Where is the best Brown Pelican with breeding colors photography location in Florida? In my opinion, the Tampa Bay Spoonbill rookery is just the place! Besides being a unique location for Roseate Spoonbills, it is plain and simple one of the biggest rookeries in the state, and Brown Pelicans are very well represented.
Creating photographs of Pelican head throws can be very challenging. Head throws do not happen often and do not last long either. However, it is usually repeated a couple of times. So, if you know what you are looking for and you are quick about it, it is a very possible shot. Note that the above is not a vertical crop from an horizontal capture, but a vertical from the get go with the head throw in mind. In this case, you need to remember to compose with the bird low in the frame as the head throw can reach a lot higher up. Icing on the cake, the bird kept its eye open with a parallel stance to my camera. Plus, this individual has some pretty nice breeding colors with a white/yellow head and shiny brown neck.
The Brown Pelican with breeding colors above is flying with a big branch to bring back to its nest. For bird in flight photography, I am usually in quest for creations with the wings down or up and extended, rarely in the mid-section or folded. Note that Pelicans are great subjects to train in the difficult art of bird in flight photography, as they move rather slow in the air and are amongst the biggest flying birds you may find. I am also glad the band of sand in the background is not crossing the bird through its head.
I guarantee you are not going to see a creation like the one above often. It was created an early morning a few minutes after sunrise. To me, the big difficulty in that type of scenario is to follow the bird and try not to get blinded when the bird crosses the sun. What I do is to follow the bird before it crosses, then close my eyes when I think the crossing is very near and reopen later. That leaves a bit much to chance, but preserves my retina from getting burned 🙂
Florida Spoonbills and Shorebirds photography workshop – $990
Feb 20th-21st 2016 / limit 6 people – 6 open
mid April 2016 / limit 6 people – 3 open
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and $250 non refundable deposit to book your spot.
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