…morning light is magic…

Sea Otters at Morro Bay, CA

Spent last weekend at Morro Bay in California taking photos of sea otters.  This was my second trip there in the last 4 1/2 years.  Got some time to see some old friends and make some new ones.  Love this small bay town and need to try to make this an annual trip.

Day 1 was cloudy with about 20 otters wrapped up in sea weed near the Morro Bay rock.  They wrap themselves in kelp to keep them from floating away at night while sleeping.

Tried to get as close to the water as possible, which meant positioning my tripod on the rocks and sitting on a rock for a few hours.  Had to shift position when the water came up with the tide.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, + 1 2/3 exposure compensation, 500mm


Aperture priority, 1/400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, + 2 exposure compensation, 500mm


Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F4.5, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, + 2 exposure compensation, 500mm 

12 responses

  1. Wonderful photos!

    November 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

  2. Thanks Belinda. It was lots of fun and can’t wait to go back again.

    November 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm

  3. Amanda

    Aww… look at those teeth – I think we can see all 32 of them! Love the detail!

    November 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

  4. Graham

    A bit of anthropomorphism but is the last photo a smile or a grimace at being the subject of your photo, do you think? 🙂 Love the pics.

    November 13, 2017 at 12:20 am

  5. Thanks Amanda.

    November 13, 2017 at 4:35 am

  6. Thanks Graham. No smile or grimace. He was just rubbing his face early in the morning. He could have cared less if I was there or not.

    November 13, 2017 at 4:38 am

  7. Graham

    I know that face rubbing feeling. 🙂

    November 13, 2017 at 11:25 am

  8. Newton Hightower

    Hey Tim, Let me know the next time you are planning a trip to Morro Bay. I live in Arroyo Grande, which is about 45 min South. I display my photos at Gallery at Marina Square. You will remember some of the ones I took with you. (805) 295 – 1536.

    Newton P.S. Great Shot

    Sent from my iPhone


    November 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

  9. You and me both.

    November 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

  10. Hi Newton. Didn’t realize that you lived that close to Moro Bay. I only had 2 days to spare and had to drive back to Bakersfield to fly back to Houston.

    November 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm

  11. “Wow, Grandma, what big teeth you have!” (And many!) 😉

    Awesome captures, I do believe the second one is smiling at you!

    An interesting tidbit that I recently read, baby otters wag their tails when they are happy, just like a dog. Sounds so cute!

    November 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

  12. Thanks Donna. Had not read about their tails wagging. Can’t say that I noticed that but I’ll have to check that out next time.

    November 15, 2017 at 7:26 pm

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