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I'm ready for my close-up Mr DeMille

I'm ready for my close-up Mr DeMille
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-30
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 1D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-13 1:50
Viewed: 6612
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
OK – the title is from ‘Sunset Boulevard’ – the last line in the film as Gloria Swanson has completely lost her mind and is going to be led away by the police. Although not classically beautiful, I am very fond of walrus and have been lucky enough to see them in Franz Josef Land as well as Spitzbergen. This shot was taken in very dull conditions and from a zodiac.

Walrus are easily recognised by their long tusks, they are the only living member of the Odobenidae family of pinnipeds which has two generally recognised subspecies. The Atlantic walrus (O.r. rosmarus) is found from the east Canadian Arctic eastwards to the Kara Sea. The Pacific walrus (O.r. divergens) is found in the north Pacific Ocean and in Arctic waters from the East Siberian Sea to the western Beaufort Sea, as well as in the Laptev Sea. It has been proposed by some scientists that the Laptev Sea population be given subspecific status as the Laptev walrus (O.r. laptevi) but this is not widely accepted. Accurate data on walrus abundance is not available but the most recent rough population estimates have been 22,500 Atlantic walruses (6,000 in Norway and Russia, 12,000 in Canada and 4,500 in Greenland), and a minimum of 200,000 Pacific walruses in eastern Russia and the United States.

Walruses are long-lived and have a relatively low reproductive rate, so their numbers are easily influenced by hunting and other mortality. Both subspecies of walrus have been subjected to intensive commercial hunting in the past for their blubber oil, tusk ivory and skins, leading to the extermination of local populations in some areas and severe depletion of others. Although commercial hunting has now ceased, other forms of hunting currently have the most direct and quantifiable impact on walrus populations. Native subsistence hunting of the walrus for its meat, skin, ivory, oil and other products has taken place for thousands of years and continues today. Lack of accurate information on walrus population numbers means that hunting quota levels may be having a detrimental effect on the species, particularly for the Atlantic walrus. Certainly the problem of walruses being "struck and lost" results in kill statistics that are very probably underestimated, figures of 30-42% having been quoted for the percentage of walruses killed in this way.

Atlantic Walrus: Its numbers having been decimated in the past, mainly by European sealers and whalers, the Atlantic walrus has not been able to recover and is still well below its pre-exploitation level of several hundred thousand. It is currently believed that there are eight subpopulations of Atlantic walrus, scientists concluding in 1995 that four of these were thought to be stable or increasing, two to be declining and two to have unknown status. In 1995 it was calculated that the native kill of Atlantic walrus, including those struck and lost, totalled about 1,150 per year. The native kill of Atlantic walrus takes place mostly in Canada and Western Greenland. Hunting of walrus in Norwegian waters (including the Norwegian Arctic) and the Russian western Arctic has been banned since 1952 and 1956 respectively, although there is some poaching in Russia, especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union. There are also reports of a trade in walrus calves as part of the Russian exotic animal market.

A survey of hunters and elders from Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic, released in September 2000, revealed that hunters had observed walruses and other wildlife with a large number of deformities, including swollen internal organs and missing patches of skin. A strange occurrence of "round wounds" was observed in the skin of some walruses, and the analysis of a similar abnormality found in a walrus in March 2000 had pinpointed a strain of bacteria as the cause. Hunters also reported finding walruses with fluid or pus between their meat and fat or with unusual stomach contents, and even one walrus which had its gall bladder reversed and draining into its stomach. Changes in the colour of walrus meat and fat were also reported. The survey report recommended a specific system of monitoring for such abnormalities in the future, as well as further studies on affected animals. One possible reason suggested for these abnormalities is the high level of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Canadian Arctic.

pankajbajpai, Argus, SelenE, uleko, rkailas, ramthakur, gracious, cicindela, nglen, angybone, delic, Necipp, rcrick has marked this note useful
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very cold placeswinterpalace 1 12-14 02:12
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-07-13 1:53]

Hi James,
a perfect title :)
Sharp with a brilliant low-down POV.
You are very lucky to get this opportunity to see wild Walrus.
Well done,

hi james,
nice capture, sharp image with good details, liked the pov, nice eye contact, liked the title of the shot,
tfs & regards

Hi James
The POV from the zodiac is great. There is a lot of water in the foreground but I do not see how to get a better compo, so placinc the walrus in the upper half is probably the best compo. Sharpness is great and dull light not a problem.
Great result mainly due to very nice eye contact

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-07-13 2:48]

Hello James,
Great capture of a Walrus with a fine expression of superiority. Excellent technical quality with fine detail and composition.
You are certainly a well travelled nature photographer and its nice to see the fruits of your experiences!
TFS and have a good weekend!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-07-13 2:52]

Hi James,
I liked your low POV a lot. The pose you captured is very good. TFS
Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-07-13 3:22]

Hello James,
Very fine capture of this beast posing nicely for you. I don't expect you were too close!
Excellent sharp details and a fine composition.
TFS and best regards, Ulla

Hello James

Fantastic portrait. Great POV, excellent 'soft' focus and wonderful light.


Hi James.
Great shot with perfect exposure, detail and pin sharp. Caught at a good moment with that look he is giving you.

New Zealand

What a lovely portrait of this huge Walrus, James!
Excellent point of view, colours and details.
Thanks for sharing this remarkable capture.
Best regards.

Hello James,
Beautiful, just beautiful indeed!
best pov with so much sharpness and details,
the colour real and wonderful!
thanks for sharing, James

Hello James!
This is one of these animals which I always wanted to see in the wild. Till now without any success...
Picture is sharp and has good DOF and details but I would change composition a little: to cutt some "water space" and to add a little above the mammal :)
TFS and have a nice weekend!

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-07-13 13:47]

Hi James . great picture of the Walrus. showing all the detail in the skin. good colours.i just love the look in the eye of the main one. great notes. very well done TFs.
Nick.. have a good week end.

Hello James,
A really fine portrait, where you capture the essentials of this guy so well!
Details are pin sharp, very attractive composition!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-14 1:28]

James, looking at the animal I remember the elephant trunk. what a trunk and what a way you have captured. Lovely shot. TFS Ganesh

WOW! Wonderful shot and such a very unusual subject. We don't see many walruses on TN.
Those are some mean looking tusk/teeth! :)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-17 19:20]

Hello James

A beautiful shot of this walrus.The focus is spot on with wonderful sharpness.The composition is excellent.Wonderful eye contact.TFS


  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-07-19 7:21]

Hi James,
Excellent photographic capture accompanied by a fun and informative write-up. I wonder if cropping the out-of-focus foreground would improve things, but I'm not sure. Regards,

Hello James this is a beauty the dof and sharpness is superb focus perfectly placed good pov looks like you were in the water low down good pov tfs rgds Necip.

Hello James,
A great close up portrait showing off the walrus's unique attributes. Very nice exposure with well balanced lighting across the entire subject. :)

Hi James,

Mate the whole series you've done on these shots at Phippsoya are excellent, love this one. The look alone on this Walruses face is priceless, excellent detail.

Cheers Rick :)

Hi James
Impressive close up of this big Walrus!

I do not think he likes the look of you. Is it generally OK to come so close (how close were you?) Or could you just not resist to go closer in your Zodiac?



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