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Recycling mine dumps...

Recycling mine dumps...
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-10-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Digital ISO 200, Hoya UV-Guard (77mm)
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-01-12 15:17
Viewed: 5306
Points: 39
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lesser Flamingo
Phoenicopterus minor

They are herbivorous, feeding solely on Spirulina plantensis, one of the blue-green algae growing within a very limited range of pH: 10.4 - 10.5. They are surface feeders filtering the top inch or two of water where the spirulina is to be found with the deep-keeled bill that is specialized for very fine food particles. They swim well and are able to forage over the complete surface of a lake (the "swim and skim" technique). The upper mandible is larger than the lower, but lightweight, and acts like a float, keeping the head at just the right level to allow the bill to sieve the top three centimeters of water, where the spirulina is found. Their filter-feeding mechanism is structurally and mechanically different from that of ducks but is convergent with that of the baleen whales, particularly the Right Whale.

They are Gregarious, with mass displays and breeding areas. The courtship display is characterized by group "marches". The displaying birds (usually a group of 5 or 10) hold the head and neck erect (the "alert" posture), call to one another, and move heads from side to side in a horizontal arc (the "head-flagging" display). This increases in tempo over several minutes. Others join the head-flagging group until twenty-five to fifty birds are displaying together. Often this is followed by "wing salutes” or marching displays where the flock rushes headlong for about fifty feet, does an about-face, then dashes back to the starting point. The display may be repeated five or six times. During these displays, many birds pair up. Pairs stand with necks fully stretched, beaks touching. Then they circle slowly, pivoting around the touching beaks, sparring and intertwining necks.

A single white egg is laid which both parents incubate for 28-30 days. Chick is fed a bright red secretion formed by glands in the upper digestive tract that is rich in blood. Parents know their own young by their voice and will feed no other. They fly in undulating lines, long neck and feet extended. Life span is 50 years.

I would like to hear your view on the composition in particular, please let me know what you like or dislike.

Signal-Womb, Active, thistle, Robbrown, marhowie, soccer, dew77, hummingbird24, red45, scottevers7, wallhalla15, OdetteVN has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To hummingbird24: I am glad you noticed....gerhardt 3 01-14 14:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Flocks of flamingos are one of the few things that I really REALLY want to photograph...maybe one day.

Hi Gerhad

A nice shot, but for me the sky seems to dominate, have you tried more of a panorama look and cropping out a lot of the sky, so the flamingos don't seem so small in the frame?

I tried a workshop with less sky


Very nice scene Gerhard, I think the composition is hurt by the half aspect of the composition. Ideally a little less sky and some foreground detail would have made the perfect shot. Regards Steve.

Hi Gerhard!
What a fantastic plce.
Your Flamingos look like rose flowers. And... how much of space... Living in a little flat on 7th floor I envy you!!!!!!

  • Great 
  • Active Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 113 W: 6 N: 19] (1231)
  • [2006-01-12 16:48]

superb photo!!!
flamings well captured.
Nothing to complain :)
TFS :)

Hello Gerhard,
I like the photo a lot. It has great depth and I can feel amazing space looking at it.
As for the composition. I have feeling I would like to have a bit more water and a little less sky, but I think this framing works very well too.
It's a great picture with lovely colours.

Excellent subject. On the composition, I would have gone for less sky in pic. This will bring the Flamingo more to the fore. Sheriff

Wonderful photo, composition and technically wise! Thanks for sharing - Xplorator Radu

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-01-13 5:05]

Hello Gerhard!
Very nice scane.I liked colors,POV,framing and visual impact a lot.TFS...:-)

Hello Gerhard,

Well you asked...

The first thing that strikes me is your title, and I am wondering where the story is about mine dumps ....

Then I click on your photo to find this wonderful scene, which sets my mind to trying to figure out if the BG is connected to those mines...

Upon closer scrutiny, the contrast of the riverbed filled with such beautiful and abundant lifeforms, set against the barren land (perhaps a result of the mines?), and set against the vastness of the sky, space, and what lay beyond that...fills me with awe.

Another contrast of: On the earth, in the earth and beyond the earth.

Then I read your note which is interesting and had I been expecting news of the flamingo, I would be feeling satisfied, however, (and you must surely sense what is coming), nothing about mines.

Then I read with interest, the words of others and realize that I must be mistaken in my approach and perhaps should simply comment/critique on the composition and leave well enough alone.

I have a favorite saying that goes: "It is better to keep one's mouth shut and appear the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."

I believe that I have made a generous offering here, and removed all doubt.

BTW, I think it is a great and thought provoking composition, no nits.

Thank you for sharing it with us....

what about the mines? ;-)

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-01-13 8:20]

Flamingos always look for me like birds from another world. They're sign of tropics, adventures, discoveries. Excellent composition Gerhard - so deep and wide open. Blurred mountains on BG and hundreds of birds on FG - it's a superb African photo!

Hello Gerhard.
This must be someting to see in the wild my friend. There must've been hundreds here.. A few at the zoo is the limit of my experince of course :-(
I think this is a well balanced composition, with just the right amount of FG, subject, land and sky. Perhaps a shorter frame would put more focus on the birds themselves. But then, there goes your standard frame ratio for printing..
That's my two cents ;-) Very well done.
Thank You! & have a Great Weekend!

Hi Gerhard,
What a sight to see firsthand. I only get to see flamingos in captivity... I think it looks excellent as is, but I have to admit that the crop in the workshop that was done, completely changes the apect of the photo. I really like that panoramic look to that cropping. This has such great clarity and depth to it that it works very well either way.

This is absolutely gorgeous the way it is, and I can also see this as a spectacular panoramic shot. Excellent capture. :)

what a great picture and a fantasic place to be at. Great composition, I would however cut of a little bit of the sky. Anyway, excellent shot

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-01-13 18:00]

Une belle composition,le grand espace arrière et la netteté des sujets donne beaucoup d'originalité à cette prise.

Félicitations et merci!


Hi Gerhard,
As most people have already mentioned, I think less sky would direct more attention to the flamingoes.
Good detail, colours and sharpness. Good framing and POV.
Thanks for posting, Enjoy the rest of the week.

Hello Gerhard,
very nice capture with great colours, sharpness and POV. This is a great composition. Thanks for posting. Have a great weekend.

  • Great 
  • ridfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 0 N: 376] (4111)
  • [2006-01-14 4:49]

Le contraste est sympa entre ces flamants roses et ce que j'imagine être des sortes de dunes. Ce qui donne une agréable composition.


I like this photo just like that. The colours and BG are excellent. Well done.

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