dtcheung Platinum

Brown Pelican IMG_1132





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8 Comments | Report
ruthclay May 12, 2016
Great capture.well done
Merlot April 06, 2017
Awesome shot
dtcheung Platinum
dtcheung April 09, 2017
eelcovanroden PRO+
eelcovanroden September 13, 2017
An amazing photo, great!
Cookies4U February 08, 2020
another amazing capture!
kbsimages PRO
kbsimages June 19, 2020
WOW!!!!! Amazing and Perfect Timing!!!!
RickL PRO+
RickL July 23, 2020
Exceptional action photography
randalwallen PRO+
randalwallen December 30, 2021
Great shot with excellent timing.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was shot at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, Orange County, California.
It was taken late in the afternoon around 5 PM in late Sept. 2015.
The sky was covered with a thin layer of cloud offering a very evenly diffused light from the late afternoon sun.
I was using a Canon 70D with a Canon 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 II telephoto lens, hand held. No tripod or flash was used.
My wife learned she had terminal cancer. I decided to take her outdoor as often as possible so she would not get too depressed (did that for three years until not too long before she said good bye). We walked along the path next to the water. It was so peaceful and fascinating watching the shore birds patiently waited for their preys. This pelican was different. I kept flying and hunting until something is spotted in the water, then it dived straight down. However, it came up empty handed (beaked). That's when I decided to get closer to where the action is by the bridge and took a few series of dives.
I used Photoshop to crop and adjust the light level. No other enhancement features of the new Photoshop or other software was used.
In my camera bag
I have since upgraded my equipment a few times from Canon 70D to 80D and 5D II. Since 2018, I have acquired the Sony A9 and recently purchased the Sony A1. I have also acquired my Canon 600mm f/4 II in 2017 and the Canon 300mm f/2.8. I used my Canon 1.4X extender on my 600 mm a lot and occasionally the 2.0X extender for longer reach. I used the 2X extender on the 300 mm lens so I can handhold the camera/lens combination. For these lenses to be used with my Sony camera, I use the Sigma MC-11 adapter. I have no problem catching fast actions of small or large birds.
With a little practice, everyone can capture action shots. The newest Sony A9 and A1 really help photographers in acquiring the focus on birds-in-flight. The in-camera and lens image stabilization and tracking capabilities really make capturing bird-in-light much easier. However, the photographer still needs to establish the initial focus lock. Under low light conditions, I slow down the shutter speed to allow more lights into the camera for quicker initial focus lock. This is counter intuitive since slower shutter speed is believed to cause more focus blur as we pan. However, faster shutter speed resulting in a slower initial focusing lock thus missed opportunities especially when the background is more complicated or when there is less contrast between the subject and the background. I also manually turning the focusing ring of the lens to get to the proper distance faster before the auto-focusing of the camera/lens combination to fine tune the focusing. This prevents the camera from "hunting" forward and backward to find the small subject with less than ideal contrast with the background.

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