Blogs » Things and Such » Shooting Pelicans (with a camera, of course)

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Sunday around noon I found a few minutes that allowed me to go play with the new camera: a Nikon D3100. I can't lie, it's been a bit frustrating figuring this camera out in a way to get those much better pictures than your run of the mill, pocketish-sized digital cameras get. It's not that we haven't been able to get awesome pictures of our five month old son, or other things here and there, but it's been tough to do consistently. So when those few minutes came up Sunday, it was time to go take the camera out for a spin.

Enter the pelicans.

I've always been fascinated with pelicans. "What, those ugly birds with the long faces and loose necks? What's so fascinating about them?", you ask. True, they may not be the prettiest birds in the world, but there's something I love about their rugged looks, unmatched fish-busting skills and what I find to be graceful flying. Back off!

I guess some of my appreciation for the birds come from those days spent wading the bays alone, or dragging my lure from the bank of the Lavaca River. Fishing alone and away from all of the noise has always been very relaxing and refreshing for me, but sometimes it can get a little "too" quiet and peaceful (especially when the fish are ignoring my lures). Luckily, in a lot of those instances, a pelican will crash down for a bite somewhere nearby to break the ice (or water). From then, I become a one man audience.

I also think some of my love for pelicans comes from what they are not. They are not their annoying, fellow winged coastmates: Seagulls. All you have to do is pull up to the water's edge and roll down your window for a bit of fresh salt air and you are immediately under attack. No, it doesn't take long for the guild of begging seagulls to locate and circle your vehicle. Racket. Chaos. Eyes from tilted heads peering into your soul and asking for that bag of Cheetos I may or may not have. "NO!" I shout. But you know what I do not see? Pelicans!

No, there is no beggar’s guild of pelicans. They're out there busting their tail-feathers, trying to locate their meal. Diving down for it, Turning at the last second to ensure they grab that mullet just right. No, they don't have to beg for a handful of your Gardetto's. They take care of themselves.

Now maybe I'm being a little wrong here by stereotyping these seagulls, and lumping them all into this one group. I mean, I'm sure there are some hard working seagulls out there, ashamed of what their fellow seagulls have become. There are probably some hardcore prepper seagulls somewhere, prepared to fend for themselves when the sand dollar crashes. But guess what? I haven't seen 'em!

Off my box.

So I hunted down some pelicans around Port Lavaca and got to clicking. Enjoy.

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This one turned out a little rough around the edges. But look at that eye!

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I'm proud of this one. I didn't have the camera on but for a couple of seconds when this guy dove. I timed it just right.

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This is actually the last picture I took Sunday. This guy was bugging out and I was fresh out of pelicans for the day.