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Seating for One

Seating for One
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, AF-S VR Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED, Optex 77mm Circular Polariser
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/350 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-20 18:08
Viewed: 4553
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is one of seven species of Pelican found throughout the world. This one is found throughout Australia, Papua New Guinea and Western Indonesia. It is widespread, located wherever water can be found.

They eat fish primarily, but will eat other aquatic animals if readily available. They will accept handouts from humans and are often seen where fishermen are plying their trade.

The very distinctive pouch seen on these birds plays an important role in their feeding. It is very sensitive and helps to locate fish in murky waters. It has a hook at the end of the upper mandible to help grab its prey. When it captures a fish it manipulates it until the head is pointing down, then it will swallow it. The pouch does not (as commonly believed) hold or store prey for any length of time, but does use it as a net, and pelicans have been observed to use it to collect rain water when they wanted a drink.

These are a very large bird. They stand a little over a meter, with pouch up to 40 cm long, and while flying they have a large wingspan, up to 2.5 meters. These birds are highly mobile, they are not capable of sustained flapping of their wings, but they are very light, and can soar with thermals for up to 24 hours, reaching heights as high as 3000 feet.

They are colonial breeders, and carry on a lengthy courtship. During the courtship period, the bill and pouch of the birds change colour to a bright salmon pink, with areas of yellow and cobalt blue. The nest is prepared by the female. Itís a scrape in the ground with scraps of vegetation or feathers laid within it. She will lay one to three eggs. Both parents incubate these eggs, which hatch within 32-35 days. The first chick to hatch gets most of the food, is larger and may even kill its siblings. The chicks leave the nest after about a month, and fly within two months.

Most of this from: http://www.austmus.gov.au/factsheets/australian_pelican.htm

When I saw this pelican it was one of a number hanging around Kiama. This one had been swimming, then flew around a couple of times, and landed on this lamp standard to preen. Remembering a post I did once before of a Pacific Gull on a similar lamp, I wanted to get this shot. The bird was most uncooperative, so I tried to call to him, and wave, and did whatever I could think of to attract his attention. I took a number of shots of the preening activity, while waiting for a good pose. Finally he gave me this look, which gave me the eye and a decent view of his pouch with good side lighting.

I follow a generic workflow now as outlined in my Bio.
Details and differences to this are as follows:
Shot taken at 180mm, ISO 250, f/6.7, 1/350 sec
Saturation +25 to master, (based on proof colours compare)
Saved at 100% quality for 195K

rcrick, Jamesp, mariki, maurydv, goldyrs, darwin, writerscrawlz, angela926, jusninasirun, mlines, Miss_Piggy, pierrefonds, RII has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Miss_Piggy: Pelican on the LamppoleJPlumb 1 05-23 03:06
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,

Thanks for the feedback mate I'm still at home hopefully back at work sometime soon, my lovely wife took me out yesterday down to the port of Brisbane for some fresh air, and there were quite a few pelicans in exactly the same pose as you have hear, I love the way they just glide above the water it looks so effortless, you got lovely detail in the whites here, really good eye detail to, perfect exposure with that clear blue sky, nice work mate,

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-20 21:55]

Hi John

Great POV - the detail is excellent and the exposure also - plenty of detail in the white areas.


  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-05-21 0:01]

Hi John,

A nice capture of this pelican,good sharpness and detail,even in the white,I guess this lampost is a regular place for birrds to see on its....


Bellissima cattura in ambiente urbano, ottimi POV e composizione che esaltano la postura dominante del pellicano, molto buona la nitidezza, magnifici i colori con dettagli perfetti nei bianchi. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hi John
Nice work waiting for the 'look'. I light the light and nice detail in his white feathers in this shot along with the pose.

Hello John,

Very nice sharp picture of this pelican. Good composition. Great sharpness. I like the light very much, it enhances the beautiful rond eye of this bird. Nice natural colours.

Excellent shot, John!you've got a very keen eye!

Hi John
Wonderful shot with fine detail in the feathers
Good exposure with nice color and light
Excellent pose and composition
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-05-21 10:54]

Hello John,
Very beautiful photo of this Pelican in a great pose. Excellent clear colours. Very good sharp details. Marvelous deep blue colours in the BG.

I really love this photo. It is crisp, sharp, and the ability to see his eyes is fantastic. Actually, they should use this 'seating for one' for the airline industry! I've not seen this bird before, so your notes really helped.

Hello John,
Great capture, fantastic sharpness and nice contrast against the clear blue sky, beautiful colors, good clarity and excellent details in the plummage, nice exposure and lovely light, Great pose.

Hello John. I like the title as much as this flawless image. Beautiful sharp image against the clear blue sky. You have managed the detail very well shooting against the sky with excellent sharpness of the plumage. Top class image and very well done. Best regards. Jusni

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-22 7:50]

Hi John,
Wonderful shot of this Pelican on that lamp post and it looks so elegant perched up there. Very neat and sharp image with beautiful lighting and colours. The blue sky looks exquisite as BG. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-05-22 17:58]

Hi John, Well balanced (in two ways) composition of this very large pelican, a favorite around Australian waters. The crop is good and clarity spot on. TFS. Murray.

Hallo John
I do not have time to leave a proper critique; I do however want to tell you that this is a stunning image of this Pelican. The details are great and I especially fancy the colour of the beak and the small patch of feathers on the neck near the chest area. It would have been great if the pelican was rather sitting on a tree and not a lamppole, as it would have been more spectacular, but the pole does not take away the beauty of this lovely bird. Kind regards and thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-12 8:24]

Hello John

A very interesting capture of this pelican.
Very good illumination with lovely colours and contrast.
Good pov and dof.


Hi John,

The australian pelican on the lampost is impressive. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the bird. The light from the side is enhancing the colors. The subject is well frame. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2008-10-31 12:08]

Hi John.

Very nice capture with great colors and sharpness, excellent composition and note.


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