Shocked Seagull Is Shocked (The Awards Post)

by Robert Santafede

Shocked Seagull Is Shocked, photographed by Robert Santafede

.. And he’s not the only one! I’ve been posting on here for about four months now, close to one photo a day. I’ve met a lot of very cool people on here who blog really great things so I decided to take the night off and finally catch up on the awards.

Incoming link overload, and instead of boring you with twenty-one random things about myself I will just list seven. πŸ˜‰

  1. I’ve been taking ‘snapshots’ for a while, but only became serious and more thoughtful about photography within the past two months. You can go back in my archive and see some of the progression, but don’t because they suck. πŸ˜›
  2. I take photos listening to music. I switch genres up as a way to change the mood for a different outlook on what I’m shooting. Try it if you’re ever bored of the same old – same old.
  3. I became interested in “Urban Exploration” photography after seeing this video featuring pictures of Chernobyl: . You should honestly check it out, I think you’ll be amazed.. Very haunting.
  4. I purposely go places that have little reason to take a camera to sometimes, as a challenge to force myself to figure out how to make the photo interesting.
  5. When I don’t do the above, one of the most important aspects I look for in photography is atmosphere & mood.
  6. I don’t watch television – at all.
  7. This is my first blog. I have tumblr, blogspot, livejournal, etc. but the community here beats them all, IMO.


But anyway..


Many thanks to Mehmudah for the Versatile Blogger Award. My nominations, in no order are:


Second, thanks go to Lazaro for the Genuine Blogger Award.


Third, a thank you goes out to Ambre for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.


Whew!! Lots of links to great creative blogs! I tried to take into consideration people who don’t choose to participate with awards, but if I’ve nominated you anyway, sorry!

33 Comments to “Shocked Seagull Is Shocked (The Awards Post)”

  1. That video is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can just imagine roaming around and taking so many images….. You are also very welcome, your blog is awesome, keep it up and it inspire me so much as well!!!

    • Me too! I remember reading the comments on that video before and I think they mentioned it cost them around $130 to take a tour of Pripyat and they had to burn all their clothes afterwards.. It’d definitely be a hell of an intense place to photograph. The guys that made the video did an awesome job – it’s a very sad situation what happened, and what better way to document it than through photos.


    • Thanks ShimonZ! I shot him in continuous mode and each frame his beak was open and he slowly looked at me then closed it. I almost turned it into an animated .gif. πŸ™‚

  3. Great video. I’ve had a few conversations about photography in Chernobyl recently. What amazes me is that I hear the area has become a bit of a wildlife sanctuary (surprisingly, they find animals are not as affected as humans) as the forest takes over. Loving having a look at some of these links.

    • I hadn’t heard that, but that wouldn’t surprise me.. Very interesting. Almost full circle. I’ll have to do some more research about it. Thanks for your comment (and great photos!)

  4. Congrats and best wishes continued success. I don’t know jack about photography and am so bad if I go somewhere I just buy some post cards.

  5. Well deserved awards. Your photos are indeed an inspiration. Great idea to take photos while listening to music, that seems to get my creative juices rolling too. And lastly but not leastly…thanks for nominating my blog, that is much appreciated….looks like I have some work to do.

    • Thank you Angeline! And it was my pleasure nominating your blog, I always enjoy reading it and seeing the flowers you’ve been posting! “Yellow Yoga” is beautiful and a perfect title!

  6. Your awards are very well deserved (I agree with Angeline)! Thank you for nominating me, Robert–it is an honour to be nominated by you.

  7. Robert – I am amazed that you have only seriously been doing photography for two months. Your work is art, and I’m always inspired by it. Also, quite humbled that therootsystems was nominated by you for the V.I. Blogger award. It’s an honor coming from you.

    • Thank you for your kind words Lois. Your words are very encouraging to me, and I really appreciate that. πŸ™‚ I enjoy reading your blog along with your photos. I joined this site to post and view photos, yet I find myself reading more and more. There are some great writers on here and you are definitely one of them!

  8. Congratulations, Robert – well deserved! And thanks for my nomination – that’s very generous of you (I’ll get to work on it; it usually takes me about a month to get my act together on these things!).

    Glad you mentioned your working soundtrack. I also listen to music when I’m photographing, but on shuffle with, as you’d expect, mixed results. I’d love to know what you’ve been listening to.

    • Thanks Richard! Believe me, I understand, it’s taken me close to three weeks to get this done!

      Very cool that you also listen to music. What do you find yourself listen to?

      Musically for me, it’s kind of all over the place. Usually if I’m taking photos outside abandoned industrial places, I tend to listen to militarystep. ( It usually fits the mood, considering it sounds like machines breaking down, haha. Inside them, I’m usually listening to classical or ambient – something softer just to add a hint of tone to the silence, but not much – for safety issues too. City or urban, it’s usually drum and bass or indie rock. Suburban areas I usually go with 60’s and 70’s prog rock because it’s usually wide open with giant skies so it can be fun trying to make things have a more surreal feel.

      Everything else is really up in the air and situational. Shooting the photo of the school wall, I loaded up a bunch of 80’s music like The Cure & The Police, anything to trigger another level of nostalgia.

      Portraits or people, usually nothing cause I have to hear them! πŸ™‚

      Shuffle can work great sometimes though, it can completely introduce a different vibe!

      • Great to learn how you use your sounds – really fascinating approach – I never thought of trying to emphasise a feeling in a photograph with particular music. Great idea and some great music!

        I’ve had the same playlist for several weeks now and it includes: Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, The Fall, Peter Hammill/ Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, Japan/ David Sylvian, Steely Dan, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett…and on. So it’s a mixed bag and some tracks will give me ideas for how to shoot something, but others can definitely kill a potential capture. I’m not giving up the soundtrack any time soon.

        Keep up the great work.

        • Right on! Great choices! 21st Century Schizoid Man would be a great theme for some street photography one day! Speaking of which, I like your latest post. I haven’t done much in the way of street photography before, usually I know the person or I ask beforehand (which i hate to do.. people act much differently!). Do you find most people stay unaware, or do they ask you to delete them as that one couple did?

          • Know what you mean about asking people – it invariably ruins the atmosphere – usually manifesting itself in “I’ve just injected myself with embalming fluid” stiffness on the part of the model. Followed by awkwardness. To be honest, I don’t think I’m cut out for taking (strangers’) portraits.

            I have a rule with the street photography to try and capture the subject in one shot, because a second click almost always alerts them to my presence. And once the subject’s aware of me there’s no point in carrying on. I’ve had two deletion requests in the last week – one was the guy I mentioned at Somerset House, and the other was a man who asked me not to publish any shots of him, because he was smoking and his wife didn’t know he smoked – so I deleted those.

            • Haha, yes. That’s it exactly. Even if you ask them to just go about doing whatever it was they’re doing, they usually do it much more careful and aware. TBH I’m probably with them on that, I *hate* having my photo taken – much more comfortable behind the camera.

              One-shotting is a good point, I would think most people would just assume you were taking a picture of something near them. After the first, people would be paying more attention.

              Are you using a telephoto to do it? I have one that I usually use for portraits but I’m thinking if I try any street photography I’ll be making good use of it.

              • Yes, I’m with them too. It’s difficult not to stiffen up in front of a camera. And it’s worse for video of course – you can easily find yourself filming a completely static scene of someone smiling in front of a monument.

                The one click thing is interesting – I wonder if we don’t recognise a noise until it’s in a repeat pattern/ we have something to compare it to. A single click could be anything. But a second instance makes it identifiable? I’m waffling now because I’m tired.

                No, I’ve never used a telephoto – a while back, when I was starting to do the street photography, I read a veteran street photographer’s article about what he thought were key elements to getting good photos and one of the things that stuck was “if your photograph is not very interesting, it’s because your not close enough.” I took this to mean physically close. Probably mistakenly, ha ha…

                • That could easily be true, especially if you forget that continuous shooting is turned on. I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten and ended up with five extra shots. If someone is doesn’t want to be photographed, that sound would definitely clue them in.

                  I’m the total opposite, I’m almost always using a telephoto. I usually zoom completely in, then slowly zoom out until the subject fills the frame the way I want it to. I don’t think that’s the ‘correct’ way to be taking photos but it usually lets me get the shot. It’d be much harder to conceal your camera though with a telephoto.

                  Not to mention walls won’t become camera shy so I have time to switch lenses if I have to, haha.

  9. Dear Robert, I have seen this post now, congratulations. You deserve all these awards. Thank you for nominating my blog too. I am honored by you. With my love, nia

  10. Your earlier photos don’t suck Robert! You have been developing your eye and finding your direction and that’s great πŸ™‚

  11. Thank you Gilly Gee! You’re too kind! πŸ™‚ I like your blog, I’m going to follow along!

  12. Hi Robert
    Just to let you know, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award. I thought it was very fitting for the amount of enjoyment I get from your blog. Anyway, the details are here: Don’t feel under any pressure to participate if you don’t want to. All the best, Richard

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