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Old Nov 19, 2007, 2:55 AM   #1
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Around this time of year, American Brown Pelicans can often be seen diving for fish off the bridge at Bolsa Chica. They are quite a sight to behold and the bridge was lined with photographers and other spectators.

1)


They glide in low over the water looking for schools of fish. They remind me of prehistoric pterydactyls. I love taking pelican bif shots because their flight paths are so smooth and slow. It was very easy to track and get a good focus lock.

2)


My only problem is when they dive right next to the bridge. These are huge birds with up to 6 foot wingspans. When shooting them with a 400mm prime, its hard to get a full wingspan shot of them. They are often too close to me. This is one of the rare times in wildlife photography, when I have too much focal length. :O

3)


I took these shots during the space of 2 hours right before sunset. It was actually quite a foggy day. However since the pelicans were so close to me, it didn't really matter much. If anything, the fog acted as a big diffuser for the golden light. It made for better exposure.

4)


5)


While watching these pelicans through my telephoto lens, I would sometimes inadvertently duck because they would fly right at me and dive right before they got to the bridge.
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7)


Here are some diving shots. Sometimes the pelican will dive almost straight down or at an angle.
8)


Other times they dive upside down. I wanted to get a shot right before the beak touched the water, but alas no luck today.
9)


That's all for today.
10)


Thanks for looking and commenting.

- Hung
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 7:23 AM   #2
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Very nice! Beautiful detail and exposure.

Jim
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 7:53 AM   #3
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. All are great despite the fact that they fly a bit slow compared to other species. Perfect sharpness, exposure and framing.#9 is cute. If you didn't tell me,I just thought that it got exhaustedin the middle of its flight and fell death to the water. Thanks for sharing.Your recent shots were really exciting. Every time I opened them, I was expecting something great to see.
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 8:16 AM   #4
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Ouch!, I think I cut myself on one of your pictures.

Excellent Hung, Excellent! I can't pick a favorite as they all are beautiful in detail.

-Kent


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Old Nov 19, 2007, 11:13 AM   #5
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Great shooting Hung!! Looks like they were almost diving at you. That upside down shot is too much!.........cheers....Don
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 11:43 AM   #6
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Fantastic series, Hung!!
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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OM Goodness.......... Hung, these are absolutely wonderful. The colours are so sharpm and crisp. Wildlife magazine prints for sure! :| Dan
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 4:39 PM   #8
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Great technique, Hung. No. 6 is astounding! I knowthe frustrationyou feel trying to get just the right diving pose - always just enough shutter lag to mess up your timing.
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 4:41 PM   #9
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I looked at these shots, all of them and thought---WOW--- Nice work.
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 9:57 PM   #10
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Hung,

This is phenomenally sharp with amazing details.
I have no clue they do dive upside down and you got two magic shots on that alone with perfect framing and composition.
These are Geographic Special quality in full blast. Well done

Daniel , Toronto
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