Outer Shores Photo Tour 2014: Pacific Rim National Park

Outer Shores Photo Tour 2014: Pacific Rim National Park

Day 1 – Sea Lions and Bears

At long last the inaugural Outer Shores Photo Tour was upon us! After all meeting at the Passing Cloud, we went into town for a hearty dinner to break the ice. Upon our return we spent an hour covering optimizing our camera settings to get the best data possible from each digital capture. During the course of the discussion we touched on some of the challenges unique to coastal photography and ways we might mitigate them. Then it was off to bed in preparation for an early start the next morning.

California Sea Lion
A California sea lion, one of two species here on the west coast surfaces in early morning light.

Morning brought bright sunshine with a light frost and we spent a couple of hours just after sunrise photographing sea lions in the bay, as well as practicing our still life compositions on some wild flowers. Once our captain Russ Markel had prepped the boat for departure, we motored out into the Broken Group for our first taste of the wild beauty of Barkley Sound.

Scientists may have a more mechanistic explanation, but to my eye these two were stealing an early morning kiss!
Scientists may have a more mechanistic explanation, but to my eye these two were stealing an early morning kiss!
A sea lion keeps pace with the Passing Cloud as we motor into Barkley Sound.
A sea lion keeps pace with the Passing Cloud as we motor into Barkley Sound.

It wasn’t long before we spotted a large mixed flock of sea birds hammering a ball of bait fish just below the surface. We immediately took to the zodiac for a closer look and then spent some time cruising around a large estuary known to Russ for its abundant black bears. It didn’t disappoint, and in fact we were treated to a bear foraging on a rocky point a mere 30m from where the Passing Cloud was anchored!

A black bear forages on spring grasses a mere 30m from where we were anchored.
A black bear forages on spring grasses a mere 30m from where we were anchored.
Seemingly oblivious to the insects swarming around him, a black bear gives us a good look over.
Seemingly oblivious to the insects swarming around him, a black bear gives us a good look over.

After spending some more time in the estuary after dinner photographing wading birds at low tide we turned in, happy and contented with our first day of capturing life in a pristine coastal ecosystem.

A group of sandpipers forages at low tide.
A group of sandpipers forages at low tide.

 

A yellow legs considers its reflection.
A yellow legs considers its reflection.
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