<< Previous Next >>

Pelican Skim

Pelican Skim
Photo Information
Copyright: Bala Raman (kobala) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 27 W: 0 N: 61] (368)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-02-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 60D, Canon 100 - 400 L IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-11-15 19:13
Viewed: 1758
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Earlier I had posted two photos of pelicans flying. They were grey pelicans or spot-billed pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis) from India.

This time I am posting a flying pelican from Africa. This is Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) in Lake Nakuru, Kenya. This is a larger bird with a wing span of 7 to 11 ft.

Great White pelicans have an interesting aerodynamics in them with a V-formation flight. Each bird conserves energy by taking advantage of the uptake field made by the wings of the bird in front of it. (http://eol.org/pages/1049382/details ) Pelicans also fly low (or "skim") over stretches of water, using a phenomenon known as ground effect to reduce drag and increase lift. As the air flows between the wings and the water surface it is compressed to a higher density and exerts a stronger upward force against the bird above. Hence substantial energy is saved while flying (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican ).

This photo reflects the skim where the pelican is using the ground effect over the stretches of water to reduce drag and increase the lift.

I would have preferred a still water for a sharp image of the pelican in the water but pelicans need more dynamic and moving water .

amanengone has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2016-11-16 8:10]

Hello Bala,
Nice photo of this flying pelican in good sharpness and beautiful warm colors.

Hallo Bala
great sharpness and nice details

lovely light to
thanks gr lou

Hello Bala,
Very good exposure and perfect focus. I like your frame with reflection. Good details and sharpness.
Thanks for sharing such beautiful Pelican,

Hi Bala,
Tight crop, but you captured the entire bird and its reflection. Birds in flight are always a challenge. Well done.

Hello Bala – Very good picture of this Pelecanus onocrotlus. Excellent view showing us all the details of the wings, feathers and head of the bird. I appreciate particularly the view of the wings in full movement. Excellent reflexion of the bird on the water. Excellent capture of the movement of the bird in full activity.

Technical achievement

• Excellent focus on the bird
• Perfect exposure with an appropriate choice of aperture/speed and iso; maybe could you have increase the iso speed rating up to 1000 or 1500, in order to be able to get an exposure time of 1/1000 or close and to open at f/10 or close
• Perfect depth of field and acceptable sharpness
• Good contrast; nevertheless, should have be more pronounced
• Good sharpness showing many details of the bird (wings, head, feathers, eyes from the bird)
• Acceptable white balance and colour rendition for the bird and the water; I appreciate the view on the opened wings
• Good post processing without any excess
• Good background.


• Interesting picture showing this bird in a “dynamic” posture; good capture
• Acceptable framing and composition; personally I would have framed in landscape disposition to give more impact on the fly of the bird
• Good rendition of the movement of the bird
• Good capture of the eye
• Useful and instructive note

Thank you for the sharing.

Have a good day.


Calibration Check