Just Gotta Use the Camera You Have On Hand!
September 9, 2020
Moments are everything! And sometimes, you just have to use what you got. For this crazy incident, the only thing I had on me was my phone camera! Better than nothing! All right, before I get into the juicy details, first, let me give you a little back story. This experience happened years ago, while I was on a trip with the hubby and my sister-in-law's family in Cabo, Mexico. We planned a boat and fishing trip one of the days we were there and on that day, I got on the boat and didn't even think that I might experience heavy motion sickness. Big mistake! 4 hours of feeling the need to puke! It felt like the worst day of my life but despite that, it ended up being my favorite experience from that trip. Some hours in, after Mukul and my brother-in-law had reeled in some fish, a sea lion pops onto the boat like it's the most normal thing for it to do. It hangs out with us, smelling the fresh fish we caught. One of the boat operators grabs a fish and tosses it to the sea lion. While all of this is happening, I temporarily did nothing, just stared, quite enamored with this cute sea creature, but thank goodness my photographer instincts kicked in and soon after, I took out my phone at lightning speed and got to work! Who knew the excitement of seeing a sea lion so close, could totally make me forget about my terrible motion sickness, temporarily anyways!
When the sea lion first popped onto the boat, I was standing up so I had the sea lion at a top down angle but didn't like that too much so some shots later, I decided I wanted a lower point of view. After doing that, I realized I went a little too low, so low that the horizon line was cutting the sea lion's head, so I had to adjust my camera height so that I could frame the sea lion between the boat and the horizon line. With the sea lion moving, the boat moving, and me moving, it's a miracle I got something! I had lady luck on my side that day and I made one decent portrait at just the right moment before the fish fully entered his mouth! Not only that, I was able to get the sea lion fully back dropped by the water foam, which let my subject stand out really well. It's crazy how naturally well lit the sea lion was too! The light being reflected onto the sea lion, giving it that nice front fill light, was coming from the sunlight bouncing off the white paint of the boat. What a perfect reflector!
For the final shot below, I rotated the image so that the horizon was straight and cropped in so the sea lion was the main focus of the image.