Baby Southern Elephant Seal – Gold Harbour, South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean – Dennis Minty
As a wildlife photographer, South Georgia Island is on my Top 5 places to go to photograph wildlife. Never heard of it? Well if you look on a map for it you will find it is just a speck of land just north of Antarctica between South America and Africa. If you look a bit closer you will see it is filled with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. On land the largest animal by far is the Southern Elephant seal. This “little” guy above is just a baby compared to the adults that can grow over a ton in weight and over 9 feet long. To see how Dennis was able to get so close and capture this amazing image please read his story below then visit his website portfolio here http://www.thehumannaturecompany.ca/ .
I was on my way to Antarctica serving as the photographer with a travel company, Adventure Canada. We made some stops on South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean. One of these was Gold Harbour where this photo was made. The richness of the marine life on South Georgia was remarkable: fur seals, elephant seals, penguins such as the King penguins in this shot, giant petrels, albatrosses and more.
After landing on the beach in zodiac and dodging the immense bull elephant seals that were fighting each other, I made my way to one end of the beach where scores of baby elephant seals were staying clear of the threatening action. They were remarkably calm and curious. This one reared up as though to get a better look. Moments later I removed my camera from the tripod for some hand-held shots and one of the big-eyed babies came to inspect the tripod eventually leaning on it hard enough to bow one of the legs. There was so much here to photograph, including the landscape, that I felt like a kid in a candy shop mesmerized by the choices. It’s the expressiveness of the creature that makes the shot.
Camera: Nikon D2x
Shutter speed: 1/1000 sec
Focal length: 30 mm
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