December 26, 2013

Shy Sea Lion

Photograph by Ron Watkins

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Photo Contest Images

The Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortez are home to large colonies of sea lions. Typically they are quite playful in the water and like to interact with divers, but I spotted this little pup on the rocks sunning itself. I was attempting an over/under shot split below and above the water. After several attempts of going in and out of the water and adjusting my settings, I noticed the sea lion was curious enough to stick his head under the water and see what I was doing. It was one of those rare moments in nature where you feel you actually connect to the marine life.

(This photo and caption were submitted to the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest.)


See all 2012 contest entries »
Browse galleries of our editors' favorites from this year's contest »

34 comments
Brian Salah
Brian Salah

Beautiful shot. If it weren't for the fish, I would have no idea that the picture was taken underwater

Janice H.
Janice H.

Awww, such a precious face.      The beautiful, crystal clear water really emphasized the purity of the shot; and the lovely little fish swimming by just made it perfect!

Mark Freerks
Mark Freerks

A unique view, this is something most people would miss. It shows what you can find is you pay attention to your surroundings.

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

Liquid silver,two soulful eyes, and a small fish! These combined make for a wonderful picture. What a beautiful thing marine life is, even tho' I have always been afraid of the mighty ocean!  Thank you again for a great picture, and allowing me to 'be there'  j.e.s.

John Nick
John Nick

First I saw a pond, then the fishes, then the pond again but from underwater.

keerthi kumar
keerthi kumar

Excellent, lot technique is involved in this photo

Rafael Koria
Rafael Koria

Well done in capturing this playful and fresh mood. Unique photo.  

Lawrence Sibley
Lawrence Sibley

I was disoriented by this photo until I read the story explaining it was taken from underwater.  Before getting oriented, I thought it odd that the little fish were flying beside the barnacle covered rock.


I just love the visual complexity on the surface of the water - so many intriguing shapes and forms, including something that looks like a black cartoon seal in the upper right corner.


I notice that the photographer has placed the sea lion pup at the juncture of a vertical and horizontal third in the photo's composition.  

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