Years of Disney cartoons, Vegas neon and Florida yard art caricatures left me with an indelible picture of the poor flamingo as a girl-baby-pink stork wannabe. Yeah, I’ve seen the nature documentaries and I’ve wandered through my share of zoos but I didn’t really pay attention to these birds. Like some strange optical illusion, I knew they are pink so why give them more than a glance?
Well, either Nebraska flamingos are a different species or the scales finally fell from my eyes because this week I realized they are a far cry from being pink. That’s a not-color-corrected digital image made using my 300mm manual lens and even on my nearly-impossible-to-calibrate laptop screen I’m pretty sure that’s a color somewhere between red and orange. Definitely not pink.
Although some people think this color is pink and have scientific reasons for why the flamingo’s feathers are that color. Apparently not everyone agrees with this. And apparently their color changes depending on lots of things. My theory is, like chameleons the flamingo has complete control over its color and changes it to suit some internal sense of the day or to frustrate wildlife photographers….
It’s not a debate I’m interested in being a part of. I simply liked the color in the bright sunshine and how the bird’s neck made a nice line coming away from the body, ending in that white eye and curved beak. And I’m pleased to see some improvement in my use of this lens.