Baja Expedition Series Part III

~ by Dhritiman Mukherjee

PUBLISH DATE: Feb. 14, 2020

In the quest for the beguile Brown Pelicans

After the success of the ‘In pursuit of the surreal creatures of Los Islotes’ series, Sony Alpha Community comes forth with a third chapter of the Baja Expedition journey. In the first two series, our Sony explorer Dhritiman Mukherjee was able to explore the lesser known sea creatures of the Baja Peninsula such as the Californian Sea lions and the vibrant Cormorants. In this series, our Explorer has unravelled the beauty found on the parched lands-the gorgeous Brown Pelicans and the vitriolic vultures which are found in abundance at Baja Peninsula.

Embarking on a new adventure, our Sony Explorer was armed with the Sony Alpha 7R III & Sony Alpha 9 camera with 16-35 F4 Zeiss, 200-600 mm G lens and 12-24 mm G lens to capture the fantastic creatures above the sea.

Baja Peninsula and its ecosystem

Setting foot on the Baja Peninsula region, the Sony explorer observed that there were vast regions of dry lands on which exotic creatures thrived. To flourish in such extreme conditions, these gorgeous and fluffy creatures paved their way towards the beaches of the Baja Peninsula islands to prey on fishes and sardines.

The Sony Explorer used the Sony Alpha 9 camera along with the 200-600mm G lens to capture the minutest yet beautiful details of the Baja Peninsula’s landscape. The choice of Alpha 9 with 200-600 mm was natural owing to its speed and the focal length range. The 200-600 mm G lens is sharp and fast enough to capture the birds in action. The lens provides superb resolution throughout the zoom range and an internal zoom mechanism (the length of the lens does not change while zooming) provides the highest stability consistently.

A quest to know the Brown Pelican

Among the most prominent creatures who dominate the land of the Baja Peninsula are the Brown Pelicans. With a white head, the Brown Pelican bear a yellowish wash on their head, while their nape and neck are a mix of dark maroon and brown in colour. While, their legs are grey or blackish grey in colour. In order to capture the real beauty of these creatures our Sony Explorer used the Sony Alpha 7R III camera along with the 16-35 F4 Zeiss lenses.

Brown Pelican is a gregarious bird. It loves to move in flocks. While flying, they tend to hold their heads back on their shoulders and their beaks resting on their folded necks. The Brown Pelicans consume all kinds of fish- especially the sardine. Known to avoid the open sea, the Brown Pelicans have a unique habit of diving for fish from air with their beak wide open when they reach under the water surface. One of the most beautiful shots seized by the Explorer was taken underwater when he managed to capture the Brown Pelican, found in a group of four, opening their beaks to capture their prey.

All these shots require a light weight camera with fast focusing speed and an equally better performing lens with minimum focusing distance. The combination of Alpha 7R III and 16-35 F4 Zeiss lenses were perfect for these shots. Along with this, Alpha 7R III with 10 fps speed helped in capturing as many shots as possible during the action. It’s like never missing a moment.

Zooming on the exotic creatures on parched lands

Soaring amid the clear blue skies, a vulture indeed is a bewitching creature. Known to feast on decomposed meat, the vultures cohabit the serene beaches as well as the dry dunes of the Baja Peninsula with equal comfort. For they are built to survive at habitats with scarce means. Even though Baja Peninsula is replete with several hundreds of animal species, it is the peaceful co-existence of a vindictive vulture and a socially expressive Brown Pelican that truly uplifts the magnanimity of the Baja Peninsula.

You need to have an ultra-wide-angle lens to show this vastness of the peninsula and the dynamic habitat. 12-24 mm G-lens is a perfect fit for such conditions. Its stunning corner-to-corner resolutions at all apertures make every picture worthy. It is an excellent choice for dynamic landscape with its outstanding mobility and quiet, fast, precise autofocus performance. Combined with the Alpha 7R III the combination is perfect for these conditions. The adventure doesn’t end here. Coming up next, our Sony Explorer Dhritiman Mukherjee will share “Tips on how to do underwater photography”. Keep following for more updates. #BajaExpeditionSeries.

Dhritiman Mukherjee

About Dhritiman Mukherjee

One of India’s most accomplished nature and wildlife photographers, Dhritiman Mukherjee is an explorer and wanderer. In the last twenty years, he has pushed his limits as a photographer to do work that is compelling as well as scientifically essen... Read more

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