How to Take Great Marine Life Photos
Between the reflection off the water and the movement of your boat or kayak, these shots can be tough. Some tips:
- Avoid using a flash, to mitigate reflections and possible distractions.
- Use a fast shutter speed to help compensate for all the movement.
- Use a polarizer to cut reflections and enrich colors.
- Don't pursue or call out to the animal. Not only will it scare him, but it typically doesn't work. Meanwhile, harassing wildlife is illegal ($1,000 fine and jail time).
- Play hard to get. Doing something interesting—focusing your attention elsewhere, twirling some keys—without seeming to look at the animal may get, say, an otter's attention and he'll approach you instead.
- Be Ethical. Read on for safe, health wildlife viewing habits.
How to Behave Around Marine Life
- Keep Your Distance. At least 100 yards away—and don't get between a mother and young.
- Keep it brief. Limit close viewing to half an hour.
- Don't take up too much space. If you're with other people and paddling in areas with lots of whale activity, stay with your group rather then spreading out.
- Watch for distress: repeated noises, erratic swimming, charging at interlopers, shielding their young, or erratic tail movements.