The Raft

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

What are they? What are they doing? Why are the doing it?

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

A raft of sea otters (Enhydra lutris), rests during the mid-day. Although each adult and independent juvenile forages alone, sea otters tend to rest together in single-sex groups called rafts. These are all males. The older they are the whiter faces. The otters have a period of foraging and eating in the morning, starting about an hour before sunrise, then rest or sleep in mid-day. Foraging resumes for a few hours in the afternoon and subsides before sunset, and a third foraging period may occur around midnight.
The constant motion of the animals and water made it impossible to record all the animals sharply.

Technical Details

Canon EOS 5D II; Canon EF70-200mm + 2x @ 360mm; f/16 @ 1/200 sec, ISO 250; handheld to reduce the vibrations from the boat engine

Specific Feedback

whatever you wish

Interesting, but for me there is a lack of detail, too many otters in the image.
Would like to see about half of the number of sea otters. With the listed gear it may not have been possible for a tighter image.

Thank you @John_Tobias for your comments. Many people have never seen Sea Otters in the wild. This wide angle image was intended to provide a bit of an introduction to them, their habitat and some of their social behavior. I have other images with closer views. I will attach them on this reply. Perhaps one may satisfy your desire for fewer animals. I also have images of selected single animals of different ages, two of which I posted earlier.

Very interesting behaviour, never seen so many Otters together. The frame appears to be tilted and 2X on a zoom could be responsible for lack of details.

Thank you @JRajput for your comments. This was a large raft. Safety in numbers. The otters assembled here in an eddy pool near the cliff of a small island, creating the circular appearance of the raft. The frame is not tilted—in the original post the upper right corner bright area is a wave. There is no horizon visible. In the subsequent images the otters are in that circle-like raft. If you look at their eyes one can connect the pupils of an individual with a straight line, which is horizontal.

An impressive gathering, for sure.

I agree with Jagdeep that the original image (and the second added photo) appears tilted clockwise. The line along the base of the rocks in the upper left, the angle of the rippled waves, and the tilted bodies of the otters all give off this vibe.