Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brown Pelican


This rascal is the bird version of a cargo plane. It's hard to tell from this photo, but this guy had a 7-foot wingspan. He was flying back and forth along the beach for what seemed like an hour. When he saw a fish to his liking, he would dive bomb it. And he made a splash like a bowling ball falling from 40 feet into the water. I've never seen anything like it.

My ability to capture this image was all about the equipment. Well, mostly about the equipment. I once heard a great sports photographer say that great sports photography is 33% equipment, 33% skill, and 33% luck. In my case, this was 80% equipment, 15% luck, and 5% skill. This shot would not have happened for me if I didn't have a modern-day DSLR with the ability to follow focus on a moving object. Also: Image stabilized 70-200mm f2.8 lens.

Trunk Bay. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.



Jay said...

Wow, Dan! That is a beautiful bird. Would you believe that I have never seen one of those in "real life" --- it's true. Also, I have never been to the Virgin Islands!


Dan Denardo said...

I had never seen one before, or since, Jay. He (or she) was very impressive.

SearchingSoul said...

Awesome pictures: the pelican, the wedding, the hot air baloons. Wow, Dan, you are exceptional! I don't believe that it's your camera. It's your eye for beauty that made you take those beautiful pictures for us to see.

Thanks for sharing.

Andy Richards said...

Hi Dan: Haven't been here for a while. I used to spend a week every summer the barrier islands off N. Carolina between Corolla and Nags Head. These guys were pretty ubiquitous there, and I used to stand on the deck overlooking the ocean and watch them fly in formation, as well as dive.

I actually got pretty good at handheld shooting with my f2.8 (non-VR) 300mm lens. But I agree 100%. No way to do that well without the AF capability.

Dan Denardo said...

Always good hearing from you, Andy. Be well.