I was very excited to see my new friend was back again at high tide this weekend. With me going into the city still during the week, I haven’t been able to figure out the seals schedule to see when the log boom by the house will be used for suntanning. But with each day that she shows up, we are slowly getting adjusted to each other. I try to keep my distance out of respect. I don’t want to disturb the seal too much and let her have her space. I don’t want to get all paparazzi every time I see something running after it and chasing it away. After all, even a seals gotta make a living. I also think by keeping my distance, I am better able to get the seal to get used to seeing me and the camera as something other than a threat or something to run from. By having some respect and showing some patience, each day that we spend some time together, I am allowed to get a little closer and photograph a little more.
Seals have amazing hearing. While they can hear about 14x better in the water than one land, they still hear ok when out on the beach in the sun. As I laid hiding in and among the driftwood, I had left the camera set to autofocus, but each time the autofocus would track; I would see a quick look my direction, so it was off to manual focus. It was great that the click of the shutter seems to go by unnoticed, unless I machine gunned off several shots at once which would result in a quick and curious look my direction. All in all though, I think we are getting much more used to each other. So unlike the first time, I was able to get a little more action.
There was a lot of looking around and rolling side-to-side to get comfortable on the log boom, but something was a little itchy on the side of her face as well. As she scratched away, I was pretty happy to get a quick series of shots off with some great subtle changes in gesture and meaning.
When I got to look at the images, I started to laugh a bit. Each of those subtle changes of the flipper resulted in me crafting a different story for motions that were fractions of a second apart. From a D’oh moment to a where did I leave the keys to I am sure that know that smell. Each photograph was able to help me connect and create a story.
In the end, that is what our photographs should do is help us craft and share a story within in the image. We spend so much time focused on the technical aspects of what we do when we really should focus on the stories we want to tell.