<< Previous Next >>

Soaring Pelican

Soaring Pelican
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
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-22 18:14
Viewed: 4751
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
To see the Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) on the ground, or “sitting”, you would never think they were good in the air, but they are very amazing flyers. They don’t flap their wings a lot, in fact out of about a dozen pictures of this guy I don’t have one with a down beat, but they are very adept at soaring. For their large size, they are said to be very light, and capable of flying (with the thermals) for up to 24 hours.

I selected this shot, from the several, as it showed his profile best, he was close and I was able to capture the beak extended, and showing off that strong neck and large throat. I was a little upset with myself for missing a couple of inches on a couple of feathers; that dictated the crop I was going to place him in.

I follow a generic workflow now as outlined in my Bio.
Details and differences to this are as follows:
Shot taken at 200mm, ISO 250, f/5.6, 1/500 sec
Levels - tweaked
Selection for sky based on increase of 3 pixel border on bird, rather than a 50% quickmask, as outlined in Bio - this has resulted in some PP remnants around the bird - lesson learned - Thanks Howard (Marhowie) for pointing this out
Saturation +30 to master, (based on proof colours compare)
Saved at 100% quality for 136K (blue sky doesn’t take a lot of memory)

rcrick, iris, maurydv, mlines, haraprasan, angela926, Argus, marhowie, goldyrs, gracious, jusninasirun, pierrefonds, delpeoples has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: Short Cut Gone WrongJPlumb 1 05-23 15:38
To mlines: I Think I've Found ItJPlumb 1 05-23 03:30
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,

I've watched these guys a lot the last couple of days, they seem to have the art of soaring down to a fine art, so effortless, excellent shot mate, showing really good detail, love the highlights in the wings, perfect blue sky,

Cheers Rick :)


You've got a very nice in-flight here. The lighting, pose, POV and detail are very good. Very nicely done.

Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-05-22 21:44]

Boy! what a towering image of this Australian Pecan John. I am amazed at the wingspan and you have done a neat crop.The diagonal composition looks perfect. The sky BG compliments the subject's white body.Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

Bella immagine di pellicano in volo, ottimo POV, molto bella la composizione con il pellicano che dispiega le ali su tutta la diagonale, buona nitidezza, molto belli i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hi John, A well cropped action photo of what looks like a pteradactyl (?) only known as a fossil these days. Maybe it is like an ancestor?Beautiful bird in flight. TFS. Murray.

PS Tks for suggestion of the gull.

Exelente foto muito bem fotografado é muito dificil pegar uma cena igual a esta,parabéns.

Hi John,
A lovely capture of this beautiful flying pelican. Excellent details and a nice timing with a very good composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello John,
Good in flight capture, excellent shapness and depth of field, lovely colors and light, good contrast against the blue sky, well done.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-23 7:12]

Hello John,
A great in-flight of an Australian Pelican from a fine POV and set in a pleasing diagonal composition. Fine sharpness and exposure against a blue sky too.
We have seen these guys several times during our visit to NSW and Qd but rarely in flight,
so it is great to see the extent of the wings.

Hi John,
This is a dynamic picture with good sense of movement and original perspective! I like the way the bird occupies the entire frame. Well seen and TFS,

Hi John
Good exposure, color, DOF, details, and a nice POV from below..
Nice shade of blue sky also. I do see a PP remnant or halo around the bird that's just visible..
Well done & TFS!

Well...soaring it is, showing us new heights of photography, my friend!
Very well captured!

Hello John,
Very well captured on this inflight Pelican!
nicely composed in diagonal format in total sharpness, nice colour and details
many thanks for the sharing and the notes
well done

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-24 3:50]

Hi John,
Wonderful shot of this Pelican in flight and what a huge wingspan it has. Looks so elegant. Very neat and sharp image with nice colours and perfect natural lighting. The blue sky acts as a fantastic BG. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-05-25 13:19]

hi John,
belle image de ce pélican avec une composition diagonale bien vu. Le ciel bleu est parfait.


bonjour john
dommage pour le bout de l'aile coupé mais bravo pour la netteté et l'exposition.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-26 20:56]

Hello John

I like the way you created the diagonal look with the open wings.
A lovely in flight shot.
The details are very good.
The blue sky is beautiful.


Wow, what a wind span, too much I see for this shot, but you captured it well. The blue sky adds to this wonderful picture

Hello John. The VR lens works well in your capable hand. I like the full spread wings and exposed brilliantly from underneath even shot against the clear blue sky. Perfect control of exposure and shutter speed in bringing out this crispy image and very good clarity. Another well shot image and thanks for sharing this first class image with us. Regards. Jusni

Hi John,

To capture a bird in flight is difficult. The autralian Pelican in flight is impressive. The details and colors of the fearthers of the bird are clear and sharp. There is a good contrast between the colors. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-10-03 4:10]

Hi John,
really a lovely presentation of the tight focus and framing.
The diagonal composition of the wings from corners to corners is excellent. i love the clarity and sharpness too. Such a stunning shot.


Hi John, I couldn't resist this photo with the wonderful pelican full flight. Having spent the first 2 days of the year in Tasmania seeing pelicans every day (and attempting to shoot them), I can honestly appreciate the skill that went into taking this shot. The podwer blue of the sky contrasts so well against the balck and white pelican, it really is a masterful shot. TFS, Lisa

Calibration Check