mervfrench PHOTOGRAPHY



Posted by mervfrench on December 16, 2009

I just love watching  pelicans gliding around and coming in to land.

I was waiting for this one to touch down but he just kept going around and around and then flew off.

18 Responses to “Gliding…..”

  1. antonioranieri said

    Hi Merv nice shot I’ve added you as a link from my blog!! cheers

  2. truenorthmark said

    Hey Merv..nice sharp image mate!

    What he is doing there is actually using surface effect by flying close to the water. The pressure off the waves gives them updrafts to get lift from and makes for a nice easy and long glide.

    There are a number of Surface Effect, or wing in ground effect craft that have been developed over the world that utilise this principle.

    See: for a Utube show on WIG aircraft!

    There you go Merv…you now know why they can stay up so long eh!



    • mervfrench said

      Well fancy that, and I thought it was because they flapped their wings 🙂

      Thanks mate.

    • Spoken like a pilot Mark!

      • truenorthmark said

        More like spoken like a Skydiver and Boat Buider Dave!

        We looked into building some of these WIG boats or aircraft along the way and decided against it…too much red tape and the authorities at the time couldn’t decide if ot was a boat or a plane!

        In Skydiving circles we also use the surface effect scenario to plane along the ground for long distances just like this Pelican. We build up speed in teh final approach then flaten out the approach with speed at 1m above the ground and get a nice long swoop before getting the last bit of lift before landing!

        There is actually a skydiving discipline now based on this phonomenum called pond swooping! The skydivers use small canopies that can get amazing speeds and if the Skydiver is skilled anough he can sometimes swoop 4-500m across the pond at 1m before landing. If he is not skilled enough…he gets wet!

        See some examples of ‘Pond Swooping’ here:

        Amazing how many things we get from nature eh!

        All of this would have come from someone sitting down and simply observing the beautiful Pelican surface effecting just as Merv has done here and thinking…’I wonder how it is that this bird can stay aloft for so long without flapping his wings’!!!

        My words of wisdom for the day!!

  3. wayte27 said

    Hey Merv flapping wings aside, nice shot , its not often you see wing detail and shape like this. Cheers Adrian

  4. Nice sharp image Merv! What lens did you use for this shot?

    I’m heading up to Perth to head to the cricket for the next couple days…….if anyone’s keen to come along let me know!!

  5. Hi Merv,

    I love the detail in this shot its amazing. I love watching the Pelicans cruise around as well. It always amazes me how such a big bird can get in the air.

    I reckon a gentle vignette would suit this photo.


  6. Nice shot mate.

  7. Nice and sharp Merv and well exposed.

  8. truenorthmark said

    I reckon a closer crop would work as well Merv, rather than a vinnette as Jamie has suggested…lets see this bird for what he is and how sharp he is!

    • mervfrench said

      Well I’ll have a look at the crop and vignette idea’s and see how it comes out.

      Further to your post above Mark , when I was watching him ( she ) funnily enough I wasn’t thinking of the pond swooping phenomenon , all i could think of was ” land you stupid bloody bird I want a shot of you landing ” 🙂

  9. danproud said

    yep sweet capture

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