How to Fully Enjoy San Juan Island Whale Watching

There’s no denying that orca whales are majestic creatures. It’s no wonder that many tourists take a San Juan Island whale watching trip to see these sea mammals in action. Of course, it’s not just enough to see them in person, most tourists wish to photograph that magic moment when the orcas finally breach the ocean’s surface.

However, this is easier said than done. After all, you’ll be onboard a ship that’s rocking on the ocean while attempting to photograph a fast moving object. What’s a frustrated (or newbie) shutterbug to do? If you want to snap the perfect whale photo, below are some crucial tips:

Choose the Right Boat

Given the popularity of whale watching, most boats or ships tend to be overcrowded with passengers. That means the moment that a whale appears all of you will be clamoring to snap a photo.ot exactly the most conducive scenario, right? As such, try to pick whale watching tours that offer plenty of room and longer tours to increase your chances of taking the perfect picture.  Plan to make a full-day of it and prepare to photograph all the wildlife to be found.

Bring the Right Camera

Sorry, but your smartphone camera isn’t going to cut it this time. Instead, bring along a DSLR camera for your trip. These point-and-shoot cameras are great because you can attach longer lenses, allowing you to get closer shots of the orcas. If possible, bring a lense with a 70-300 range for the best results.

Set Your Camera Correctly

As previously mentioned, whales aren’t going to stand around and wait for you to compose your shot. They’ll be moving at fast speeds, so you have to configure your shutter speeds to the appropriate setting. In this scenario, a shutter speed of 1000-1200 and an ISO of 400 should allow you to snap beautiful photos of these majestic beasts mid-action.

Spotting a whale during your cruise is not guaranteed, but it pays to be prepared when they do grace you with their presence. Hopefully, these tips will help you achieve that National Geographic worthy shot.


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