Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to photograph Department of Conservation rangers rescuing a New Zealand fur seal pup in Houghton Bay. I saw the poor little chap the previous evening, lying on the rocks with fishing rope caught tight around his neck. I called the DOC the following morning and I arrived on scene at about 7.45am, just as it was getting light. The DOC rangers turned up about 9am. It was all over in less than 5 minutes – from descending the 20 foot embankment, to returning back to the roadside again – the DOC staff had caught, secured, removed the rope, and released the seal back to its home. The low light required me to shoot at ISO 3200, 125th @ f4 using a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter. Sadly a small amount of camera shake, and the dreaded noise, has crept in in some of the images.
Getting the opportunity to photograph news stories as a freelancer is often down to the luck of tripping over it, as was the literal case in this instance. Finding news stories when you are not affiliated to any news organisations is a case of being in the right place at the right time (and having the camera at hand), unless it’s one of those rare events that is publicised before hand.
These images were used by the Dominion Post (Wellington’s regional paper) in print and online, and by the DOC.