Will You Love Me?

© Cindy Koller

Will You Love Me?

Uploaded: October 02, 2015 00:21:39 | Entered: October 02, 2015 00:22:59


I will never forget my experience with this 1 month old weiner (baby elephant seal) on Fortuna Bay on South Georgia Island. These weiners are left by their monthers at one month old so they are very curious guys (200-300 lbs). Rules on the island are that humans cannot get closer than 15' to the animals, however the animals can come to you, and with both penguins and weiners, that is never an issue. This ended when he tried to climb on me to kiss me.

FYI, for this shot, I was using a Nikor 17-35 wide angle lens, and he was as close to it without touching it as he could have been.


Debbie Bray October 02, 2015

How adorable!! I would love him to kiss me! A gorgeous up close capture, Cindy! What a great experience! #1638854

Karen E. Gold level-deluxe October 02, 2015

OMG Cindy, what a adorable capture and wonderful story. Makes me want to reach out and give him a nose rub. #11381228

Cindy Koller October 02, 2015

I wanted to touch him as well, but these are wild animals and as a wildlife photographer, being allowed access to these very special animals, it is really important to follow the rules. Once he started climbing on me, although fun, I knew it was time to stop, as they just want to play, but at 200-300 lbs, and very strong, even though they have no teeth yet, it became clear to me how quickly things could get out of control, plus I knew my keepers were watching and would not be happy. Believe me, there were other photographers watching, and they took some great photos of me interacting with him, so I have those memories so I could see all that came down too! #11381272

Karen E. Gold level-deluxe October 02, 2015

What a special moment for you and that others captured it for you is so special. Hope to see this one again. #11381276

Ujjwal Mukherjee October 28, 2015

This is SUPER, Cindy!! I can imagine how thrilling that moment must have been for you , even as a viewer I am thrilled - hope to see this again!! #11392863

Bob Cournoyer level-classic October 30, 2015

Wowzers! We'll see this again for sure.... :-)

Usman M. Bajwa level-classic October 30, 2015

This should grace the cover of Nat Geographer. Such cool pov and intimacy with the wild is very rare to see, Cindy. Thanks for sharing. Good luck!!! #11393661

Sherran Andersen level-classic October 31, 2015

So sweet. #11393759

Cindy Koller November 01, 2015

Thanks guys. I hope it goes further. I was provided amazing mentoring by the best wildlife photographers in the world while on this trip, but when I took this shot, most folks went off the other direction to shoot the baby kings but a few of us stayed with the elephant seals and no one was disappointed, however most folks were afraid to let them come close. I knew that they were extremely curious and gentle, al beit heavy and encouraged it, as this was specifically a shot I had wanted to come back with.

Next time I see Frans Lanting, I'll let him know you think it should get a Nat Geo cover and see what he says. #11393935

Nikki McDonald level-classic November 01, 2015

This is just amazing and should get the grand prize this month, Cindy. No matter what happens, you will always have this amazing experience and the photos to document it. #11394202

Nikki McDonald level-classic November 01, 2015

This is just amazing and should get the grand prize this month, Cindy. No matter what happens, you will always have this amazing experience and the photos to document it. #11394203

Cindy Koller November 02, 2015

Well, my overweight flippered friend agrees with you, but as you know this place is not predictable. I'm just glad folks are getting to enjoy him. #11394591

Peggy Pfister level-classic November 06, 2015

What a sublime experience and absolutely awesome capture, Cindy! Best of luck in the contest ... I'm seeing gold for sure! #11395824

Cindy Koller November 08, 2015

Thank you so much for you comment. I means a lot to me. #11396560

Peggy Pfister level-classic November 29, 2015

No surprise to see silver here! Best of luck in the next round! #11405184

Val Feldman level-deluxe November 29, 2015

Has to be a Gold Winner...just has to be. So upfront and personal, perfectly executed and what a wonderfully sweet face, to boot! Fingers crossed for sure for you, Cindy. It's a beauty! Huge congrats!!! #11405299

Bob Cournoyer level-classic November 30, 2015

Congrats on your gold, Cindy... :-) #11405525

Robin R. November 30, 2015

Wonderful capture of a great subject. Congrats. #11406095

Usman M. Bajwa level-classic November 30, 2015

Glad to see this among the Winners, Cindy. Lets see a POTD on it soon too!

UB. #11406103

JO ANN CLEVELAND December 01, 2015

Congrats on your 2nd Place winner, he is too cute Cindy! #11406430

Karen E. Gold level-deluxe December 01, 2015

Congratulations on your win Cindy......love this capture. #11406501

Patrick Rouzes level-classic December 03, 2015

Congrats on this exceptional WINNER, Cindy! #11407408

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