On my recent walk around foggy Lake Morton, I found four American White Pelicans perched on a small wall at the edge of the lake. Normally they would have been strongly backlit by the rising sun, but since the fog was so thick, I could sit low and get some fun head shots.
I find it challenging to get a good head angle on the preening shots. I liked this one, where I could see both eyes and the end of the large beak carefully arranging the bird’s tiny feathers. Big birds can be so graceful.
I tried for some juxtapositions with two birds in the same frame. It seems easy, especially when the birds are right next to each other and frequently in each other’s way as they preen. But getting two heads at good angles in the same focus plane requires some patience. In my case, it also took a little Topaz Sharpener to un-soften the bird in the foreground.
This next bird’s bump is a little deformed…but he gave me some of the best head shots!
It’s not every day that I can get close enough for head shots of these beautiful birds! The fog that had initially disappointed me turned out to be one of the best parts of the morning. As I finished with these birds, the sun started to peek out a little, forming a giant softbox that backlit the white birds. I liked this last head shot the best because of the white light that emphasizes the soft, angel feel of the back feathers.
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Morton?
Check out my Lake Morton page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!