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Drying out

Drying out
Photo Information
Copyright: Chris Chafer (sandpiper2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Fujifilm Finepix S5000, Fujinon 10X zoom
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Australia, 40-49 Points (Chapter 5), 50-60 points chapter 4 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-08-01 6:49
Viewed: 6164
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Why do cormorants spread their wings? Aren’t bird feathers supposed to be largely water resistant?
Cormorants are fishing birds and most species get their fish by diving and swimming underwater for long periods. In order to stay underwater its no use being buoyant, so the feathers of cormorants have evolved to absorb water and so become heavy, that’s why they sit low in the water when swimming (see here). With water-soaked feathers the birds become much denser and so swimming underwater is a lot easier, especially with those powerful webbed feet. They have been recorded swimming at up to 8km/hour.
At the same time cormorants retain a thin layer of air at the base of the feathers next to the skin, reducing heat loss. When they’ve finished fishing, they hop out of the water onto a perch and give their bodies a vigorous shake, the thin layer of air helping to push the water off the feathers. To further aid in ‘drying-out’ cormorants hold their wing outstretched like this one and the feathers dry in only a few minutes.
Most of the worlds 39 species of cormorant dive between 3-10 m to go fishing, but several species, have been recorded to depths of 50m.
This is a Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos), which I’ve posted before. Again this one was taken at Windang in the mid-winter sun, and I think my 3 megapixel Fuji did pretty good with this one, hope you like it and thanks for looking.

dew77, slrnovice2, sAner, klemmg, TAZ, marhowie, radz, christophe, PDP, wallhalla15, liquidsunshine, red45, ellis49, bedford67, chiliu, Luc, Fisher, undoredo, jayeshbheda, shabsslg has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: Drying Outmarhowie 1 09-20 09:24
To sAner: numberssandpiper2 1 08-02 07:42
To cafecrem: conductorsandpiper2 1 08-02 07:15
To liquidsunshine: Thanks Alansandpiper2 1 08-02 07:12
To red45: exposuresandpiper2 1 08-02 07:05
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-08-01 6:58]

Hello Chris!
Very nice scane.Colors,clear details,sharpness,expression on face,POV and composition are excellent.TFS...:-)

Hi Chris, what a lovely image. Very crisp and clear and I love the pose you've captured. Great POV and composition. Great note too, TFS :)

  • Great 
  • halki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 9 N: 105] (471)
  • [2005-08-01 7:03]

Hi Chris!
Great composition.Details, colours and light wonderful.Thanks for posting...

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-08-01 7:08]
  • [+]

A new way of criticising. I hope you don't mind.

Exposure:5, excellent! b&w is difficult.

Scale 1-5, 5 is the best.

As for the composition; I would have liked to see the entire shade on the pole in the frame.

It's a great photo; hence 2 points. I was in doubt though. ;)


Good composition , very good detail (difficult to shoot a black subject and still get lots of detail). Shadow of the tail feathers on the pole is a nice touch adding to the composition. Eye contact ensures impact though body is oriented away. Looks like he is about to take off, so some tension is created. Excellent! Note is also very interesting to read, good content and well presented.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-08-01 11:05]

Excellent note and image Chris. The image is very well exposed and the composition excellent.

Very well done and thanks for posting.

Excellent shot Chris. Very well composed with great detail, exposure, POV and pose..Very well done!

  • Great 
  • twin Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 17 N: 494] (3259)
  • [2005-08-01 11:31]

very well composed with a wide open wings and a interesting looking back pose..
so clear with a warm light...
very well done Chris :)

Hi Chris!
What a great pose!!! Looks like a director of the orchestra!
Good job!

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-08-01 14:25]

Nice pose&and details are spot on.Composition clear bokeh is nice.I have many time the wings spreading pose ,now i understood why they do so :)>Thanks for the useful note.

Hi Chris
Great capture and excellent black color and light
In a friendly way Christophe

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-08-01 15:01]

Hello Chris, great shot. I love the pose and it's an added bonus that she is turning her head toward us. The composition is excellent as is the exposure. The inclusion of the shadow on the post would have made a welcome addition but it doesn't detract too much from the overall image. Very nice job.

Very nice picture, Chris. I like the eye contact, he is watching you.

Chris, pose is excellent, good work, Very good sharpness, details, colours and composition. Thanks for sharing

Great capture Chris,
What really stands out in this shot for me is the perfect exposure. A B&W bird on a white post, every detail is crystal clear. Great pose, very well captured.
Excellent composition and POV.
Thanks for posting. Have a great week.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-08-01 22:59]

Superbe prise de vue et belle pose de l'oiseau.

Félicitation pour la lumičre et les détails dans le plumage.

Félicitations et merci pour l'envoie.

Very nice picture, Chris.
Good moment when it drying the wings.
Well composed, nice colours and good details.
Very well done.

Hi Chris,
I wonder at this magnificent shot. It is splendid with its perfect details and colours. Nice work.
TFS, cordially,

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-08-02 3:27]

What a superb Cormoran that you have well captured ! Composition, pose, colors, details and sharpness are great ! Congratulations Chris and thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-08-02 7:11]

Hello Chris,
You did a great capture, nice composition i like the colours & details DOF and POV are great.


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-08-02 7:12]
  • [+]

Exceptional post Chris. How did you take such beautifully exposed photo with black/white bird in full sun? Amazing work! Pose is perfect same as blue BG.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-08-02 12:37]

Hi Chris. I love cormorants and I am always trying to take pictures of them. This one is awesome. The pose could not be more photogenic. You captured him in full glory, with super sharp details and beautiful light. Composition is excellent. Congratulations and TFS. : )

Hi Chris,
Very good lighting, sharp image, excellent composed, great colour.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-08-08 8:25]

Hi Chris!
Personal assessment of the photo: excellent. On my wishing list, which is very long.
Strong visual impact.
A difficult shot, IMHO.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete and very interesting.
Have a good week in Australia.

Fantastic capture, excellent details and perfect exposure. Detailed note taught me something about nature as well!

Hi Chris,

Yep, you did well with this one. You know the Fuji's strength and are doing well.
Excellent shot and well composed and detailed. Beautiful work.


Hi Chris,
What a wonderful shot you've taken!!
Very nice captured!! Outstanding details and colours, excellent pose of bird, nice DOF and POV.
I love this photo very much.
I used to take a picture of birds, but it's so difficult for me and my shots are not that good. :-)
Thanks for sharing this photo.

  • Great 
  • MCB (12)
  • [2007-12-12 13:15]

Your 3MP Fuji has done an excellent job.

The whites and blacks have both come out very well, the exposure was judged perfectly. The ripples beginning only above the head is a stroke of luck and the final icing on the cake is the shadow of the feathers of the tail on the post.

Its bill is very short compared to the species we get in the North Atlantic.

beautiful and sharp, TFS Ori

Very nice, I love it, very informative. I was always wondering why Cormorant dry their wings. I'm impress you were able to take such a close picture, the Cormorants around my place are very hard to get close to.

Calibration Check