California Sea Otter 11

My Top 10 Favorite Photos of 2008, #2

Last year, I put some effort into photographing sea otters in several different locations. I am proud of the few images that I created of Alaskan otters, especially since they are so allusive. I photographed a lot of behaviors, but the images that were missing were cute close-ups of their dry, puffy faces. I had heard that photographing sea otters was much easier at Elkhorn Slough near Moss Landing, CA than in Alaska, so I decided to give it a try. For 3 days in late October, I photographed them with my friend Phil Colla and my previous photo workshop client Nick Gorevic. This close-up of an adorable sea otter’s face is my favorite image from the entire shoot. The face is dry and puffy with some eye contact with the camera. The low angle sunset light brings out the golden color of the otter’s blond face. I like the hands being clasped together. Sea otters hold their hands out of the water in this position when they are on their backs because they do not have as much fur around their paws to keep them warm as they do on the rest of their body. This images was created with my Canon 50D digital SLR, 400mm f4 DO IS lens, and 1.4X tele-extender at f5.6 and 1/320 second.

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