It’s been an excellent season of whale watching here on Vancouver Island this past summer! First I got my dream photo of an Orca with Mount Baker in the background. Then I had my Humpback Whale encounter.
But I also saw the Orcas many other times during my boating trips so I wanted to share some of the other photos I made this summer with you as well.
There were quite a few young calfs this year and I don’t think I have ever seen the Orcas swim so closely together.
Look how close these three dorsal fins are in the photo below!
I bet you’re wondering how three whales can get their dorsal fins so close. It’s because one of the whales is huge and there are two small ones, so the large one was underneath the two smaller ones!
The large Orca has the largest fin in the photo, but you are only seeing the very tip of it. With the two smaller whales you are seeing almost the whole dorsal fins
One of my favourite images from this summer is this image of an Orca Spy Hopping. That’s when they come out of the water straight up like this to have a look around.
The image is a little bit soft though and I was kicking myself afterwards for being so conservative with the ISO. I really should have cranked the ISO up much higher than it was (at ISO 400) which would have enabled me to get a faster shutter speed. This image was made at 1/800th of a second, which is usually plenty, but it wasn’t enough in this case. And when things are happening quickly, I usually don’t want to chimp and look at my LCD and risk missing a shot.
Oh well, it’s not perfect, but I still like the image. The Orca did his spy hop right behind my boat! It was an amazing experience even if the photo is soft.
It’s always a tough call. Do you chimp and risk missing a shot? Or do you not chimp and find out later your shutter speed wasn’t fast enough for moving subjects? Sometimes the best answer is to just go with a really high ISO and worry about the noise later.
Here’s another image where an Orca was spy hopping!
To me, this is a classic west coast shot with the ocean, the trees, the fishing boats and the Orcas.
I’ll probably only have a few more opportunities to see the whales and experience boating in BC this year since the boat comes out of the water on the 15th to be put away for winter before we head south for our next snowbird season in the USA. I’m looking forward to summer again!
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