My take on shooting wild dolphins and whales

My favourite shooting subjects are wild whales and dolphins but it can be very challenging to shoot great photos from it so I decided to leave some ideas here that may help you very much in case you go one a whale watching trip.

Even thought I don't go on whale whatching trips as often as I would like, I still went more times then I can count and with each trip I learned more and more.

First of all if you are planing a whale whatching trip you should always go on the first trip in the morning, this is because usualy the animals are more active in the morning and also because the morning light is the softest.

Setting the camera is also very important, I set mine on Aperture Priority mode (betwen 7.1 and 9.0) to give that extra depht of field but alwas keep an eye on the shutter speed, you will want

fast speeds, if shutter speed is less then 1/200 set higher ISO speed.

The lens choice is also important less than 70 mm is not going to give you the close up you want. If the lens as image stabilizer the better but it is not essential.

Dolphins are the biggest challenge since they are as fast as lightning.

In order too shoot them you should start by looking at the back of the boat since they usualy jump paralel to the boat, so if you want to capture the face and not the tail look back.

Trie to focus your self on one dolphin only and track it and when it is near the surface start shooting to capture the jump. Dolphins run in packs if you trie to capture every dolphin jumping you will end up with nothing good.

Remember this, I am not a pro but I am lucky to live on an island that is packed with dolphins and sperm whales so I leraned this all by myself, my photos are not photoshoped, not even croped.

I hope you find this useful I know I would have like to have read this the first time I went on a whale whatching trip :) Take Care ;)

Photo credits: Jaime Debrum.

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March 26, 2010


Thanks everyone for your nice coments

March 26, 2010


I've seen wild dolphins in Lagos (Algarve)...they swam below boat! It was're a lucky man! Good sales with your beauties!

March 26, 2010


Beautiful images:)

March 25, 2010



March 25, 2010


Excellent images! Thanks for the tips :)

March 25, 2010


Great images

March 25, 2010


Wow, beautyful pictures! Congratulations.

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