Shooting Pelicans

I spent the afternoon at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, practicing panning shots with my 500mm lens and 1.4x tele-extender. My subject of choice was the California brown pelican. The day was a little foggy so I’ve done a Levels adjustment on this to increase the dynamic range. By the end of the day I was definitely better at panning, though getting an initial sighting through such a large lens is still sometimes challenging. It takes practice to see an object with the naked eye and then quickly get the object in the len’s field of view–especially when that object is moving.

When shooting subjects like this, don’t forget to stop down as much as you can to increase the depth of field and improve you chances of getting good focus.


4 Responses to “Shooting Pelicans”

  1. Robert J Says:

    When I using a 35mm camera, I bought a 500mm mirror
    lens. The shots you could get with were just great.
    Try shooting a portrait of a person with it, the perspective is quite different.

  2. Josh Simons Says:

    Funny that I’ve been taking what amount to bird portraits and have never thought to try it on people. Not sure what the camera-to-subject distance will need to be for a nicely composed portrait, but I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

  3. BrianT Says:

    Very nice picture, Josh.

  4. bostontparties Says:

    I know absolutely nothing about photography, but that is a fantastic, National Geographics-worthy shot.

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