On my trip to Morro Bay in October, I tried to focus on my photography and get out of the bad habits I’d let myself fall into. While up for a dawn shoot, just as the sun tipped above the hills across the harbor, the light exploded on the water with a golden hue. I then noticed the otter mom and pup nearby and realized I could get this shot.

I took a similar shot way back in 2009 and I’ve wanted to reproduce it for a number of years because the old shot has technical problems, but despite many attempts, I’ve never been able to make it happen. As soon as I realized I had my chance, I went and grabbed it. That color bath on the water lasted less than five minutes and then it was gone, so this is one of those classic landscape wait and panic moments, but I’m quite happy with the end result.

This one is clearly one of my favorite images of 2017.

Sea Otter Mom with her pup at dawn, Morro Bay Harbor

Buy the print: If you want your own copy of this, it’s available as a print over on my Fineartamerica site. I think it’d be incredible as a metal print or on canvas.