Boring Pelican

…with my camera of course…

These are my poor Cabo San Lucas pelicans – magnificent, I thought. I entered another shot of them into a photo competition which I posted nearly a year ago (click here to see embellished version). The judge harrumphed, pronounced pelicans common – and the photo did not do well. Sigh…

This was taken shortly after dawn, the light was a magical honey colour, warm, rich, enveloping. We took a water taxi out to Land’s End and the Hole in the Rock. The seabirds and seals welcomed us. One of the most memorable experiences of my life…

Published by Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

8 thoughts on “Boring Pelican

  1. And having been SHOT, the pelican nearly died with embarrassment over all the attention.

    How can anyone be judging works of art and be so callous? Close your little pelican ears, Brownie, and keep flashing that personality.


  2. Surely you’ve run into the common pelican… they really don’t seem to mind the attention. I assume they are not tasty, so people don’t hunt and kill them (we just pollute their environment…). They rather like people and the kind of attention they seek is usually in the form of fish… I was in awe… I want to go back and shoot them again with my new camera…


  3. The honey tones of light are perfect for this honey of a pelican. You have his swirl of feathers and the scallops of water in sync. The look in his eye is like you share a secret or he’s ready to rise up and dance like the ones in your embellished shot….that one is astounding! (Our white pelicans here are not posers for pictures and just paddle away when you think you’ve lined up a shot. Thought I’d have a quick one to share with you but our digital didn’t save it when the camera was on zoom…back to the book…ratz!) P.S. What do judges know? 🙂


    1. There are lots of fisherman that go out from Cabo San Lucas, and when they return, the pelicans feast! Which explains why they think of humans so warmly I am sure.

      As for judges – they are an odd lot for sure – come in a range of standards and ability to focus their eyeballs! Was in an AV (audio-visual) competition last night. I just threw something together quickly – those presentations really aren’t my thing, so not I’m not complaining that I didn’t do well. I kept it short and sweet and amusing – animal photos from my blog. On the other hand, there were a few that were 5 minutes long and just dreadful – the kind of thing where you sit and watch and wonder how it is possibly possible that 5 minutes could really go on for a week! And the judge loved them! Technically perfect – mind-numbingly dull. (Fortunately no one used Ave Maria or It’s a Wonderful World last night… occasionally there will be several of those…) But – to be fair, she gave the trophy to the one that was both technically perfect and whimsical…


  4. I am having a week of hating everyone, so I will add the judge to my list. What a complete boor. I mean, there is nothing common about any bird as they all have so much personality.

    What I am hating in particular are those people who are pretenders: pretend that they know, pretend that they have the answers, etc., but will not accept anything that falls outside their very narrowly defined scope of things.



    1. The other side of the judging issues is, of course, that I submitted my image to be judged – knowing the inherent fallacies of doing so, so I must willingly shoulder at least half my disgruntlement… And judging is not an easy task. That said, over the last few years of regularly submitting work to allegedly impartial and ‘qualified’ judges (i.e. – not the public who will invariable give top honours to anything cute with an animal or adorable child in it…), allegedly impartial and qualified photography judges parrot on about the same complaints – a bright spot that is distracting, composition (rule of thirds), meeting the brief (where I always get into trouble – a girl in a tree does not qualify as up, but a tower does???)… in other words, it’s about technique, not creativity. So a pelican is not pushing technique because the judge has seen them before. Ditto for ducks, robins, and dogs, but NOT children in red or yellow raincoats…

      I’m sort of wavering about whether to continue with the competition/merit process. I’m a hair’s breadth away from becoming a “Salon” Grade Photographer (a moment’s pause as a loud ‘hush’ fills the room), which, along with $5, will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. There’s other means of accreditation as well, that do involve being judged, but it’s a portfolio submission – so you kill yourself putting together something that you believe in with your heart and soul and left baby toe – and you’re still taking a punt!

      Time for a wine – of the red variety!


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