Feb.  2014



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Pelican Flying 5













Pelican Landing in La Jolla


 Additional images can be viewed here


It's just fun to get out a couple times a year on an early morning in January and photograph these dinosaur-like pelicans landing on the cliffs of La Jolla.  Despite a dozen or so other photographers, the sun is rising behind you, the waves are crashing below you, and seals are squawking at each other on the rocks non stop.  Once I even saw a whale cruising around a couple hundred yards away searching for food on the bottom of the cove. 


   So if lots of photographers are taking the same photo, why bother.  Because it's fun and you never know what you will get.  For example, the pelican's eyeball is very sharp and nearly perfectly positioned between the feathers.  This simply cannot be planned.  I love it when other photographers say in blogs that they absolutely control the capture of the image.  I'm certainly not talented enough so I depend high speed frame rates.  In fact, I've taken thousands of shots of pelicans landing over the years and I think this is the only one where the eye and feathers are perfectly positioned.  It's a minor detail but that is sometimes the difference between a lousy image and an acceptable image.


This brings up another issue on equipment.  The faster the camera frame rate, the better your chances of capturing an interesting image.  Of course there are lots of photographers who absolutely disagree with me.  The DSLR i use only gets 4 FPS whereas some of the competitor Canon DSLRs get 8-12 FPS.  Guess which camera produces the most keepers.  It isn't the one I use.  My big problem for 2014 is that the producer of the camera I use may not introduce an updated, 8+ FPS, cropped frame body.  This is a real problem.  They appear to be focusing on models to sell in big box retail stores and ignore the serious amateur photographer who has been historically the base of their success.  


The above image shot with a full frame, high resolution DSLR with 300-800 mm lens on carbon fiber tripod with ball head.