The pelicans usually outfox me and my stop-action camera, but today I hit some homers and in photography, it only takes one to come home a winner
First, the automatic focus mode on my Nikon D5100 goes bonkers when pelicans swoop over rocks and the ocean. The red focus light sees the water, then the rocks and finally this blur of a bird with this typical result: the camera freezes—no picture. So, I’ve learned to outsmart the focus by “hiding” in this cave where I shoot straight up—no rocks or ocean, just sky. I have to wait until about 4 p.m. this time of year so that the sunlight will be low enough and behind me. Secondly, I have to spot the pelicans coming from a distance before I drop down in the shooting area. I have about five seconds to prepare for the shoot once I see one coming.
The above ordeal pertains to close-in shots of pelicans in full flight. It is easier to capture them at side angles, but you don’t get their magnificent wing span. Make sure you put the cursor on the photos to enlarge them