New Zealand – Sea Lion

Whilst in Kaikoura in the South Island of New Zealand I was able to spend a few hours photographing the native Sea Lions after returning from a morning shoot photographing Sperm Whales. The Sea Lions congregate amongst the extensive rock formations right along the side of the road as it winds its way along the coast – there are actually signs on the side of the road for drivers to watch out for them. I found they are quite approachable as long as you stay out of their threat range; which seemed to be something in the order of twenty feet or so. I shot a couple of hundred frames of the seals waiting to capture one of them actually doing something (most of the time they just lie around in the sun and open an occasional eye to keep a look out how close one gets). I was told by my guide that many people mistake the New Zealand Sea Lion for a seal; which it is not. Apparently they are distinguishable from seals by their ears. This fellow kindly posed for me and let out a growl (yawn) for me to show off his teeth. Photographing the wild New Zealand Sea Lion in its natural environment was very enjoyable and was possible without a super telephoto lens. This frame was shot at close to 100mm on the full frame Canon 1DS MK 3.

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