Anybody shooting whales?

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Chris R-UK
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Anybody shooting whales?
6 months ago

My wife and I have done 4 trips in the last 6 years with an emphasis on whale watching, to Hawaii, twice to British Columbia and we have just come back from Baja California.  We have also done less serious whale watching in South Africa, the Canaries and the Caribbean.

I have probably taken 2,500 whale shots and of those I have taken 3-4 that are worth putting in a club competition..

I have seen probably 150 breaches (sometimes just the splash afterwards) and have only 1 half reasonable breach shot of a grey whale taken in San Ignacio Lagoon (with my backup camera, a Panasonic GH2).  It isn't really sharp and the light is difficult so it isn't competition quality.

Some shots that I like:

An orca in British Columbia, so strictly speaking a dolphin rather than a whale.  Taken early in the morning when the water was a flat calm and I love the mood and sense of threat.

A blue whale in the Sea of Cortez.  This was the only blue whale that we saw that showed its fluke when diving and I managed to get a good angle and keep some of the land in the background.

A humpback in the Sea of Cortez in the late evening sun.  The best of light in which I have ever shot a whale.

I think that the problem is that, apart from breaches and bubble feeding in Alaska, most whale shots are simply rather boring.  I have lots of shots of "friendly" grey whales coming up to the pangas in San Ignacio Lagoon, but they are just documentary shots (and mostly taken with a waterproof P&S).

I would be interested in other people's views and innovative whale shots.

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Chris R

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