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Three and Three

by KB 6 months ago in photography

My story of capturing photographs of wild dolphins.

It was a warm breezy day four years ago on Cape May. My grandparents had just left, gifting me and my sisters with a dolphin and whale tour at their departure. I had always been interested in photography and wildlife, my role model growing up was Jane Goodall, so I was very excited for the day.

I wrote a Vocal story about Jane Goodall, so if you want to check it out I have shared the link below. This piece displayed the impact Jane Goodall has on my life in many ways including feminism and environmentalism. It especially played a part in my love for photography and capturing the world around me.

I knew that this boat tour would be a fun way to spend our day, but not to get my hopes up in case we didn’t see any animals; the tour guide mentioned upon our arrival, “it’s quite rare to see any animals whatsoever, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled.”

Unlike other tour boats, this one was dedicated to not interfering with the wildlife. So, we would not be following a pod of dolphins or tracking down a whale. It was to be thought of as a simple boat ride; if the animals come, they come. This was relieving to hear, knowing that the animals will not be endangered by something I was doing. Although I was younger and less knowledgeable at the time, my mind was at ease knowing I now can enjoy the ride.

About 15 minutes after leaving the dock and my hair was already misty from the waves, the tour guide announced that he saw a dolphin in the distance.

I squinted my eyes, looking towards the shore, and there I saw a tiny little fin peeking out of the water. My younger sister squealed, “I can’t see it! Move your head!” and I helped pull her up and point it out...the three of us sisters smiled with excitement.

We thought that was as close as we were going to get.

Little did we know that behind us, a pod of dolphins would follow the waves that the boat was making.

The three of us were sitting at the back of the boat when we saw one dolphin jumping through the waves. Then there was another dolphin, and then a third, and suddenly a whole pod of dolphins was swimming behind and alongside our boat.

Along with all of the other passengers, I pulled out my phone to get the perfect shot. In disbelief, I knew I needed to take a video to mark this momentous occasion, and of course, to send it to my grandparents afterward.

This went on for nearly ten minutes.

And I had about ten minutes of footage to reel over later. Later, we would share all our photographs and videos over dinner. But for now, we relished in our excitement, talking about it on our way back to the dock.

I knew that this moment was something extraordinary.

As I reviewed my pictures and videos later, I was in shock to find the frame that I did. This was the frame that you saw when clicking on the article.

Three dolphins jumping at the same time. As my two sisters and I were watching the dolphins from the back of the boat, these three dolphins captured our essence. Three and three.

We liked to think these three dolphins were sisters too, which is likely not the case, but it has always been fun to look back on and imagine it to be true.

Among all the pictures I have taken of wildlife, this has been my favorite. Yes, it is slightly blurry considering it was taken on an old iPhone, but the picture embodied this trip and my relationship to my two strong and smart sisters...qualities that dolphins share too.

I decided to post this on social media, but wanted to do a little bit of editing first; I mostly toggled with the lighting and coloring.

Below are the adjustments to the photo:

I also added some blurring to smooth out the imperfections that my low-quality photo revealed.

The final result is as below:

As much as this photo is meaningful to me, it is also important to note the harmful actions of humanity on wildlife and marine life - like the pollution from boats. There are little things that can help protect the creatures that inhabit the earth. If you’d like to hear one of my suggestions to become more eco-friendly, check out this article below:

It is necessary to be cautious and mindful of the animals and their habitats that we may come in contact with, whether it is on a daily hike or a trip for work. With that in mind, it can become an exhilarating moment to capture nature through photography.



A snippet of life. Some real, some not. Thanks for reading!

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