The Alaskan Sea Otter is an incredibly charismatic critter that you simply fall in love with the first time you see them! The first otter biologist we worked with called them Teddy Bears of the Sea and the next biologist called them the Clowns of the Sea. They are both and so much more. When you’re on the water with them, they share their world with you as they sleep, eat, swim and of course, constantly replenish the air in their thick coats. It’s soooo easy to get caught up in all of this as you watch them in your viewfinder and forget the one very important element, the background.
Sea Otters tend to have light-toned heads, more so as they get older. Since the mind’s eye goes to light and bright first, this basic physiological characteristic makes it really simple to make the Otter in their watery world pop in your photo no matter how small it is in the frame. That’s unless you lose track of the bright highlights/reflections of the water surrounding them. That’s not to say those reflections from the sky need to be entirely eliminated, but minimized doesn’t hurt your visual storytelling. You want your viewer’s eye going to just one place in your photo, to that cute Sea Otter!