Sea Otter Mother with Pup Beside Morro Bay CA 14 Dec 2009. Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) (marine mammal) Mothers with Pups are seen near Target Rock in the Morro Bay, CA harbor entrance near Morro Rock, 14 Dec 2009. Photo by Michael "Mike" L. Baird, mike [at} mikebaird d o t com, flickr.bairdphotos.com; Canon 1D Mark III, Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens (no circular polarizer), handheld, braced on breakwater rocks, taken from just 2-3 feet above water level.
16 Dec 2009 Creative Commons intended use - The Central Coast Natural History Association (CCNHA), related to the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History, sells postcards as fund-raisers, and regularly uses my nature photos... this otter and pup has been selected for a new postcard.
Tech note: +2/3rds overexposed to bring out detail in dark fur.
It is hard to beat auto exposure mode (vs. aperture- or shutter-priority) to get a good compromise balance between a fast enough shutter speed to avoid motion blur, and enough depth-of-field (DOF) for a good documentation image (as I'm not going for the artistic shallow DOF w/ strong bokah, portrait-style model shot here). This shot was taken as late in the day as possible, and just minutes before Morro Rock shadowed the scene, at which point in time natural-light photography became hopeless. I need to learn to bring off-camera flash to this location to fully exploit the opportunity.
Twenty Habits of Highly Effective Photographers - by Mike Baird.
1. Shoot every day. Not only will you be exposed to more opportunities, but you will soon be able to make camera and lens setting adjustments without even looking, and without delay.
2. Process your images the day you shoot them, so that you can learn better from your mistakes.
3. Save only a few images per day, and write down in the description field a technical or artistic note about why that image worked for you.
4. Make early or late light your friend.
5. Use a tripod when it will yield a sharper image - tack sharp is your goal.
6. Get closer for more impact when shooting most subjects.
7. Get low, and if you are shooting anything with eyes, be at the subject's eye level.
8. Experiment with both landscape and portrait modes.
9. Always study and use the light - "make" a photo, don't just take it.
10. Compose in thirds for most scenes.
11. Focus on an eye if it's in the scene. If there are two eyes, focus on the one closest to you.
12. Make the background just as important as your subject.
13. Use fill flash in the daytime when shooting people's faces.
14. Use a circular polarizer around water.
15. Always have a camera with you.
16. Share your photos and techniques online - Flickr is effective.
17. Use burst mode and take a lot of candidate images, especially with live subjects.
18. Always shoot in RAW format to preserve the most information.
19. Invest in high quality bodies, tripods, and lenses when you can if you find photography to be worth your passion.
20. Make a list of some of your most important habits and post it here.
Michael "Mike" L. Baird Flickr.bairdphotos.com Mike [at} mikebaird d o t com
16 Dec 2009 Creative Commons intended use - The Central Coast Natural History Association (CCNHA), related to the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History, sells postcards as fund-raisers, and regularly uses my nature photos... here is a typical request. From: Dorian Farrow [mailto:dfccnha [at} gmail d ot com]; Sent: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:05 PM; To: Baird, Michael; Subject: Otter and "child" new photo. Hi Mike, This is a wonderful new photo. Can we ask for your kind permission to reproduce this as a postcard? Thanks! Dorian Farrow, General Manager, Central Coast Natural History Association; 1320 Van Beurden Drive, Suite 202 Los Osos, CA 93402 Phone: 805-528-1397 Fax: 805-528-1459