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Photographing Whales Pt. 1

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

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Photographing Whales was the opportunity of a lifetime. In this case Humpback Whales but hey - the opportunity to hang out with any Whale is pretty exciting to me.

This video is the first of two parts and in it I'm going to share a day on the water with these amazing gentle giants. And they were amazing. We went out several times to spend time with them and this is actually the second day - the first was pretty rough and to be honest we just wanted to enjoy the experience.

I should point out this was not a commercial photo shoot - it was a holiday and so we treated it as such thinking what would the average photography enthusiast take with them. There was no research and things unfolded as they did. We were lucky enough to have a friend with his own boat which I admit was a big bonus.

We knew we'd be going out Whale watching one evening and it's pretty obvious that would be the best time for great light. During the day the Australian sun is very harsh so it's a no-brainer that the best shots would likely be taken with the sun low in the sky. Provided there were a couple of 'Whaley' models hanging around wanting to be photographed of course.

So this is a test shoot to find out what to expect. How fast would they move? How far away from us would the Whales be? What kind of behaviour would they display? This was an opportunity to get some great 'happy snaps' of the experience as well as to practise for when the light would be better - which is covered in Part 2.

I knew the main photography issues to contend with would be camera shake - because I'd be shooting a moving subject from a moving platform, and composition for the same reasons. I knew I'd probably have to be quick.

What focal length lens would I be likely to need? I thought the Whales would probably be off somewhere in the distance... But what happened completely blew me away because

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commasopencommascloseThere is no doubt that if you were to give The 7 Building Blocks course to anyone it could not fail to improve their pictures. As you can go back and review any of the blocks at any time it will probably become the best resource any photographer could wish for.
- Tony Duke -

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