My Top 10 Favorite Photos of 2008, #7
I first visited Tracy Arm Fjord in Southeast Alaska during the summer of 2007 with my friend and fellow photographer Florian Schulz and his wife Emil. We tried to photograph harbor seals and their pups resting on the floating icebergs without success. The seals would not let us get close to them since they were easily startled and saw us coming from far away in my bright red inflatable. All last winter I thought about how to photograph them and came up with the idea to cover my pontoons with white shower curtains to disguise my boat as an iceberg. In June, I returned to try my new plan and was successful! I initially tried to cover the entire boat and hide underneath the blind I created, but this did not seem to work, so I eventually only covered the pontoons, got down low in the boat, and slowly drifted towards the seals. My goal was to not disturb them in anyway, and most of the time I successfully drifted past sleeping seals that occasionally looked up. Most of the images I’ve seen of harbor seals on icebergs are taken from long distances from high angles on large tour boats. What I like most about the images I created was that I was down so close to the water. It makes me feel more like I am part of their world. I also really like the nice blue background of this image. I used my Canon 5D, 400 mm f4 DO IS lens, 1.4X tele-converter at f5.6 and 1/400 second.