Dolphins at Dawn

About the photo


This image is simple and powerful. It captures a time and a place. I captured it because I was ready. The dolphins surfaced while I was waiting for the fog to lift to photograph the light house (just visible). I worked out where they’d come up next, waded out to there and waited. Luck was on my side.


How it was taken


The image is on Kodachrome 64 and shot using a Sigma APO 400mm f5.6 telephoto at f5.6 and a shutter of about 1/500th of a second. It was on apeture priority on a Petax Super A. I used a motordrive but only this shot (the first) worked. Exposure compensation was a +1 stop to allow the orange glow of the sun to come through. The meter in older SLRs was fairly heavilly centre weighted. Focus was manual and pre-focused where I guessed the dolphins would surface. I got wet shorts as I had to wade into the water to get the right angle to have them, the sun and the lighthouse and headland in the one shot. There’s no zoom on the lens so I had to compose based on what I had to work with and use my legs to zoom in to frame it.