Be The Champ! – The Spread


Be The Champ!

The Spread  / Alex Mustard
– Crash course

‘The main challenge of the darkness is with exposures
…settings are way beyond what we normally use
0718 mustard seals
A crash of Californian sea-lion pups, taken with a Nikon D4 and Nikonos 13mm. Subal housing. 2 x Seacam strobes. 1/250th @ f/10, ISO 800.

SEA-LIONS ARE CONSTANTLY in motion. In fact, I’m convinced they enjoy demonstrating their acrobatic superiority of the underwater world to divers. This makes it much easier to focus our attention and our lens on keeping one neatly composed within our frame.

However, snapping sea-lions singly means that our pictures won’t communicate one of their key characteristics – that sea-lions are social and gregarious. They are celebrated in a wide range of collective nouns.

On land a group of sea-lions is called a rookery, while in the water they can be called a raft, a flock, a herd or a pod.

My personal favourite is a crash of sea lions, which definitely speaks to the challenge of trying to contain multiple individuals of these furry fireworks in a single photograph! But shooting sea-lions en masse is definitely a challenge that we should take on.

This group were still very young and constrained in the shallows of Santa Barbara island in California. This is great white shark country, a fact that encourages the pups to stick together, and can play on the mind of the photographer!

It’s easy to get spooked by the thought of what might be prowling behind you at the limits of visibility. Fortunately, the adorable pups help to keep your mind focused on what’s in front of the lens.

Appeared in DIVER July 2018


Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Viagra tablet

Viagra and diving: Risk reduction

Awareness is everything in diving, and BOB COLE has advice for divers who, for whatever reason, take PDE5 inhibitors I recently met an old friend

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Local Guide to Raja Ampat Reefs, #4 Neu Reef While Raja Ampat is home to an incredible number of dive sites, one area, in particular,

Follow Divernet on Social Media