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Greater Flamingo II

Greater Flamingo II
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, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-10-14 8:49
Viewed: 3949
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another flamingo I photographed at the Monte Casino Bird Gardens in Johannesburg. I took a breather from TrekEarth and TrekNature since July last year, therefore I am going through some of my old photos and I am posting them first. I posted a similar photo on TrekEarth last year, but I think this one is an improvement and worth posting again here.

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.

Once again, 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 -1.3 EV.

Fisher, odin, ellis49, jmaddocks has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Henry,

Beautiful capture, spot on focus and well done on the lighting. Excellent work.


  • Great 
  • odin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 177 W: 1 N: 209] (1169)
  • [2005-10-14 9:53]

great details Henry, you work very well whit your camera. Nice job

Hi Henry,
It's a very good picture, The details are very good.
It's some OE parts on the neck but thats ok for me.
Well seen from the dark BG.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-10-14 12:58]

Henry, this is extremely beautiful.

Excellent colors, pov, composition and sharpness. Excellent exposure control.

The picture even has an artistic touch.


  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-10-14 14:28]

Hi Hendry,

Good capture. Details are very sharp and apart from some hot spots on the neck, the exposure is very good. Well composed also. Well done & TFS!


Hi Henry:
I like todays' shot even more than yesterday's. The dark background really makes the flamingo stand out.
Beautiful detail and colour in this well composed shot. The neck looks slightly over exposed, but it doesn't bother me.
Aren't there necks amazing things? They can twist them into so many different positions.
Great job!

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2005-10-14 16:46]

Excellent shot, Henry
Amazing detail in white, perfect exposure, very nice pose, excellent background and frame.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-10-15 5:50]

Excellent portrait, Henry. Very good sharpness and colours. Nice pose of flamingo. I like it. Well done.
Rgs, Aleksander

  • Great 
  • ridfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 0 N: 376] (4111)
  • [2005-10-17 9:25]

TRès bonne gestion de la lumière. Dieu sait qu'il est difficile de gérer les blancs et là, c'est une réussite...


Hi again :)
For me everything is just great.
So only what I can write here is...thanks for sharing ;-)

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