Sunday, March 14, 2010

White Pelican Take Off

Ever since I've been photographing birds I've been fascinated by the way pelicans take off from the water. They use their legs and webbed feet to propel themselves along the water as their wings provide the lift. It's all pretty interesting to watch. We have brown pelicans here year round, but the white pelicans are here now migrating through. I've always been in search of that perfect pelican take off photo (brown or white) -- trying to capture the beauty and chaos in one fleeting moment. I've never gotten it, but I keep trying. I brought this image to the Bay Area Photo Club last month and got some good suggestions to improve it. I extended the canvas a bit to the right to give it a little more room, blurred the water behind the bird, and added a vignette. As hard as it is at times to get your image critiqued, there is often a lot to be said for the process. And this image is stronger because of it. Nikon D200, 200mm, 1/1250 sec at f/5.


  1. Though I didn't see the before I certainly like this picture.

  2. I saw the before photo. I have to say this is a much stronger photo as a result of your changes. We seem to get a lot out of the open critique venue at the club.

  3. I would probably like the photo if I understood "why the bird is flying." Without that understanding, I must admit, I am lost.

    All kidding aside, another really fine bird photo. The photo appears to be tack sharp on the bird, yet a little softness on the background--great combination.

  4. Beautiful shot Steve!

    Let's don't get in the habit of admitting that sometimes the judges are correct though! :-)