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Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo
Photo Information
Copyright: Henry Engelbrecht (henrye) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 50 W: 2 N: 70] (268)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-06-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D100, Sigma 50-500 F/4-6.4, Digital ISO 250, UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/3000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-10-13 14:42
Viewed: 4024
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) with characteristic long legs and a long neck. Its habitat is freshwater lakes, salt pans, estuaries and open coast. Its call sounds like a 'honk honk', not unlike a farmyard goose.

It shows brilliant red patches in the forewings during flight. Usually it has a bright pink bill with a black tip, so I wondered why these ones had almost white bills. Some research on the internet gave me the following information about their color (and the lack of it, in this case):
1. Feather coloration is derived from carotenoid pigments found in a flamingo's food.
2. Male and female flamingo coloration is the same.
3. Newly-hatched chicks are gray or white.
4. Juveniles are grayish, taking approximately one to two years to obtain full adult coloration.
5. Parents lose their pink coloration while raising young if they are still feeding chicks through the adult’s molting period.

This is an extermely difficult bird to photograph. You have to underexpose, otherwise you usually just end up with a bright shape of overexposed white. To get some of the texture on its body I took this shot at -1.7 EV.

jmaddocks, odin, sAner, carper, Luc, gerhardt has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Henry:
I would say you did a very good job of getting this flamingo exposed properly. Great detail and colour, and a good DOF. I really like how you have composed the shot.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • odin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 177 W: 1 N: 209] (1169)
  • [2005-10-13 15:42]

Nice shot Henry, this flamingo look very well. the detail are awsome and ths sharpness too. The other guy in the BG is a little bit disturbing. I know it is very difficult to islate only one bird in a colony. The picture truly a great one.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-10-13 15:47]

Hi Henry,

Very effective composition, excellent capture and well done on the details. I like the heart.


  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-10-13 16:57]

Perfect sharpness and very well exposed. The crop above the head is a little bit too tight though and the oof bird in the back is a little bit disturbing. This still is a very good picture though! Well done & TFS!


Hi Henry,
Nice shot, very good composition and good sharpness.

Esta es una muy buena composición, de primera impresión me parecieron tubos. Linda foto!

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-10-13 19:22]

Henry, you did a great job with exposure.

Besides, excellent sharpness, composition, pov and catchlight in the eye.

A very pleasing shot.


  • Great 
  • law Gold Star Critiquer [C: 60 W: 2 N: 7] (87)
  • [2005-10-13 21:01]

Beautiful composition and DOF. Well capture, Henry.

Hi Henry.
Well done with the exposure,good details and nice colours.
It's little tight croppes, it need a little more space above the head.
Very well done.

Excellent exposure on this bird, Henry. I seem to recall that the coloration derives specifically from the shrimp in their diet. I agree that the bird in the background is a bit distracting, perhaps it could be blurred a bit.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-10-14 22:54]

Personal assessment of the photo: very good. Well managed colors, a success.
Power of evocation in me: strong.
Strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you Henry.

deze vind ik mooier dan je laatste Henry,
fantastic composition, great pov and a fantstic dof, the soft colours and the good details made it whole perfect, great job,
gr. Jaap

Once again I admire the exposure control with this bird. It's also tack sharp. The OOF BG with the birds creates a nice effect. This is very nice.

I`m shocked, nicely shocked! Very good sharpness, good composition, pov ...everything!!!
Maybe it is an extremely bird to photograph but you did it like a master.
I admire and can give you only 2 points (but it should be 10 or more!!!)

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