Saturday, July 01, 2006

La Jolla - the Seals

On our first pass through San Diego, my sister-in-law, Martha showed me La Jolla cove and the seals. Naturally I was dying to come back with my camera and big lens. After we get settled into our new campground. I dig out my 300-800mm lens with its big tripod. Henry is going to stay at the RV to do his mental preparations for the con. I say a mental prayer that God will help me find a parking spot close to my destination (lots of people go watch both the seals and sunset here - parking is VERY limited!). With the weight of the camera equipment, I COULD carry it several blocks, but it would not be my first choice. When I get there, God is VERY good, I find a place right next to the viewing area for the seals. One of the tricks for parking around the La Jolla ocean front is similar to finding a parking spot at a mall. Watch for the people who are walking to their cars to leave or who are packing their stuff back into their cars. Put on your blinker and wait for the spot. This seems to be commonplace and the drivers behind you are prepared for it.

So I lug my lens in its case and the big tripod over to the small seawall to the best viewing area. The walkway is narrow, but there IS room if I put two of the tripod legs through the railing.

When the seals haul out, they ride the waves as far as possible and then bounce into their resting spot.

They go bounce, bounce, bounce . . .

collapse on the sand, catch their breath and go bounce, bounce, bounce into their spot. It reminds me of when I climb a big long hill or a tall flight of stairs - I have to stop and rest before I can go on. As they are bouncing, their bodies contract such that they look a little bit like bouncing balls. My goal was to try to capture some of this "action."

I enjoy watching the strategy of the seals as they choose the rock or the beach as their destination. They'll ride a wave, head back out and ride a bigger wave - using the wave's energy to get them where they want to be. My big lens is giving me a close view.

The seals use this area as a resting place and a rookery. They need so much time each day out of the water resting either

on the sand

or rocks.

To get these shots I'm using my big SIgma lens. I am a traffic hazard on the narrow seawall, blocking the foot traffic just a little. People have to ask me to readjust the lens positioning so they can get around me. They don't seem to mind and I certainly don't begrudge the time it takes to move out of the way. I'm planning to spend a couple of hours here enjoying the seals.

As sunset approaches, the number of seals coming in has diminished. So I reposition my lens to try to capture the wave action on the rocks.

1 comment:

Coffespaz said...

Mary Anne,

I actually tripped over your Blog and am so thrilled that I did. With your story-telling prowess, and natural talent in photography you make the reader feel like they are on location with you. I loved reading some of your entries and look forward to coming back to read more. Especially the one about whale watching in Provincetown.

I went on a trip from Boston harbor this past summer and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Not being familiar with my camera at the time, I didn't get any really great shots, but I'll remember the experience forever.

With your permission, I would love to link you with my

Hope to chat with you again.