Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pelican’s Dive Sunrise

Ten days ago I watched the sunrise on our beach in south Florida. The depth of color was more subdued that morning than others, softer as though Mother Nature wore a smooth fuzzy blanket over her shoulders. The sun came up behind a bank of clouds, and salmon and rose colored rays struck down toward the horizon. Suddenly, as I concentrated on clouds, sun and water, a pelican flew through the camera’s field of vision. Hurriedly I ripped the tripod out of the sand and followed the bird as it flew above the water. I changed the shutter speed to 320, upped the ISO to 400, and zoomed in as close as possible with the limited range of my standard lens. I watched excitedly, pressing the shutter repeatedly as the bird plunged into the water for his breakfast.

Today, going though all the images, a pitiful few are in focus. This one taken at the moment the bird prepared to dive looks impossible and awkward, almost like the bird has been shot in mid-air, by a gun, not the camera. When first dropped onto the Photoshop icon I thought it looked like two separate pictures put together, so I’ve added a second shot of the bird floating and silhouetted against the water, downing his catch.

By The Dawn's Early Light

The reason I go to the beach at sunrise is to visit my outdoor church, and to experience the thrill of a new day beginning, always the chance for a fresh start, always the possibility to make things just a tiny bit better. Dawn on the beach is a few brief minutes of hope as light spills over the dark sea. And, there is always the added possibility that something unexpected will make those moments still more thrilling than anticipated.

No comments: