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Humpback Whales off Binalong Bay

During last weeks Bay of Fires workshop my guests and I were extremely fortunate to experience a small family of humpback whales off Binalong Bay!

Humpback Whale Tasmania Binalong Bay

Humpback whale off Binalong Bay, Sept 24 2019

We were on board the Bay of Fires Eco Tours Cruise, and the skipper very kindly stopped and let us view the gentle giants of the ocean and we enjoyed the sight of what seemed to be three whales – parents and a calf on their annual migration past Tasmania on their way back to the southern ocean for summer.

Humpback Whale Tasmania Binalong Bay

Humpback whales off Binalong Bay, Sept 24 2019.

The whales came to the surface repeatedly, blowing and displaying their tail flukes nicely. We weren’t treated to any big breaches, and I didn’t notice any flippers, but it was a real surprise and a great experience for us all.

Tail flukes of the humpback whale

Tail flukes of the humpback whales

 

Humpback Whale with Binalong Bay on the background.

Humpback Whale with Binalong Bay on the background. September 24, 2019

 

Humpback Whale with Binalong Bay on the background.

Humpback Whale with Binalong Bay on the background. September 24, 2019

 

Humpback whale off Binalong Bay

Humpback whale off Binalong Bay

 

Humpback whale off Binalong Bay

Humpback whale off Binalong Bay

Photographing the whales

A fast shutter speed really is the key. Not only are the whales moving, but so are you as you bob around in the boat.

Whales Tasmania

My shot of the day. Tail flukes of one whale and the “hump” and fin of another. With some of the rocky islands which the Bay of Fires coast is known for 🙂

I shot these in TAv mode which is basically Manual but with flexible ISO. It was a very bright day so I stopped down as much as f8 but generally settled on f6.3. Shutter speed was as fast as 1/2000, and I dialed in a little exposure compensation too. With these settings, the ISO generally settled quite close to 100, indicating I could potentially have even used a faster shutter speed.

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Luke O'Brien

About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.