Best travel destinations for blue whale photography

Blue whale watching along with capturing some gracious movements of the largest creature on the earth is exhilarating. Blue whales do not pose any danger to human beings. They have no teeth and are not aggressive. This gives an avid whale watcher to freeze some great shots in with his lens.

Most of the shooting in blue whale photography is done with the most advanced DSLRs. Few great clicks when the whale raises its head above water to exhale and inhale oxygen or pods swimming to colder waters can be a valuable addition to your treasure trove.

Even if you are master in photography, you need to have a profound knowledge about the best time and place for whale spotting so that you don’t return empty handed. So make sure to build up your photography arsenal with all necessary equipment to make your blue whale photography venture a grand success.

8 – Travel destinations for epic blue whale photography:

There are not many places in the world where you get to see blue whales. The largest population of blue whales can be found off the coast of North America. Let us have a glance at few destinations where not only you can make the best of blue whale photography but also have a memorable experience of swimming with whales. 

1.     California:

CaliforniaTalking about the best time and place for blue whale photography, California remains unparalleled. It is the home to more than 2000 whales making the largest and healthiest blue whale population in the world. The population includes Blue, Gray, Humpback, Killer whales and other types that can be viewed at different times of the year.

The high population is mainly due to the presence of a large concentration of krill on which the whales feed. The best time to spot the blue whales is during August and September when they start migrating for food in the Monterey Canyon.  The researchers accompanying you in whale watching can easily identify each whale by taking pictures of the dorsal fin which differs from whale to whale.

2.     Baja California Sur, Mexico:

Blue whale watching can be exciting in the Sea of Cortez. For its large biodiversity of marine flora and fauna, this beautiful sea is also known as the “Aquarium of Mexico”.  From December to April, it is the breeding time for whales and therefore the ideal time for blue whale photography.

Local guides are available to accompany you on the boats. Just a few hundred meters from the coast, you will be among the whales. An unforgettable experience that would keep your camera busy.

3.     Saguenay – St. Lawrence Marine Park, Quebec:

Saguenay – St. Lawrence Marine Park, QuebecAlong with 1600 marine species, this marine park is known for sheltering 13 types of whales.  This includes blue whales, humpback whales and beluga whales. Shooting Humpback whales is any photographer’s delight for its lovely acrobatics and whale songs.

You will have expert guides who will introduce to the lovely marine world of cetaceans (as the whales are known). You will have enough objects to shoot as you explore the living and feeding conditions of whales in this park. The best time to visit this park is from June to September.

4.     Reykjavik and Husavik, Iceland:

This is one of the prime travel destinations where you can sight whales throughout the year. But as a tourist, it would be better to visit the place in summer that is from May to August. It is a memorable experience to watch blue whales, minke whales and other types swimming across the icy cold waters for food. Their movements and song are worth capturing.

5.     Mirissa, Sri Lanka:

Mirissa, Sri LankaHere, you get a combo experience of swimming with the big guy along with trying your photography skills. But you need to maintain a respectful distance with the whale. The guides are expert and reliable and you are likely not to face any problem.

But swimming may disturb the majestic marine world. It is better to restrict yourself to whale watching and photography. You can also go for whale spotting in small airplanes here or outskirts of Colombo. The best time to visit is March- April.

6.     Pico Island, Azores:

The archipelago comprising of 9 volcanic islands offers you ample outdoor activities like surfing, kayaking, diving and other sports. Whale watching forms a prime attraction here as pods of sperm whales and blue whales will leave you amazed. The annual migration is an opportune moment of amazing blue whale photography. The best time to visit is from February to March.

7.     San Diego, California:

San Diego, CaliforniaThis travel destination bordering Mexico is well known for watching the migration of blue and grey whales. Here you can load your cam memory with great acrobatic postures of whales. The whale watching season starts from mid-December and stretches to April.

A host of tour operators are offering exciting whale watching trips taking you near to the whales to the best possible limit. Their extensive knowledge about whale migration and their habits makes the trip more interesting. They will make arrangements for you to swim along with the whales as well. The number of swimmers is however restricted so as not to disturb these marine giants.

8.     Perth Canyon, Australia:

This is a destination worth visiting for photographing blue whales. The Perth Canyon, 27 nautical miles from the coast of Perth is the krill café that sees the annual migration of Blue Whales.  Being one of the world’s isolated coastlines, not many are aware of the treasure trove of the Perth waters.

The whale watching season spans from March to May. Apart from Blue Whales, visitors can view Sperm whales, Pilot whales, Beaked whales, Dolphins, sharks, sunfish, sea lions and migratory Antarctic sea birds.

Things to remember while photographing whales

while photographing whalesPhotographing whales is a different kind of experience. It would be prudent to take care of simple things to make the best of your trip.

  • Since you will most probably take pictures from a boat, it is better to use a camera instead of a mobile. The salty weather can damage your mobile.
  • Check the camera lenses well ahead.
  • Take tips from the guide to get the best view and angle of your photo shoots.
  • Never take a brand new camera that you haven’t tried before.
  • You may be tempted to touch the whales if you can get too close but better to maintain the virtual touch with the camera.

Do not always view whales through the camera lenses; you will miss the essence of whale watching. Keep your camera off for some time and feel the thrill of a face-to-face meet with the lively creature. Enjoy the majestic sea and breathe in tons of fresh air.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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