As whale-watching enthusiasts, we’ve spent hours floating off the coast of Montague Island just to capture that perfect whale-watching photo.
We will share our insider knowledge to help you take your whale-watching photography to the next level. Get ready for an adventure. The whales are calling.
Gear Up Tips: Essential Equipment and Techniques for Whale-Watching Photography
You need the right equipment to capture the perfect whale photography. As whale-watching guides, we know the right gear to help you capture the perfect shot.
Here are our top tips:
- Invest in a high-quality camera. Whale-watching photos require fast shutter speeds. It must be able to capture sharp images from a moving boat.
- A stable tripod or monopod is useful on a rocking boat. If that’s not possible, lean against a rail for stability.
- Shoot in shutter priority or manual mode. A fast shutter speed, at least 1/500 second, will freeze the action. Adjust ISO and aperture for proper exposure.
- Continuous autofocus and burst mode are must-haves. Hold down the shutter as the whales surface to capture the perfect moment.
- Photograph the blow as the whale exhales. Capture the grace of its tail as it dives.
With the right gear and technique, you’ll come away from Montague Island with whale-watching photos you’ll treasure.
Composition Tips: How to Frame the Perfect Whale-Watching Photo
Composition is key to capturing the perfect whale-watching photos on Montague Island. Here are a few whale photography tips to help you frame breathtaking shots.
Find the right angle
Get close to the water’s surface and point your camera at a 450 angle. It gives a sense of the massive size of the creatures.
Focus on the action
Capture a whale breaching or spy-hopping out of the water. Try a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and a burst mode. It helps to snap multiple shots in quick succession.
Include the environment
Don’t focus solely on the whales themselves. Give viewers a sense of place by including the surrounding seascape.
Steady your shot
Place your camera on a solid surface like the boat railing. A monopod or tripod helps reduce blur from camera shake.
With the right techniques and patience, you’ll be framing perfect whale-watching photos in no time.
Timing Tips: When and Where to Capture the Best Whale-Watching Moments
When it comes to whale-watching photography, timing is everything. As local tour guides, we know the best times and places to spot these magnificent creatures on Montague Island.
Whales are most active in the early morning and evening when feeding and socialising. These are peak times for breaching, spy hopping, tail slapping, and other exciting behaviours.
The annual humpback whale migration brings hundreds of whales past Montague Island between May and November. During the peak of migration in August and September, you’ll have the best chance to spot whales in large numbers.
Watch for the blowholes of whales as they surface to breathe. Whales typically surface every 10–15 minutes, so if you spot a blowhole, grab your camera because the whale will likely dive back down shortly after.
Additional Whale Photography Tips
Here are a few more tips to help you capture the perfect whale-watching photos:
- Use a long zoom lens. It allows you to get in close without disturbing the whales.
- Shoot in continuous mode. Once you spot a whale, start shooting in continuous mode.
- Aim for eye contact. Try to capture photos where the whale is looking directly at the camera. Whales are curious creatures who may swim closer and pose for intimate portraits if you remain still.
- Be respectful of the whales. Whale watching is a privilege. Always give the whales plenty of space, and do not make sudden noises or movements that may startle them.
Following our whale photography tips, you can capture the perfect whale-watching photos. Pack the right gear, scout the best spots, have patience, and get creative with your compositions.
Get in touch with us right away if you have any further inquiries. We’re always happy to help!