Few birds are as graceful and charming as flamingoes. Despite the harm done to their image by Florida’s horrifying plastic statues, these birds are gorgeous and stylish creatures. Their pink feathers and their unmistakable beak, along with their long legs, make the American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), one of the true wonders of nature.
Their habitat selection is pretty specific, so this is not a bird you run into, but a bird you have to seek. In the Dominican Republic we are lucky enough to have two or three sites where they nest or feed with certain regularity, so that november morning I set out to find them and hopefully get some nice images.
It was before dusk and I was driving in the main road towards Salinas, and right there, in the pond next to the road, their magic and long silhouettes appeared against the first pinkish light on the Caribbean winter.
Of course Flamingos are skittish birds and getting close to them is not easy, so I had to crawl among the bushes and the sand to get somewhat close. I recently read an Anselm Adam’s quote that when something like this: “good exposure does not make up for bad lighting”. I am sure I am getting it wrong, but that’s the idea. That morning the light was perfect though! So coming up with the right exposure was not as hard as making a great composition; every time I thought I had it the birds moved or flew away.
These are indeed the best shots of that morning. Not necessarily great, but good enough for transforming an ordinary morning into an extraordinary experience.