In conjunction with the American Cetacean Society, The Spout put on a whale photography workshop at Boiler Bay State Park just north of Depoe Bay, Oregon. The course was focused on two primary aspects:

The first topic was whale behavior. In order to make better whale photographs, it is important to understand the behavior of whales to better predict when and where you’ll need to shoot. While whales are wild animals that can go wherever they please, they tend to follow patterns that make it easier to capture photos.

After a brief refresher on what various components of digital cameras do, the discussion turned to best settings for making whale photos. While the conversation covered the settings with great detail, the outcome was to use the following:

  • Aperture Priority (Usually set somewhere between f/5.6 and f/11 based on artistic direction)
  • Auto ISO
    • Minimum shutter speed of 1/500
    • Maximum ISO of 3200 (This varies based on camera model)

The event finished with a quick raffle for some shirts, hats, and an autographed copy of Bryant Austin’s book, “Beautiful Whale.”