Picture the scene: You are on a break, a holiday, a day away from concrete and cars. Enshrouded in mist and surrounded by stumbling waves rolling in haphazardly from a petrol blue North Sea, you have walked for miles on a beach the width of a football pitch admiring shells honed to perfection by the elements, watching children build and demolish sandcastles and spying on a sun trying to belt through a band of cloud that appears to be the victor of the day. You find a resting place, a wooden haven with snugs to shelter you from the whip of the sand as the gusts rise. You see a seagull. A fucking huge seagull that you could easily saddle and ride to France without him having to stop for a rest. He is massive. Enormous. Gigantic. The size of a large toddler. The width of a small wheelie bin. His head is like a rugby ball with a beak. His seagull feet wouldn’t look out of place wearing size 8 All Stars. In short, he is a beast. You and your companion are stunned and shocked by the overwhelming presence of this swollen bird. In fact, you are so unnerved by the fact that he could clearly kill you with a kick, much like a giraffe or a polar bear could, that you up sticks and move tables. You take a photo of him, whimpering to each other about how this is going to break new ground in the world of wildlife. You are about to capture this fucker on camera and show people and they will be amazed! They will quiver in fear at the winged, majestic terrors that inhabit the Dutch coast.
And then you check the picture when you get home, bursting with glee and squealing at your flatmates to come look at the fiend you were stalked by in Zandvoort.
And the photo has turned out like this:
This, my friends, is the Seagull Phenomenon.
Never underestimate the power of a shitty camera, a lack of perpective and the intoxicating power of a long day walking on the beach.