CORNWALL 86 – GREY SEAL, ST IVES

 

 

grey-seal-st-ives
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Grey Seal off the end of Smeatons Pier, St Ives, Cornwall; 21 Sept 2016.

We’ve just spent a few days in Hayle, down near the southwestern tip of Cornwall – and the English weather, always an uncertainty, has been good to us.  When in this part of the world, a visit to beautiful St Ives is always a treat, and especially so on a bright sunny day with the tide in – the colours and light are simply out of this world – maybe because St Ives is surrounded on two or three sides by the bright sea.

Good things about this image?  Well, it was the first time my wife had seen this creature in the wild, which was a huge plus.  We’ve never seen seals there before, and the newly erected warnings about feeding them may mean that, like gulls, crows, Foxes and many others, these denizens of wild coasts have also developed a liking for Man’s tasty titbits.  Certainly an incoming fishing boat threw him some welcome morsels, which were hastily gobbled up – but maybe a Cornish pasty might send him sinking down to the bottom!

And also, just look at the colour of that seawater – for someone brought up along the muddy shores of the Bristol Channel, these clear, emerald waters are beautiful beyond belief.

But getting a shot like this with the X-T1’s auto focus is really not that easy – I was wishing I’d listened to my better judgement and brought a Nikon along for the day.  And neither am I a fan of the X-T1’s electronic viewfinder (or of electronic viewfinders in general) for such encounters with the natural world – for many subjects, many of the things I shoot, the X-T1’s viewfinder is a real treat to use, but where the subject is moving, things aren’t so straightforward. 

However, Amateur Photographer magazine has just dropped through our letterbox – and its in depth review of the X-T2, the X-T1’s successor, praises the improvements in auto focus speed on the new model – so maybe that problem is solved.  But at the moment, for the moving natural world – and especially if I’m close in to it – I prefer the speed and accuracy of the Nikons’ autofocus, and their speed of light, optical viewfinders.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

16 Responses to CORNWALL 86 – GREY SEAL, ST IVES

  1. bluebrightly says:

    What an “Aww…” photo this is!

    Like

  2. LensScaper says:

    We spent a week of our honeymoon in St Ives – a very long time ago, and loved it. The colour of the water is spectacular, Adrian. Great shot. I have been very impressed recently with my Nikon’s autofocus. Seagulls are a new phenomenon for me having lived dead centre in the UK for over forty years, and I am enjoying capturing them in flight and I am delighted at how well the camera follows focus so reliably.

    Like

  3. krikitarts says:

    Ah the liquid eyes. They seem so expressive at first glance, but then again, it’s hard to determine quite where they’re looking. And yet, again, are we justified in trying to assign readable expressions into wild animals’ countenances? Frankly, I seriously doubt it. But it’s still fun to try!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I doubt it too, Gary – this may be my most successful seal shot, I’ve yet to look closely at the others – but one thing I like here is that very thin, crescent moon on the leading edge of the eye (can’t recall correct term for it!) – but I rather think he’s looking at me as he swims past. A

      Liked by 1 person

      • krikitarts says:

        It’s the sclera, but most folks just call it the white of the eye. Interestingly, this reminds me of an equestrian term in German for a horse that can’t quite be trusted if you turn your back to him, which translates directly as “He shows too much white!” –In other words, he’s always watching you out of the corner of his eye, waiting for an opportunity to give you a surprise nip–or worse. I doubt, though, that your seal had any such devious thoughts.

        Like

  4. The color of the water was what I noticed right off. Doing well, bud. Hope you’re the same. XXX ATP XXX

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      If you’re ever on this side of The Pond, getting down to St Ives would be a must – and the more so on a sunny day with the tide in, tho its still very attractive at low tide. I’m ok thanks, one or two minor medical things, but nothing serious. Was shocked to hear about a bomb in NJ, what a world we are in now. ATP XXX

      Like

  5. paula graham says:

    Fabulous face and the colouring is superb. That St. Ives green is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      The X-T1’s sensor seems very good with colour (and exposure) generally, I don’t often have to make further adjustments. Which may be something to do with Fujifilm’s production of excellent colour slide films in the past – esp Provia 400X and Velvia – which were my standard “camera ammo” prior to going digital >>> Fuji knows about colour!

      Like

  6. Meanderer says:

    What a wonderful photo! How lovely to have seen this creature in such beautifully-coloured waters. Haven’t been to Cornwall for a couple of years – St Ives is a wonderful place. Hope you had a good and revitalising break!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Glad it gets to you, M – I often think I’d like to spend my “older years” in St Ives, wandering off around the harbour and the beaches every morning would never be boring. Yes, our break was good, thanks. A

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful shot, a treat to see.

    Like

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