Capturing a well-focused pelican in flight is instinctive challenge for me, so much so, I sometimes overlook the background in the editing process. This oversight is magnified after reviewing the hundreds, if not thousands, of brown pelicans I have photographed over the last few years in Carmel and Monterey. There are just so many close-ups of pelicans–after awhile they begin to look the same. Case in point is this cropped shot of a pelican on a blue sky day. The original frame included a wisp of clouds that emphasized the birds high flight. First, take a well-frame, focused shot; secondly, in editing, consider how background may enhance the main subject.
The point here is to slow down when editing a photo. Pay attention to clouds, whether it is a sunset, or a pelican, because they add depth to the main subject..