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Dolphin & calf

Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by alanhill, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. A few more photos of the bottle-nosed dolphins at Chanonry Point.
    Dolphin photography is a frustrating business - I have lots of photos of patches of sea, some of which are in focus, quite a few splashes and plenty of dorsal fins and tail flukes - and just occasionally a good shot showing more of the animals, which makes the whole thing worthwhile. These photos were taken on two successive afternoons, when the conditions of wind, tide and light were changing constantly.
    This year I saw a female with a calf frequently - I believe it was the same two dolphins each time.

    A dolphin calf usually stays very close to mother.
    NIKON D300    ---    300mm    f/8.0    1/400s    ISO 200

    This little guy ventured away to do a bit of body surfing in the waves.
    NIKON D300    ---    300mm    f/7.1    1/500s    ISO 200

    He or she had quite a big audience on the Point. I'm not sure if spy hopping is a sign of curiosity or showing off - perhaps it's both.
    NIKON D300    ---    420mm    f/8.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    This ship was irresistible. They joined some other dolphins to ride its bow wave. Mother and calf jumped together initially, but then the little one flew solo.
    MV Border Heather is a 3100 ton petrol tanker, she was heading for Inverness.

    When they came back inshore, the calf was still excited.
    NIKON D300    ---    420mm    f/8.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    Towards evening the sea became calmer and I managed to get shots of the way the calf follows its mother.
    NIKON D300    ---    420mm    f/9.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    NIKON D300    ---    420mm    f/9.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    NIKON D300    ---    420mm    f/8.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    D300 & 300mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor on monopod, with TC1.4 too, except the first two photos.

  2. Hi Alan,

    A great set of photos! That calf is getting quite large.

    Dolphin are hard to shoot, especially from on-shore. It was a little easier from on a ship since the bow wave drew them in and you could see them looking down below the water. You still got a lot of holes in the water where the dolphin just was!

    Some of our dolphin photos are here:

    Bob & Nan
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. cute shots, alan
    we are lucky to have dolphin that swim a few blocks from my house, year 'round
    they are such wonderful, curious, intelligent, and photogenic creatures

    thanks for sharing these with us
  4. Billh


    Jan 26, 2008
    Northern, VA
    Nice series. These guys are fascinating. Sometimes when sailing in the Grenadines, large numbers of them would swim beside us, and they seemed as curious about us as we were about them.
  5. Thank you for the comments.
    I must go on a whale-watching cruise one of these days. There are short trips to watch these dolphins but the boatmen are careful not to get too close, so I think you often get better views from the shore - always providing that you are in the right place at the right time.
    It must be wonderful to live near dolphin habitat. I have to drive the best part of 400 miles to get to the spot where I took these shots (to be fair, there are some that live closer, but they aren't as easy to see).

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