American White Pelican

This is an image I made last month when the air here were relatively clear. This pelican was feeding against a backdrop of reeds. The angle of sunlight put the bird in a spotlight. I found the scene and light very pleasant with the combination of the white pelican against a dark background.

840mm on tripod

1/1250s@F8, ISO 400, -3 Ev (-1 during shot and -2 in post-processing)

I am interested to know what you think of the exposure and composition - whether the pelican is too centered.

I think the comp works well. You might be able to bring up the whites half a stop as it seems a little dark. I am fine with the position of the pelican in the frame.

I really like this composition. This scene looks very natural with nice subdued light. You choice of aperture gave the water a nice soft effect. I do see a loss of detail in the Pelican. It looks like the effect of noise reduction or a pretty heavy crop.

Thanks for your feedback, @David_Schoen, @Matt_Shellenberg. Not sure why the image did not appear sharp - it is a full frame image with the focal point being on the pelican’s wing. It may have softened when I resized it. I have added a further round of sharpening to it and brightened the pelican by a stop.

I am uploading the final image to the avian gallery folder.

I like the final version you posted in the Avian gallery, but there was one thing I noticed in it… so I’ll have to make my comment here. To me it looks like the pelican is tilted slightly… like it’s swimming downhill from right to left. I would take a look at the line where the body meets the water and see if it needs straightening.

Otherwise, the final image looks very nice. Good light and smooth tones.


Hi S Govindarajon
I like the lighting, detail and reflection of the Pelican. I would how ever bring up the lighting on the grass, just a little.

Thanks for the feedback, @Max_Waugh. I had leveled the image using the reflection in the water. The pelican was slightly swimming towards me (which I prefer) - not sure if that gives the impression of a tilted image. I will check it though.

Thanks, @peter. I have posted the final version of this image in the avian gallery - but I will consider your suggestion in the original image,