For this image, I had no control over my subject and the sun was bright. Normally shooting in such bright sunlight is ill-advised, but it worked in my favour this time.
I shot at 1/5000th of a second, a really fast shutter speed so shooting in handheld wasn’t an issue. The fast shutter speed blocked out the ambient sunlight, coupled with a wide open aperture of f2.8 meant only the pelican was in focus. With a little creative framing and a slight crop in post-processing, the resulting image is very reminiscent of a Tim Flach animal portrait.
For me, personally, this is one of my favourite pieces of work and I would call it a perfect photograph. But there were so many ways it could have gone wrong and more ways I could have improved.
This photograph was entirely luck based. Lucky the pelican was in the right place at the right time. Lucky I had my camera set up and ready to shoot.
This image was planned with everything completely in my control. Because it was a studio setting I could take the photograph as many times as I needed to get it right.
The subject and composition was my choice, and I knew I wanted only a part of it in focus so I needed a wide aperture.
Having a wide aperture meant I needed the flash to be on a low power.
Technically this is the ‘perfect picture’, but of the two images, it was the least exciting to create, and is the least exciting to view.
The perfect photo is a matter of perspective.