I photographed this sea lion in Gardner Bay in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador — the image was published by the New York Times in an article on the islands.
I know the islands well — I started my career as an intern at The Charles Darwin Station documenting the wildlife of the islands during an El Niño year. When I was approached by this particular creature, I felt he was stressed. He had an injury, probably he had been bitten by a shark. When he lunged toward me with an open mouth, I triggered the camera while backing up my hands.
When photographing wildlife, and particularly marine mammals, you need to make an effort to understand the species you will be photographing. This is also true for whales and other big animals. We are working in their environment, so we need to learn to respect them.
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