It Took 12 Hours And 500 Photos To Get This Perfect Shot Of A Gull In Front Of The US Capitol

Ringes Bill Gull in front of the Capitol buildingDon Chernoff/DC WildA ring-billed gull in front of the Capitol building.

It took 4 trips, 12 hours, and more than 500 photos for photographer Don Chernoff to get the photo of the gull above, with the U.S. Capitol building perfectly sandwiched between the bird’s wings.

The incredible shot appears as the cover photo of Chernoff’s book, “Wild Washington.”

In an email, Chernoff told us how he was able to get the money photo: “I had to bribe the gulls with food to get one to land about a foot in front of my lens. Most animals would never come that close but gulls are different, especially the ones that hang around tourist spots and get used to people. I set up the camera to get the capitol building in frame and then tried to get a gull to land with its wings spread to show the building between the wings.”

Chernoff, who runs a luggage company called Skyroll, says photography is just his hobby.

Below is a sample of some of the photos published in his book, which were all taken over a 4-year period.

A white tailed deer buck is seen in front of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

A ruddy turnstone on the eastern shore.

A painted turtle catching some rays.

An osprey nesting on a buoy next to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

An osprey building a nest on the Potomac river.

A marsh wren singing on the eastern shore.

A green heron hunting on the Potomac river.

A great egret near Chincoteague National Wildlife Reserve.

A flying squirrel.

An Eastern screech owl.

Damsleflies mating on the Potomac.

A chickadee fledgling begging for lunch from mum and dad.

A Canadian Goose dad with his chicks.

A barn swallow with mud for building a nest.

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