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Pelican coming in for a landing...
Pelican coming in for a landing...

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Wildlife III (Advanced Editing V)
Camera: Sony DSC-F828
Location: Malibu Lagoon, Southern California
Date: Jan 21, 2007
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1000
Date Uploaded: Jan 21, 2007

This photo was shot with my new Canon Rebel XTI camera with a 100-400 Canon zoom lens. This is my first attempt at photographing a bird in flight.

Place: 5 out of 218
Avg (all users): 7.5261
Avg (commenters): 8.0909
Avg (participants): 7.4324
Avg (non-participants): 7.6014
Views since voting: 4581
Views during voting: 479
Votes: 249
Comments: 62
Favorites: 11 (view)

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12/30/2009 08:43:29 PM
Really spectacular capture. The structure of the pelican is amazing... You really get the sense of his skeleton from this image. He is both clumsy and elegant at the same time. Wonderful photo!
02/03/2007 11:53:13 PM
That's quite a first attempt! How anyone could vote this any less than a 7 is beyond me. If I had seen this and voted, my vote would have been a 9. This is a wonderful image, CROPPED PERFECTLY ;)
01/30/2007 07:37:56 PM
Just a quick comment, since I was one of the three people who gave you a four I thought I would elaborate. First off, you did amazing things with the frame here the lines are well collected. Of course it is a crop, and a very well decided and educated crop, but cropping just nicks off a point to me.

Now, the main reasons I knocked you down. Yes, the action is superb, do I think the shot was difficult. Mmm not really. Of course I base this on alot of assumptions, what camera you are using, what lens, etc... That stuff you don't know while voting. Back to simplicity though, it just isn't hard to get a pelican to do this. Just go to the pier/lake (if you have pelicans in your area) and throw some rocks/food into the water. It's not a "difficult" shot to setup. If the pelican had a fish or was doing some strange maneuver it would be a different story.

The real point is I saw this shot as a fairly easy setup (when it comes to wildlife). As such I think the seagulls are major minuses. Especially the one emnating from the rear. If I would have deemed this a difficult type shot than I would have more understanding for the pooping seagull. The same goes with the background, I don't like how it splits the bird's body in half. Like I said it all depends on the context of the shot.

Lastly, I had a problem with focus. It is more or less sharp, but has a strange edge to it. Almost like you had IS on while mounted on a tripod. Then I think there was just a bit too much sharpening done in post, because the inner feathers have halo-ing. It's not bad but it made me notice.

I do love the lighting though. Also, like I said I love the pose of the pelican just not the composition as a whole.

I know, this was a bit over-critical, just giving you a ring why I scored this a four. However, a congrats still goes out for the wonderful finish. Obvisiously others saw the magic in this photo where I missed it.

Message edited by author 2007-01-30 19:42:53.
01/30/2007 06:14:05 PM
I really like the crop that you chose to frame the bird, maybe you should shoot more birds, they really work for you!
01/29/2007 07:53:47 PM
I want to thank everyone for the really nice comments! This was one very competitive challenge and there were fantastic images by a lot of great photographers. I am humbled to be among them. Wow! I especially want to thank my dear friend "hihosilver" for finding a spectacular location to photograph pelicans and for being so encouraging and patient with the unending amount of images I send to her daily for her opinion.
01/29/2007 03:55:41 PM
Beautiful shot,congrats.
01/29/2007 11:46:15 AM
I like the DOF in this, and the detail in the feathers is great. Congratulations on the HM in one very tough challenge!
01/29/2007 07:28:00 AM
Congratulations on top 5! I can't believe this is your first attempt at capturing a bird in flight...it is fantastic!!!
01/29/2007 07:25:55 AM
Rita, CONGRATULATIONS on your first honorable mention with this amazing photo. It was one of only 5 that I gave 10's to and the others are ribbons & 4th place! It is a shame that such an amazing photo and a score that most assuredly would had won blue in any other challenge doesn't get a ribbon as its reward -- but Honorable Mention and a 7.5 score. Wow! Everyone will be checking out that photo on your profile for a long long time :)

01/29/2007 04:53:23 AM
Congrats on your 5th, absolutely excellent capture that deserved an extra ribbon!
01/29/2007 04:48:40 AM
note: camera info is wrong
01/29/2007 03:39:32 AM
Congratulations on top 5. Wonderful shot.
01/29/2007 12:28:49 AM
Congrats on the honorable mention!
01/29/2007 12:12:10 AM
Stunning capture. Beautifully done. Congratulations.
01/29/2007 12:06:01 AM
SEABISCUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations on Top 5 placement. As a new jockey to the DPC raceway, you are fortunate beyond belief to place so well in this challenge with the cream of the crop!!!!
01/29/2007 12:05:27 AM
Amazing capture! Congratulations on your top 5 finish. Beautiful!
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/28/2007 11:32:13 PM
I love the way he bent his wing just to make it parallel to your frame ;-)
01/28/2007 10:14:00 PM
Perfect catch in mid air.
01/28/2007 06:25:21 PM
Very nice, especially with that little bead of water dripping from his beak. Only suggestion would be to dodge that white strip in the back, as it is distracting. 7.
01/28/2007 05:27:12 AM
Wonderful, wonderful photo.
01/27/2007 07:56:01 PM
fantastic capture.. I would of trie to clone out the gull, but other than that, perfect.. 10
01/27/2007 03:05:15 PM
Perfectly framed.
01/27/2007 01:46:35 PM
What a fantastic capture, perfect dof to make the Pelican absolutely come to life, everything about this is wonderful, this must be a top 10 shot, stunning image!
01/27/2007 02:20:04 AM
nice as a sq crop...I like the composition...the seagulls are a little distracting
01/27/2007 12:56:44 AM
excellent sharpness for an action shot! Must have a really good lens. The focus is perfect.
01/26/2007 10:29:37 AM
Excellent framing and composition. A really fine shot. Good luck with this one.
01/26/2007 08:53:49 AM
The triangular shape fits the frame perfectly. I have seen quite a few pelican shots here on DPC - are they a relatively common bird in the States? I can't imagine coming across one in the wild!
01/25/2007 09:36:58 PM
nice capture. may have pushed the processing a bit or it's a glary day.
01/25/2007 04:50:15 PM
Excellent image.
01/25/2007 11:33:48 AM
this is one nice picture, a picture captured in the frame of the moment, only suggestion is to eliminate some space in the lower right hand corner.
01/24/2007 09:31:05 PM
A "9" from me.....
01/24/2007 09:32:23 AM
Nice cropping and sharpness.
01/24/2007 04:28:12 AM
great capture, perfectly fitting into the frame. very good detail. bumping up

Back again - what the heck, I'll give you 10 and a fav.
01/23/2007 06:55:59 PM
Wow, nice crop and nice capture. I like the position you caught this guy in. Nice colors too.
01/23/2007 05:19:18 PM
Love those wings! Pretty good detail and DOF.
01/23/2007 03:26:04 PM
Very nicely cropped!
01/23/2007 01:11:26 PM
very good capture, colors look naturally! - 9 -
01/23/2007 11:56:58 AM
Ohmygoodness! Look at that detail. It's perfection all the way!

I'm back to this one. . .now that I've pretty much seen them all. This one is my pick for the blue ribbon! Congratulations! Oh. . .I gave this a 10 by the way (of course) :)
01/23/2007 09:30:43 AM
Great detail. WOW. I'm glad you included the other birds. Terrific stop actio nwith the wings and that drip of water coming out of his mouth. The focus and lighting are flawless. I like the square crop too. Bumping up.
01/22/2007 10:46:01 PM
Lovely magical photography! Brilliant timing and execution. Can I borrow that lens? Hehehe. 10.
01/22/2007 09:11:48 PM
great image with great wow effect. this is only second shot that I rate in this contest. now I rate 8. after the vote I come back for one last evaluation.

Ok I come back and go up 9. good luck.
01/22/2007 08:28:31 PM
An absolutely great capture. I really like the detail you caught in the bird!
01/22/2007 08:12:03 PM
Great pose.
01/22/2007 04:42:35 PM
beautifully, and perfectly, framed...this is outstanding work
01/22/2007 04:34:20 PM
Outstanding shot. The capture is great and so is the detail. 8
01/22/2007 04:22:18 PM
Love it. 9
01/22/2007 03:21:38 PM
That's really awesome.
01/22/2007 02:50:43 PM
Nice action capture.
01/22/2007 02:50:32 PM
wow nice detail
01/22/2007 02:41:53 PM
Great job, love this one.
01/22/2007 01:35:32 PM
Excellent capture ... and nicely composed
01/22/2007 11:53:14 AM
great timing!
01/22/2007 11:39:04 AM
Excellent! Pity about the gulls, but you take what you can get :-)
01/22/2007 11:08:19 AM
01/22/2007 10:39:00 AM
perfect framing
01/22/2007 09:15:17 AM
excellent capture, focus and composition.
01/22/2007 08:02:44 AM
Now that is a 'WOW' shot! great timing - 10
01/22/2007 07:31:00 AM
great action shot.
01/22/2007 06:49:47 AM
Great capture. Nicely framed in. He fills out the corner well. Bumping up to 8
01/22/2007 04:53:51 AM
Wow and Wow!
01/22/2007 03:30:55 AM
nice timing! 8
01/22/2007 12:45:06 AM
wonderful sharpness in this action shot. The colors are very vibrant without looking over saturated. Nice job!

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