Adorable Baby Seal Pup and Respecting Wildlife as a Photographer

Yesterday, June 30th, 2010 was my lucky day.

I have walked the beaches in Tofino on Vancouver Island over a million times it seems, (especially my favorite, Long Beach) and have never seen this before.

A baby seal pup, right on the beach! My heart is full, and I feel totally blessed to live in such a beautiful place where one can be so close to nature, and on a rare occasion, experience something like this.

As a photographer, I am always very respectful of wildlife, especially babies. They are so adorable and cute, that you want to get right up close, but people do not realize that it actually causes stress for the babies. So as much as I wanted to get super close, I didn’t … but used the camera lens to do the work.

According to wildlife officials, 50 feet away, is a general rule of thumb, to keep your distance away from baby seals, and this was true also, on my trip to Molokai, where I had a similar experience with an endangered baby Hawaiian Monk Seal sunning and sleeping on the beach for the entire day until Mom came back and brought it back out to the ocean at supper time.

In order to get the best photographs of the baby seal below, on Long Beach (which is on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada), of course, I had to get dirty, lie down in the dirt, sand, water and mud, and just observe and let the baby do it’s thing. Gaining trust is crucial for great wildlife photos. If you say that you LOVE wildlife as I do, you show it by respect (especially important as a photographer).

What was disappointing to me, is as soon as I left to take a break, two guys with big cameras, big lenses, all the fancy gear, including flashes going off! … were hovering right over the baby, and getting in, within 12-18 inches of the baby to get the best shots. I was furious. How disrespectful. If you love wildlife, you love wildlife, and think of them FIRST, not your success as a photographer. Two amateurs with all the fancy gear but not knowing which buttons to push, and no respect for animals, broke my heart. This caused visible stress to this adorable baby seal pup, who clearly just wanted and needed to have a rest and nap.

The only thing that I regret (and I will do this next time) is that I did not take a photo of these wildlife Paparazzi (as I call them) in action, so I could post it on a blog or newspaper, to show “what not do do” as a wildlife photographer. Darn. It would have been a great shot, as they looked so ridiculous, and I felt for the baby, who clearly just wanted to go to sleep and have a rest, and wait for Mom.

Anyway, on to more positive things! My photos of this adorable baby seal pup. Here they are, and I am thrilled with how they turned out. Images were taken with a Canon 50D and a 70-200 L series lens.

The baby kept inching itself closer and closer to shore, each time the tide would come in and even just slightly touch it with water. Clearly it just wanted to stay warm in the sun and sand and have a sleep. After speaking with wildlife officials, they stated that the seal pup would keep doing that likely for at least another 2 hours while the tide came in, and I had already been there for about an hour. The main concern for wildlife officials was keeping human beings at a reasonable distance, and to keep dogs that were illegally off leash, away from the pup. Glad for those wildlife officials who do this job. They also said there could have possibly been another couple of pups coming to shore as well, with Mom (seals) likely not far away in the ocean, watching our every move.

So, I am one happy photographer.

Enjoy.

~ brenda johima ~

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima

Images Are Copyright 2010 Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission


Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you/re looking for? Drop me a comment on a post or contact me so I can help you out!

Find Out What Else I Do:

My other websites and companies...