, lakes, pretty much all places with water. I don’t always get IN the water, but I just like being near it. 🙂

  16. Alarna Rose Gray

    Wow. You’ve done well with that camera! You know what the weirdest thing for me was? When I went to Bali, there were no seagulls. And that’s when I realised I know nothing about them or their living patterns. One of the most taken for granted birds, I’d say. But what’s a beach without the sound of seagulls squalling? Your boys look like a lot of fun 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      That’s interesting, Alarna. I don’t know all that much about them either. I am intrigued to see them in parking lots in central Virginia–2 hours from the ocean. I’m not sure what brings them there either!

  17. Name

    Coleen, I can’t believe you took those pictures from the camera on your phone! You are so not a wannabe photographer! Nice shots girlfriend! Listen, you are very brave. I, on the other hand, do not trust seagulls. One time, hubby and I decided to take our lunch to the beach. It was a beautiful day, right? Well, don’t ya know that I had a gull swoop down from behind my left shoulder and attack my sandwich! It grabbed and took a third of it away. Needless to say, I didn’t not finish in fear of disease. But it was truly scary stuff. We ended up fleeing to the car to finish the lunch. But it looks like you had a wonderful vacation. Thanks for sharing your pics with us! 🙂

      1. Coleen Patrick Post author

        These seagulls were a bit more cautious. I guess the ones by you were far more used to people–either that or it was VERY hungry. I would’ve been a bit spooked had one been that daring! 🙂

  18. Kourtney

    Cool action shots of the gulls and the guys! Moving more is a big challenge I set for this year. Building movement into each day and every day. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Moving more is one of mine too–especially because I spend so many hours in front of a computer. I have to build in moving time. Good luck with yours, Kourtney!

  19. mj monaghan

    You took some great shots there, girl. What beach is that? Even though I’m 1600 miles from my ocean (Pacific), it’s still great to see it in pics. You did a great job capturing the in-mid-air sequences. Hope you have a great 2014, Coleen!

  20. Chris Edgar

    Wow, those boys are capable of acrobatic feats rivaling those of the gulls. Do they have an agent? I also really enjoyed the gull photos — I typically take them for granted at the beach, but these shots capture their majesty.

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