Stand By Me

Ian Coble had purchased a waterproof housing for his camera earlier in the summer, and after a photo trip to Hawaii wanted to get back into the water for more shooting. So he called his friend Ben Rhodea, an expert stand-up paddleboarder, and they met up at nearby Elliott Bay, outside Seattle, Washington.

It was a clear day, and the Bay, which is part of Puget Sound, was getting the moderate, manageable waves that result from freighters and ferries cutting across the water. In this shot, Ian, about a hundred yards from shore in a wetsuit and flippers, nicely positioned Seattle’s Space Needle at the right-hand edge of the frame.

Of course, none of the above makes the picture the charmer it is. That credit goes to Tele, Ben’s 2-year-old (presumed) American Eskimo-Husky mix.

Ian doubts that Tele’s perfect stance can be taught or her enthusiastic attitude coaxed. “I think that happens if you take a dog out on the water at a young age,” he says. “They live on a lake, so Tele is used to being on the water, and in and on watercraft. She’s done it since she was a puppy, loves it, and knows how to stand to keep her balance.”

Ian asked Ben to paddle around him, making runs so he could photograph. “He would come by and turn and come around again and give me a number of views,” Ian says. “I gave him directions and requested the moves and maneuvers.”

Tele, however, required no prompting. She’s a natural.

You can view a number of Ian Coble’s sports and lifestyle images at his website,

© Ian Coble

Tech Talk: Ian’s Nikon D800 and AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens were in an SPL waterproof housing. The camera was set for 1/400 sec, f/20, ISO 1250, manual exposure, and spot metering.