What do you say to a Steller Sea Lion?

by valrac4_a3kqdy

Part 2 of Embedded: Gentec’s West Coast Tour

© David Tanaka

The first of many picture-perfect moments started with us bobbing in a tin can of a boat just off shore. The fog and mist were just heavy enough to mask detail. We saw only shapes of the landmass looming to our right. Closer, closer, then pop, there they were—Steller sea lions, sprinkled along the water’s edge.

Rosemary and Pat Keough

Rosemary and Pat Keough

Our photography guides for the day are Rosemary and Pat Keough, famous photographers who live on Salt Spring Island. They’ve published books of photography on the west coast—this area is their back yard. They tell us that the Steller sea lion populations are in decline, so coming across them in such great light is a treat.

I have Sigma’s new 120-300mm f/2.8 on my D800. Using a tripod on our tiny rocking boat is out of the question. The lens weighs more than 3kg so handholding will be a challenge, even with the image stabilization built into the lens. I cradle the lens barrel in my left hand and rest the back of my hand on the boat railing. Ride the AF button. Wait ‘til the pitching and yawing coalesce to stillness. Click. I hear Ethan Meleg’s Canon full frame in the background. His motor drive sounds like a machine gun compared to my ka-lomp, ka-lomp, ka-lomp four frames per second. He got big moto, I got big pixel—we both catch some magic.

Previous installment: Embedded: Gentec’s West Coast Tour
Next installment: Grizzly Bear Picnic

Related Articles