Welcome to my 2018 Twelve Days of Photos, where I look at one of the images I chose to include in my best of year selection and talk a bit about it. To see the entire list of images I chose and learn more about my year in photography, please check out my 2018 Best Photos of the Year post. You can also look at all of the images over on my Smugmug Portfolio Site, and I’ve embedded a slideshow at the end of this post. To see a larger version of the image, you can click on it.

Sea Otter Feeding, Morro Bay Harbor

Morro Bay is a favorite place for my to visit. It is a great birding area with many wonderful preserves and open spaces, and the harbor is always full of a variety of species. It’s also one of the best places to photograph otters, since it has a growing colony and they are often close in to the shores in good view. If there’s a challenge with the otters, it’s that often the light is terrible from the best shooting locations, with a lot of harsh back light with limited windows where both the light and otters cooperate.

When it does, though, you can get some stunning work with them. The otters also move around the harbor to feed or explore, and sometimes you can be in a position where some great behavior happens.

For this trip I decided to splurge a bit since I was treating it as a bit of an escape, and I rented the Fisherman House via Airbnb. It is, literally, a small cottage/shack on a pier on the Embarcadero sitting right on the harbor, so you step out on the deck and you’re literally on the water.

And this otter came by and decided to go clamming literally 50 feet offshore from the door to my house, in good afternoon light. Sometimes, it just all comes together. There’s not much more to say about it, other than trying to make sure I got a good image with the otter’s face clearly visible with an obvious view of the clam it was having for dinner.