Bring your good camera, it wont get wet the boat is huge, but was also bring a camera bag to protect it while we are going to the whale watching area.
As you probably know, composition is key. That being said, photographing from above does not compliment the enormous whale. Shooting from the 2nd florr crows makes the whale appear smaller that if you stay on the boats deck so we recommend staying there. Which leads us to our next point
While being at the front might seem the most sensible thing to do, it’s also the most popular spot. But you’re out there to get in some amazing frames of the whales and you will need a little space to move around. Thus our photographer Bill Mckim recommends staying at the back of the right hand side on the boat. The captain will most often need to turn the boat so he sees the whale clearly for all safety, and if it happens that he’ll choose to have the whale at the left hand side, it will only take 5 seconds to change. There are less people back here and you are away from the iphone crowd!
Manual – Aperture Priority mode (Av)
While I would in almost all situations recommend the Manual mode as it opens doors to photographing in new ways I wouldn’t recommend it while out there. With constant changes in light and the clouds moving around, it’s difficult to be always looking at the built-in meter to decide on aperture and shutter speed. Instead I would recommend the aperture priority mode, setting your ISO as high as you trust your camera to handle (without noise creeping in), and then setting your aperture as high as the lightning allows (A high aperture will reduce the damage if you don’t get the focus on point) . A good rule of thumb is to never let the shutter speed get lower that 1/2000s as you will risk having your photos shaky. I like to shoot at around 4000 of a second.
This tip is a one I love. Often you’ll have the luck to have birds all around, getting one in your frame for comparison to the whale is really fun to underline the size of the whales. But when the birds just don’t go into the frame you can get really creative, putting people inside the frame or even holding some things in front of the camera (if your lens is wide enough)!
This is a common question and the answer is: Just take the your camera bag! Given that you don’t carry more than 2 lenses, you can take your camera bag – with the lenses, onboard. You can keep it inside the steering house and then take it out and switch lenses later on! It’s crucial on a trip like this to have options – If you got a good zoom lens 100-400 is my go to lens for whale watching(100-400mm, 70-200mm) that would be ideal for the first minutes of the tour but then when we get closer it’s great to be able to grab a wider lens (24-105mm).