Seagulls are so used to humans that they often let you come quite close to them. Perhaps they just want to check out whether you are carrying chips!
This seagull, perched on a post overlooking Melbourne's Southbank area, right on the Yarra River, seemed to be totally comfortable with the waterfront environment to the degree that he could have been controlling the whole show. Judging by the "deposits" on the post, this was a regular observation post where he could supervise to his heart's content.
There was no problem getting close enough to take the photograph. I wanted to ensure that I captured his dominance of the area, with the boats, cargo and people in the image, but secondary to the main subject, the gull. Because I was close, I knew that if I focused on the seagull, there would be quite narrow DOF (depth of field) in the picture anyway.
Later, in post-processing, I darkened the whole image except for the gull, and this further emphasises the gull as the dominant component of the photograph, even though it is placed on the edge of the image. Too close, actually, because I have clipped off a tiny portion of the tail. Annoying!
Apart from that minor fault, I am quite satisfied with the final outcome. The bird is sharp and bright, and the out of focus and darkened background is still recognisable as a waterfront environment. The gulls forward and elevated position portrays the "port supervisor" attitude that I wanted to present.
EXIF: Nikon D70; Nikkor 18-70mm DX; ISO 200; 1/100 sec; f11.