Anatomy of a photo #31: Pelican on a foggy day

The subtle tones and even lighting on this photo are wonderful when it is printed

Oh how I love the Pelican! The way its beak can hold more than its belly can

One of my favorite birds. I have many photographs of pelicans, and will likely be visiting several different images of them over the life of this blog. I am at least starting chronologically, with one of my earlier pelican images. This one was taken a little south of where I live, on one of our local bays (Marconi cove of Tomales Bay for those who know the area).

Some birds, like the pelican, have differently colored feathers based on the season (mating or not mating). If you are going to work on a portfolio of bird images, you should try to eventually have each bird in its various ranges of plumages (male, female, juvenile, mating). This pelican happens to still have some of its breeding colors (the clean white and yellow), but is missing some of the more striking colors about its face that show up during prime time.

This photograph was taken on a gray, foggy day, which resulted in the even lighting. A long lens was used to photograph the bird without disturbing it. A shallow depth of field to blur out the background and give sharper focus by contrast to the pelican. Shutter speed fairly high, as it was handheld (the higher shutter speeds are especially important when using the longer lenses hand held.)

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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