alanpeterson
alanpeterson

Seated Seal



A harbor seal sits on a rock, shrouded by the coastal fog on Trinidad State Beach.

A harbor seal sits on a rock, shrouded by the coastal fog on Trinidad State Beach.
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Winner in Natural is the name of the game Photo Challenge
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture
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Superior Skill
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2 Comments | Report
robwood_2863
 
robwood_2863 February 03, 2015
Excellent!
PaulGJohnson PRO
 
PaulGJohnson November 04, 2016
Well done Alan. great capture

Behind The Lens

Location
I came across this seal on Trinidad State Beach in Humboldt County, California. While I was returning from tidepooling further down the beach, I climbed around a rocky ridge and found the seal posing on a rock alongside the mouth of a creek.
Time
This was taken during the late morning on a foggy fall day. Ground level fog like this usually starts to burn off by the afternoon but during a cold fall day, dense fog can linger all day on the Humboldt County coast.
Lighting
Only natural light was used in this image. Fog acts as a natural diffuser and can create soft lighting during the mid-day hours when light is usually the harshest.
Equipment
I took this with a Nikon D90 and Nikkor 18-105mm zoom lens, handheld.
Inspiration
I thought the seal was part of the rock when I first spotted it - it wasn't there half an hour before, and its color and shape matched the wave-worn beach rocks almost perfectly. When it started to adjust itself and stretch, I realized what it was and crouched behind a nearby rock to photograph it. The seal went through a series of poses while stretching, including this skyward point which it held for several seconds. In that position, its shape was a near match for the rock formations behind it, so I turned the frame vertical in order to fit them in the frame with the seal.
Editing
I cropped it slightly for composition, but otherwise it is pretty much straight out of the camera.
In my camera bag
For shooting birds and wildlife, I normally carry around a Nikon D500 and a Sigma 300-800mm zoom lens.
Feedback
I shot this photo on my first DSLR using the included kit lens, and it is still one of my favorite photos that I've taken. To those who are hesitant to photograph nature without expensive gear, I hope this serves as an example that getting outdoors with whatever gear you have is more important than carrying a long lens.

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