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Old Dec 5, 2007, 1:07 AM   #1
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...said the American White Pelicans.

Yesterday I was lucky for 2 reasons. First, it was a beautiful sunny afternoon with great light to work with. Second, in the late afternoon a flock of about 30 of these guys flew into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary to bed down for the night.

1) They flew into this pond in pairs or one by one.

"Mavrick call the ball..."

2) This guy was showing off like a surfer dragging his wingtip across the water as he glided in for landing.

3) Their large webbed feet make for great water skiis.

4) Touch down. Weeeeeeeeee!

5) These guys were actually more difficult to expose than the diving brown pelicans. The sun was very bright and these guys were like big white flying reflective billboards. I normally shoot at ISO 400 for late afternoon fliers but these guys were so hot that I was capping out on my shutter speed at 1/8000th sec for many of these shots. I had to set my exposure compensation to -1, so luckily I wasn't blowing out too many highlights. In hindsight I should have dropped my ISO to 200. However, sometimes when the action is fast and furious, I simply forget to check my histograms.


7) It was interesting watching these guys come in for landings. They are kinda picky when it comes to their landings. Sometimes as they are coming in, they will spot something they don't like and will pull up and circle around and come in for another try. This is much like F-14 Tomcats coming in for a landing on the deck of a aircraft carrier. If they miss the hook, they will hit the afterburners and launch off the deck again to circle around for another try. I guess even pelicans want to be cool like fighter jocks.

8 ) This guy took off pretty close to my side of the pond so I took this shot full frame, no crop.

9) After all the splashing was done with, this pelican settled in to enjoy the sunset and to get some sleep.

Thanks for looking

- Hung

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Old Dec 5, 2007, 1:17 AM   #2
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Excellent work, Hung. The late afternoon sun did you a favor -American White Pelicans are nearly impossibleunder themidday sun.
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 7:16 AM   #3
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#3 gets my vote.--lucy
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 9:44 AM   #4
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Hung, thank you for posting such a beautiful series. I especially liked the analogy to naval fighter jocks getting ready to land onthe carrier (Call the ball!). You did a great job with the exposure (looks good on my monitor). Cheers, Dan
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 11:05 AM   #5
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Great series, Hung!! You must have a pretty decent perch yourself to get all these excellent opportunities . Of which you have donea super job of capturing.
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 6:58 PM   #6
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All of them are great.
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 7:15 PM   #7
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Jobeye wrote:
All of them are great.
I agree! A very impressive series of photo's. It would be unfair to pick one as my favorite...so I'll pick them all.
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 10:30 PM   #8
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Awesome shots Hung! Perfect exposure and detail...cheers...Don
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Old Dec 5, 2007, 11:23 PM   #9
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Super series, Hung!
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Old Dec 6, 2007, 6:09 PM   #10
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Terrific series! You did a great job with the exposure under changing conditions. THe reflections and detail in the water are beautiful and really add to the compositin.

Thanks for sharing them.

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