I am finally coming down after an unbelievable morning. I went down to the waterfront to test-drive my new Minolta Maxxum 100-200mm lens, which I paired with a 2x extender. I thought I’d take pictures of boats and, if I was lucky, maybe a seal or two. I wandered down one pier, where I did spot one seal, only I couldn’t find a good vantage point. So, after pacing for a bit – it made me think of how my cats will dart from one window to the next for a clear view of a bird in a tree – I decided to check out the next pier over.
Well, there I hit paydirt. I saw a couple of seals, and when I ventured closer, I realized that a woman on a lobster boat was feeding them bait out of a big bucket. I settled in and got a bunch of shots of seals coming up for their morning snack. The light wasn’t great, so I bumped my ISO up to 400. The pictures came out alright, but unless I have tons of light, I don’t think the extender is a good idea with this lens. Still, they are better than anything I’ve gotten to date.
OK, so while this is awesome and everything, it’s not even the best part. The woman finished up with the bucket and went inside the boat, so I figured, “Show over.” But then she returned with another bucket and started rolling up her sleeve and putting her glove back on… at which point I found the unmitigated nerve to call over to her and ask whether I could take pictures from where she was. And she said YES. (The moral being, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, right?) So, I go running over there, clamber onto the boat, and get to see the seals close-up as she’s feeding them. Whee!!!
And, as if that were not enough – by then I was ready to go spiraling off into space, I was so wound – a mama and her pup (we assume) came by, and it was black and white and floating on its back!!! (Maybe he/she hadn’t yet figured out how to come up for air any other way?)
Now, I know people will probably have negative things to say about feeding harbor seals, but as a nature lover and photographer, I would never, ever have gotten to see these guys and get the pictures that I did any other way, so… I’m not really in a position to take a side. All I know is, this is the best day I’ve had in a long, long time!!!