Are you noticing a trend here? Yes, I love my wildlife photography in summer here in British Columbia.
My favourite thing to do is go out in my little boat Snoopy and photograph the marine wildlife, should they choose to visit me.
You can’t just chase them down.
Usually I’ll see them off in the distance and go towards the general vicinity, cut the motor, and watch from a distance. But the really great shots only happen if the wildlife chooses to come to me.
One of the animals that will often choose to visit is the Pacific White Sided Dolphin. Not that I see them very often, but when I do see them, they will almost always choose to come and visit.
They are astonishingly fast and agile and they LOVE to bow-ride. So I don’t necessarily have to stop the boat. I usually slow down to only 5 knots or so and let the dolphins come and play with Snoopy.
In fact, if I stop, they will often take off after the next boat that goes by. If I keep moving a bit, they’ll stay with me and jump alongside.
To make these photos, I set a fast shutter speed of at least 1/1000 second on continuous high speed, hold up my camera a foot away from my face and shoot willy nilly. Seriously!! I’m not kidding.
Remember, I’m driving the boat at the same time and if I’m still moving, I can’t leave the helm. The dolphins are so fast that if I even try to look the viewfinder it will be too late.
So I just hold up my camera and point it in the dolphin’s general direction and hope for the best. Out of hundreds of shots, I’ll get a handful that actually have a dolphin in the frame.
Of course I would get better results if I went on a whale watching trip where I wasn’t responsible for driving the boat. But then I’d have to put up with all the other people 🙂
Photographing the dolphins the way I do is so much fun, I am always laughing out loud the whole time and leave with a big smile on my face. So it’s worth the hundreds of shots that don’t make the cut for the few that do.