The difficulties of being a wildlife photographer.

Today's blog by Roy.

Wildlife photography while stood on a boat as you can imagine has some advantages and disadvantages. When going along next to the islands you can definitely get much closer to the different species living on land than if you had walked towards them trying to get a photo. The animals seem to be curious about the boat rather than seeing it as a threat so species like Red deer will stand and stare which makes for a great photo, of course the wildlife doesn’t always stick to the script and instead of being curious just ignore the boat altogether which gives a much more natural feel to the photographs.

Customers photographing a common seal.
Customers photographing a common seal.

Another huge bonus of using a boat to take photographs is the varied amount of wildlife you get the opportunity to see, from Red deer to Wild Boar on land, White Tailed Sea Eagles, Gannets and Golden Eagles in the air and from Common Seals to Bottlenose Dolphins in the sea. When you also add in the amazing landscape there is endless opportunity for capturing moments.

Red deer are often spotted on our trips.
Red deer are often spotted on our trips.

The main problem with capturing good photographs is the movement of the boat, using a tripod on board is out of the question as any movement of the boat will also move the camera so getting used to taking the photos from hand is a must, this way you can track your subject much easier as it moves across the landscape or through the water whilst also trying to counteract the movement of the boat. A skill much more difficult when you take into consideration you should have three points of contact with the boat so sitting or leaning against something is the best way to combat this problem.

Who's watching who?
Who's watching who?

Getting to go out on the boat every day taking photographs also helps with keeping tracks on certain wildlife for conservation reasons, we work with the Hebridean Wildlife And Dolphin Trust and send them all our records when we get Cetacean sightings with any photographs we have taken. This helps with their records and to see how far certain species are travelling and any habits that they have.

Bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose dolphin