Entries in bird (23)
Birds are often seen photographed in profile view where their long beaks compliment their vertical necks. This is especially so for the great egret who has a very long and slender white neck. However, when photographed from straight on, such birds lose their elegant appearance and take on a more awkward, comical look as seen above. I had the chance to get very close to this great egret right at the same eye level as well out on The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.
Even just a little bit less straight on is much more of a flattering look for this great egret!
This black skimmer was enjoying the late afternoon sunshine on a small beach in the North Shore Park area of St. Petersburg, Florida. I had to get down on the sand to get to the bird's eye level for this composition. These birds get their name from skimming their beaks over the surface of the water in search of food. Unfortunately, this bird and all her friends must have already eaten dinner because they were just standing around and I could not get any cool action shots of them skimming. Such is the nature of nature photography!
Some more examples of one of my favorite subjects to photograph in St. Petersburg, Florida -- brown pelicans. The males, like the one featured here, are actually rather colorful in their plummage. I thought the line of buoys in the background matched the colors around the bird's beak and eyes.
Photographing a pelican straight on always produces a weird looking shot. It kind of makes me uncomfortable even now looking at the pelican in the eye!
Living in St. Petersburg there is ample opportunity to photograph brown pelicans about as close up as you dare. For the most part, the pelicans themselves are not that bothered about a long lens being pointed at them and seem to tolerate it, though I would not go so far as to say they like it. I wanted to make some fine art pelican images with white backgrounds by purposefully over exposing the shots when I made them in the field, or in this case the St. Petersburg Pier. I cleaned up the white backgrounds digitally in Photoshop as needed.
Shooting in bright light makes it easy to overexpose the images on purpose by using a large aperture along with a relatively slow shutter speed and shooting into the sun.
Since I was shooting at a focal length of 200mm with a brown pelican standing right next to me, I saw it as an opportunity to photograph details of a pelican, rather than the entire bird, as seen in the above shot focused on the pelican's eye and upper beak texture.
Brown Pelicans are very curious birds to me. Here in St. Petersburg Florida you can get up very close to them, basically stand right next to them at some places. As they are a large bird it feels pretty cool to be able to get so close to a large wild animal. Plus, they always look like they are looking back at you thinking something (probably do you have any snacks?).
The male brown pelican above caught my eye because I had never seen a pelican hold out just one wing to dry before like he was doing. It seemed an odd thing to do when presumably trying to balance on top of a tall piling as he was.