Portrait of Pelecanus Occidentalis

© Robert G. Stalnaker

Portrait of Pelecanus Occidentalis

Uploaded: March 23, 2008


From the east, in the direction of the Shuttle’s Vehicle Assembly Building, came the huge Mr. Pelecanus, flying low and his wings nearly touching the waves of the Indian River. He made a broad sweep then banked right and headed toward me, entering the studio and landing fairly close to me for his portrait session. He did various poses, I approached closer, we took some more images and then he did this pose, staring straight at me. When our portrait session was over, he just flew off and headed back toward the Kennedy Space Center, just like walking out the door of a portrait studio and heading back to work at the VAB, following nearly the same path he took when arriving.

The sun was backlighting the subject thus highlighting his new hairdo. There was little sky in the background as the subject was so close so I decided to change the background to black to highlight his hairdo and also to make the image look more like a studio portrait.

Exif: F Number: 6.3, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 1/640 seconds, Flash: did not fire, compulsory flash mode, ISO: 400, White balance: Manual white balance, FocalLength: 400.00 mm, Model: Canon EOS 40D


Michael Umbreit March 23, 2008

Robert - Neat shot! It was nice of him to pose for you! - Mike #883997

paul parent level-deluxe March 23, 2008

Superb work #5683476

Carolyn M. Fletcher level-deluxe March 23, 2008

He looks wonderful! I hope he comes back and buys some shots for the family. #5683753

Dawn M. Schneider March 23, 2008

what a great shooting day for you!! this shot is amazing and your presentation is perfect. #5684233

Paul G Slate March 23, 2008

great capture! #5684854

Robert G. Stalnaker March 23, 2008

Thanks all of you for stopping by and visiting and for your comments. This was one of those totally weird things you sometimes see dealing with wild animals. There was some good activity going on with terns and gulls, but my eye caught this brown pelican way out and it ended up coming to where I was and close. It stayed a short time and just left, headed right back from where it came from. Normally, pelicans stick around and rest and will stay real close to people. This one came a long way, stayed briefly, then left, almost like it came just to have some photos taken. Very strange. #5685835

Linda A. Braddock level-classic March 24, 2008

Robert, very creative. Great work, I like it! Linda #5690424

David J. Geaney March 28, 2008

Robert - Awesome shot. I am familiar with the road to the Kennedy Space Center - Pelicans love to hang out along the Roadside. Way to grasp the moment. #5712965

Karen Engelbreth March 30, 2008

Fantastic bird and a Wonderful portrait, Robert! #5719238

william r. griffin level-classic March 30, 2008

Robert this is a stunning shot, one of the better bird shots I have seen on this site, great work!!! #5720608

Yulianto Soeroso March 30, 2008

wonderfull expresion Robert #5721831

Robert G. Stalnaker March 30, 2008

Thank you all for visiting and for your comments. I have a 23 inch monitor and I can make out my reflection in the pupil of the subject, showing my baseball cap and the lens to my camera. I wish you all could have been there with me watching this guy take this long journey in, the photo shoot, then the long journey back. As David said, these guys normally like to just hang out when they arrive. Weird events like this is what makes photography so enjoyable. #5721957

Candice L. Carter March 31, 2008

This is a brillant crop, with a crisp, colorful, explosion of dramatic creativity! Excellent capture! #5723480

Linda M. Walker March 31, 2008

For me, who would never be able to experience this...thanks for sharing...awesome image! #5725116

Raquel J. Ruiz April 03, 2008

What a cool capture! Excellent job! :O) #5741187

Melinda F. Schneider level-classic April 04, 2008

Wow...great portrait...great story! #5743142

Robert G. Stalnaker April 04, 2008

Thank you Candice, Linda, Raquel and Melinda. I had more fun doing this photo shoot with this pelican than any others I have taken. Thanks for visiting, your comments and sharing the fun with me. #5746174

jennifer B. short level-classic May 15, 2008

What an amazing portrait Bob, I really like the sharp tack focus. #5928815

Songbird Cline level-classic May 25, 2008

amazing close up. excellent #5975119

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