Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday photo

There's apparently a rule of blogging that states that you have to offer some kind of serial post on Fridays - photographs, music compilations, cephalopods, whatever. Hitherto, I have been in blatant violation of this statute.

So, to get back on the right side of the law, here's a random photograph from my collection:

Snoozing otters

In 1995 I was working as the controller at the Bridge Bay marina, a pretty soft and cushy job, if you want to know the truth. Maybe I should have kept it. Anyway, there was a family of otters living in the marina, but you didn't often see them during the height of the summer, they being the skittish creatures that they are.
By September, though, the crowds were getting thin, the weather less reliable, and you might have a very slow day with almost no tourists in the marina. On one of these days, the whole otter family came out to snooze in the sun and I could leave the office to shoot some photos.

As the Flickr caption states, these guys could not lie still for more than a few seconds, so the scene was constantly changing and the biggest challenge was to avoid knocking over the tripod while giggling at this little comedy troupe. A flopping otter looks comic enough, with that elongated body, but when they're lying all over each other in a pile, it couldn't be funnier. I didn't have a reload of film available, but I did shoot off the remainder of what was in the camera.

Unfortunately, I don't have all of those slides any more. Living in dorm rooms and moving twice a year kept storage space at a premium and I developed the habit of weeding my photographs ruthlessly. If I had two dozen photographs of an animal, I would keep only the best two or three and pitch the rest. That means I don't have much in the way of 'record' shots, those photos you take just to help recall the time and place. I kept only those photos that struck me as having some artistic merit. One of the advantages of digital images is their easy storage demands; a 100-GB external hard drive takes up less space than even one of the binders that I kept full of slides. Most of these new digital images are rather boring, if not outright crappy, but there's a place for that sort of thing, too. In twenty years, I'll be glad I still have them.

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

Check out my bear photo at PL. The only decent animal picture I've ever taken (except for a few of Russell, if that counts).