Thrashing Splash

When the Sea Lions catch a salmon and come to the surface, the first thing they usually do is whip it back & forth extremely hard and fast to snap it into pieces that are easier to swallow quickly. In this photo, the splashes from the fish parts hitting the water made like a screen in front of the Sea Lion. The result was a rather unique image with a bit of an artistic appeal (at least in my opinion).

I recently posted this in the “Wildlife Critique” category but I immediately thought of it when I saw the challenge theme for this week. It’s really more about the splash than the Sea Lion anyway so it actually fits better here.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is always appreciated.

Technical Details

Sony a6500, FE200600G @ 303mm (454mm w/crop factor), ISO-250, f/6.3, 1/1600, hand held.


HI Gary,
The back story really helps.
The scene is chaotic and chaos may be what the sea lion wanted.
I like it as is, the image tells the rest of the story on it’s own.
I also think it fit the challenge very well! :+1:

Do you like the FE 200-600G lens? Do you find it difficult shooting hand held with slower shutter speeds like 1/250s or so? I am considering adding one to my collection.
Right now the only thing I have with a long reach is an old fully manual lens, fast focusing is impossible for me.
Anyway, great image IMHO.

All the best,


Hi Merv,

Hand held @ 1/250 is not a problem with the FE200600G at least in conjunction with my a6500. The lens has excellent stabilization and it works together with the Sony in-camera stabilization. There are 3 modes you have to pick from so it helps to make sure you’re using the right mode. One is for subject movement with non-moving background, another is for panning with a moving subject and the third is for everything stationary (such as a portrait). I pretty much just leave it on the panning mode because I predominantly shoot wildlife with that lens. It still seems to work just fine when I take an occasional still shot. Here is an example of a hand held shot @ 493mm & 1/80 shutter speed:

What a shot, Gary. It is all about the water spray. I love the swirl to the left side of the Sea Lion.

Hi Gary,
Thank you for taking the time to tell me about the lens, I really appreciate it!
I think I’m sold on that lens for wildlife shoots .
The main lens I’m after at the moment is the Sony 90mm Macro f2.8, then the 200-600G.
This helped me make up my mind so thanks again and thanks for posting the example image too!
The detail and overall feel is awesome!
I am so used to old glass and old cameras that it’s almost a shock to see this level of detail.

All the best,