Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here come the elephant seals, Año Nuevo State Reserve

Last weekend was our annual trip to Año Nuevo State Reserve to see the northern elephant seals. We had a terrific trip, and I came home with some images that I'm pretty excited about. Thus, there will likely be a lot of big marine mammals on the blog this week. I'm just so fascinated by these awesome creatures!

Nothern elephant seal, Año Nuevo State Reserve -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Here are two shots to get things started while I work my way through the pile. This is a bull on Loser's Beach making his presence known around sunset. I like the first image slightly more since the eye is a bit more visible, but the second one shows him stretched a bit taller with the nose a tad more prominent (I know, pretty subtle differences). This guy was no where near the largest of the bulls we saw, but he was the most photogenic.

Bull northern elephant seal, Año Nuevo State Reserve -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

And since making-of images are always fun, here's a shot taken by my wife of me behind the lens photographing this male. The rule at the reserve is to stay at least 25 feet away from the seals at all times, but I'm not sure that I would ever want to get that close!

Elephant seal making of


  1. Looking forward to more of these. Man, that is a beautiful light!

  2. Thanks, Springman! I've got a bunch to go through in this nice evening light, so there will certainly be more coming this week.

  3. Nice composition and color Pat. Like you, I like the first one a little more because of the greater prominence of the eye.

  4. Pat,
    Thx for stopping by. Enjoyed looking through your posts. Great stuff.
    Blue Skies,

  5. Splendid captures! Beautiful lighting. Quite a sight! Looking forward to future posts from your trip.