Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION - BY SPECIALTY Wildlife (Public) topic #157183
View in linear mode

Subject: "Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!" Previous topic | Next topic
FutureFocus Registered since 18th Feb 2013Tue 21-May-13 03:05 PM
64 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
Tue 21-May-13 03:06 PM by FutureFocus

Leominster, US
          

What did you do in order to get nice shots (or to increase the probability of doing so) while on a whalewatch?

This will be my first opportunity to try mine on the high seas being a fairly new acquisition and the season is just a couple of weeks old.

Would you care to share any advice in order to improve my chances of nailing some great captures? What should I do doing and how should (what shutter speeds/etc.) the camera be set-up for flukes, breeches, bubble-feeding and taking shots of the harbor/coastline while out to sea/on the move?

Hope there's something to capture this time around as the last one I went on had none!

Prior trips included taking a video cam which will be left behind for obvious reasons.

Want to make the most of the new “baby”!

Thanks in advance.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
JosephK Silver Member
21st May 2013
1
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
avisys Silver Member
21st May 2013
2
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
Antero52 Silver Member
21st May 2013
3
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
GiantTristan Silver Member
21st May 2013
4
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
JonK Moderator
22nd May 2013
5
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
bga123 Silver Member
22nd May 2013
6
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
GiantTristan Silver Member
22nd May 2013
7
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
FutureFocus
24th May 2013
15
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
K64drb Gold Member
22nd May 2013
8
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
JonK Moderator
22nd May 2013
9
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
FutureFocus
23rd May 2013
10
     Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
K64drb Gold Member
23rd May 2013
11
     Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
FutureFocus
24th May 2013
14
     Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
JonK Moderator
24th May 2013
13
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
rwwright Platinum Member
23rd May 2013
12
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
CorVette98 Gold Member
24th May 2013
16
Reply message RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!
rexster314 Silver Member
28th May 2013
17

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Tue 21-May-13 07:25 PM
4106 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#1. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

You are shooting a moving target from a moving platform. You will want a higher shutter speed to freeze the action. Depending on the motion from the boat, setting your VR to "active" might be needed (if the lens has VR).

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

avisys Silver Member Charter MemberTue 21-May-13 07:44 PM
416 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#2. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


Placitas, US
          

And consider some kind of cover to protect the camera and lens from salt spray if the boat is at all small.

AviSys

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009Tue 21-May-13 08:10 PM
2493 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


Vantaa, FI
          

I've only once in my life been on a whaling trip. With Jamie's from Ucluelet, Vancouver Island. I posted some shots here:

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=175&topic_id=95458&prev_page=show_topic&gid=95458#95463

We saw grey whales and humpbacks, from a respectful distance. I took all shots at or near the long end of my 50-500mm zoom (on a D800E). The whales came to the surface for breathing perhaps once per minute, for a few seconds at a time. The tricky thing is to have your camera pointing at the right direction at the right time to capture the puff. After that, you'll have about two seconds to capture the back, and sometimes the tail. Based on my extremely limited experience, if you try to get exactly frame-filling shots you may end up with none because the whaling boat may not stay near the whales for more than 30 minutes, and you may have 20-30 attempts to get the puff. Zoom a little wide and crop at home. This will increase your chances of getting keepers. The platform is wobbly so the shutter speed should be 1/1000s or faster.

Regards, Antero

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Tue 21-May-13 08:16 PM
1809 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#4. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 22-May-13 03:29 AM by GiantTristan

Stamford, US
          

I took a whale watch excursion off the Acadia Peninsula, Maine, several years back. During the trip the sky was overcast and the sea was fairly rough I selected my D200 over the D700 because of the longer reach of the DX camera. I used exclusively my 70-200/2.8 VR1 with the VR set at "active". I kept the aperture at f/5.6 and never let the shutter speed drop below 1/320s, but the sharpest captures I got at 1/500s or faster. Most pictures were taken at focal lengths of 100-200mm. I used CF high with release priority. Only removed lens cap to take some shots to minimize salt spray.

I selected a spot at the bow of boat to get a good angle of view. On a sunny day, do not forget a CPL filter.

Enjoy the trip,

Tristan

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Wed 22-May-13 02:07 AM
4428 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


New York, US
          

I shot whales a years ago off Maui. Generally, the boats keep a good distance from the whales — over a hundred yards — unless a whale gets curious and approaches the boat. Don't count on that.

I shot with a 70-200 with the TC20-III on a D3s. I cranked up the ISO to get a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000 to freeze whale and water motion. And don't forget the bounding boat! Aperture as f/5.6, effectively wide open with the TC; stopping down to f/8 might have been useful. My ISO was 3200 on an overcast day.

The problem is reach. Even at 400mm, these are big crops. Real big crops. WIth your 300, you'll be cropping a bit more. Shoot lots, and don't waste time chimping if the whales are up. Capture lots of frames, and with careful post work, you can get some interesting images.

And maybe a whale will get curious…

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!








Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
bga123 Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Dec 2002Wed 22-May-13 02:26 AM
59 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 5


Atlanta, US
          

I'd like to add my recommendation to use a polarizing filter to help saturate the colors and the minimize the surface reflections.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Wed 22-May-13 03:20 AM
1809 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 5
Wed 22-May-13 03:36 AM by GiantTristan

Stamford, US
          

These are beautiful! My own production was more like this: D200, 70-200/2.8 @170mm, 1/500s, F/5.6, ISO 400.


Tristan

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
FutureFocus Registered since 18th Feb 2013Fri 24-May-13 02:23 AM
64 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#15. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 5


Leominster, US
          

Jon,

You really caught my attention with the first shot.

If I should be so fortunate as to be given such an opportunity.

Here off the coast of Massachusetts, I'm told the whales in part are still in transit to the area (Stellwagen Bank) from the Carribean.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

K64drb Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012Wed 22-May-13 06:56 PM
225 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#8. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


Blacksburg, US
          

While I've never done anything like that, it does sound like the time you want to use high speed continuous release mode. If you see something about to happen that will only last a second or two, rather than trying to capture a single great shot, point the camera, sit on the shutter button in continuous release mode, and capture the whole event start to finish. That way you stand a much improved chance that one of those images will great. You may well throw away 99%, but who cares. In simpler terms, just approach it like you are shooting video.

------
Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing." (And a grandson to share my toys!)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Wed 22-May-13 07:00 PM
4428 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#9. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 8


New York, US
          

Absolutely right.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
FutureFocus Registered since 18th Feb 2013Thu 23-May-13 02:23 AM
64 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#10. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 8


Leominster, US
          

Thanks for all of your informative responses and for the added bonus of a few shots! So much potential.

There's only one issue I can think of with high speed continuous mode.

If you don't have a 1000x/very high card with adequate buffering capability wouldn't the D-800 potentially "choke" as it may not be able to ingest all that data and pause?

What kind/caliber of memory card is up to that demand?

My card is middle of the road.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
K64drb Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012Thu 23-May-13 03:40 AM
225 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 10
Thu 23-May-13 03:43 AM by K64drb

Blacksburg, US
          

I have two 32G SanDisk Extreme Pro cards, and they will handle will handle whatever the D800 puts through to them. I shoot everything in RAW, so this is the most demanding on shoving individual files through the pipeline and at some point, the frames per second will slow down, but that takes a while to get to that point, although I've never measured it. But as I understand it, when this happens it is the camera's own memory buffer maxing out, not because the cards can't handle it, but the camera itself can only process so much data over a long period.

If I were you, before going on this very special photo op, I would invest in some cards that meet or exceed your D800's capability. I know they are relatively expensive, but you have invested a whole lot in the D800, and now is not the time to skimp on something that could create a weak link in letting the camera deliver it's full potential for you.

And when you are shooting in this mode, if you have both a CF and SD card, all else being equal between them, the CF card can be written to a little more quickly than the SD. I'm not sure, but I think the CF card has some level of built in processor that expedites things to a degree. That's why it's bigger and a little more expensive.

You already own the best camera there is - get the best cards for it. Take care of your D800, and your D800 will take care of you!!

------
Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing." (And a grandson to share my toys!)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
FutureFocus Registered since 18th Feb 2013Fri 24-May-13 02:20 AM
64 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#14. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 11


Leominster, US
          

I'm going to purchase a card fit for the occasion.

Thanks for the recommendation.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Fri 24-May-13 01:46 AM
4428 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#13. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 10


New York, US
          

You should get about 15 images before the buffer fills. The covers a sighting, breach, and dive. If the whale stays on the surface you will probably stop shooting and wait for a status change.

I have not looked it up, but I assume that in DX mode the files are smaller and you get more shots before the buffer fills. But I think you'll do fine with normal FX operation.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

rwwright Platinum Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2003Thu 23-May-13 04:47 AM
593 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#12. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


Fairview, TX, US
          

this is the most important tip you will get..

get lucky...

went to cabo in feb and all others went out on whale watching boat and did not see any.
next day we went on a dinner cruise and two whales came to visit and stayed within touching range of boat for 45 minutes. got a great shot of someone on another boat taking photo of whale jumping (looks like into boat).

just luck. (and a good camera with acceptable lens available)

My Gallery

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

CorVette98 Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Mar 2013Fri 24-May-13 02:57 AM
24 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#16. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 0


Mountain View, US
          

Hello Bruce

Timing and location are obviously critical to successful whale photos. Almost every year, Jim Cline offers the Baja Gray Whales Photo Tour. If should have any interest in this journey, I suggest that you refer to JimClinephototours.com for further information.

Good luck, Chap

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
rexster314 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Dec 2004Tue 28-May-13 03:36 AM
26 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#17. "RE: Seeking any timely whalewatch techinique tips!"
In response to Reply # 16


Angleton, US
          

I've been to Maui numerous times over the years and have gotten some really great shots and a lot of not-so-great shots. Remember you're at the mercy of the whale(s). A lot depends on the boat captain and if he/she willing to break away from one pod to go look at another, more active pod. I started out using the regular program mode of my D300 and using ISO640. The last several years Shutter priority has been my choice with a setting of at least 1/500th and ISO640. Most of my good ones have been using this setup. Haven't had a chance with my new D800, however, but I know I would start out with a tried and true setting then work from there.
Here's one from last year.



Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION - BY SPECIALTY Wildlife (Public) topic #157183 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.