The previous day I'd been driving through Camargue - the nature reserve in the Rhône river delta - a great and flat landscape of marshy grounds and saltwater ponds, known for it's white horses, black bulls and occasional pink flamingos.
I was looking for the latter and had spotted just a few at a distance - surprisingly white, except for legs and beak, they walked around eating under great noise - but couldn't get close enough for a clear shot.
Somewhat disappointed I continued for an overnight stay in les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and discovered the presence of yet another animal species - the mosquito!
The following day I continued into Languedoc-Roussillon and the beautiful and charming town of Aigues-Mortes - meaning Dead Waters - which is completely surrounded by a Middle Age wall. The town and the former port is now some 8 kms inland and as I later drove the road toward the sea and le Grau-du-Roi, I once more - to my big surprise - discovered flamingos.
On the right hand side in a large pond close to the road were several. I immediately stopped, this time leaping to the roof of the car, in order to get my pictures. And suddenly the amazing moment is there - one of them decide to leave and start running for take-off...
This is a wonderful opportunity and more than I'd ever hoped for. It's astonishing and more so, when I see that the wings are not pink but black and red!
And more were to follow...
Post pro after scanning at 600dpi: Cropped, adjusted brightness -20 and contrast +20, saturation +30 and in reds +10 and cyans +15, resized for TE, USM 250/0.8/2, framed and saved for Web.
Critiques | Translate
Eagle78 (1933) 2004-04-27 15:43
I really love your composition Kaj and the flamingo standing is great, right in the time he started to take off :) The image quality is not so good, maybe because of scanning, with bright areas on the flamingo and the colors don´t seem very natural. Anyway a good capture and a good note too :)
Liora (1857) 2004-04-27 17:54
Strange flamingo indeed... I never saw one taking off - looks kind of bulky...
I agree with Marco that the image's quality is problematic though...Over-exposure and blurriness are the main problems...
orme (7219) 2004-04-27 23:05
A very interesting shot, Kaj. I have never seen a flamingo taking off before - well captured. It must have been moving very fast, because its previous footstep caused quite a splash. The water looks a little streaky to me, with some green and yellow - maybe this is because you changed the red and cyan - I'm not sure. Nevertheless, it's still a good shot, well done.
pamastro (7290) 2004-04-29 1:28
Very nice. Great note. I love the energy in this shot. The bird is really nicely captured with its motion. How it seems so light and running on water with the previous splash still visible behind it. And its long stretched out body and wings are nicely captured. Perhaps the unsharp mask was used a little too strongly here. But perhaps it adds a bit to the friction of the action. Very nicely captured! Great job.
Porteplume (3470) 2004-04-30 12:43
I have switched on and on between the original and final versions...
It looks like the sharpness has been improved (on the bird) on the second picture but I really prefer the colours of this one, looks more "mediterranean" :o)
PS: It would be a pity to remove the original anyway because you also would loose the critiques.
- Copyright: Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) (2442)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2000-06-30
- Categories: Nature, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Olympus OM1, Sigma 70-210mm f/4.5, Kodak Gold 200, Skylight 1A
- Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2004-04-27 14:49