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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Animal Encounters: New Zealand Fur Seal

This is a short video about a New Zealand fur seal that I encountered in my work.  I was shooting a nature documentary and this was a solitary female New Zealand fur seal that was just sunbathing in a secluded cliff side beach.

New Zealand fur seals are a species of fur seals.  They have long flippers that lets them move very quickly on land, and are known to be quite aggressive to annoying humans.

When you encounter wildlife in nature, I recommend you leave them alone.  Approaching wild animals is quite intrusive and stressful (for them), and may be very dangerous if they decide to be aggressive.  The difference between a bro and me is that I have insurance coverage for dismemberment by wildlife.

See more photos of this fur seal at my FLICKR!

Technical info below-

The video and the following images were taken using a Canon EOS 7D with a  Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD and Hoya 62mm ND filter attached.  I brought this Tamron for this project to have a light weight super zoom lens to decrease the weight of my rig. You can see the image quality for the video, it offers very functional quality.

I would love to bring a sexy canon L glass like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II but this lens is far... cheaper, and more expendable for this project.  Keep in mind I'm independent, and my insurance only covers up to a certain amount of equipment damage overseas.  Really, I used to stress over equipment a lot when I was lugging around all sorts of expensive gear.

Most importantly it's a weight issue, since I'll need to carry supplies and equipment, and I need to bring the most functional and the lightest gear.  When I was free climbing with this camera on my back, I wasn't equipment stressed at all.  Having a super zoom with good macro lets me replace many heavy lenses with one.  I bring various manual primes as well as backups, but those weight pretty much nothing.

The footage was taken at f/8, ISO 160, 1/50s.  The photos were all taken at f/8 and various ISO and shutter speeds.

 This is the scar on her back, likely from a boast propeller.

 This is what the place looked like.

Sharp teeth.  She was yawning.

That's not a wink.  She's missing an eye, probably from fighting.

See more photos of this fur seal at my FLICKR!

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