Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Capturing the Moment: Top Photography Tips for Whale-Watching Yacht Charters

a person standing in front of water

A whale-watching yacht tour can provide more than just memories of nature’s beauty. Novice photographers can snap some fantastic photos with no equipment but a smartphone. Follow some easy photography tips, ensure you’re on the proper settings, and consider your background to take frame-worthy pictures on a whale-watching tour.

Photography Tips for Beginners

Photography is more complex than simply pointing a camera at an interesting image. The introductory rules of photo composition can help you train your eye to “see” the perfect picture before you take it. Here are three top tips to instantly start taking better photos:

  1. Use the zoom feature to make your subjects take up more of the frame. 
  2. Pictures taken around “golden hour” — the hour before sunset and just after sunrise — have the best natural lighting.
  3. Use the rule of thirds to place focal points off-center for more dynamic compositions.

These tips apply to your whale-watching tour and any photos you take throughout a vacation.

How To Take Better Pictures on Your iPhone

With the latest few generations of iPhones, amateur photographers have all the tools they need right in their pockets. New iPhones have powerful cameras, so make the most with a few iPhone photography tips.

Pay attention to the angle of your iPhone when taking pictures. Selfies can benefit from a slight downward tilt but try to keep a phone straight up and down when taking whale and nature photos.

The iPhone’s burst photo mode is perfect for whale-watching photography. The key to most wildlife photography is patience, so capitalize on good photo moments. Taking lots of pictures in a row increases your chances that one of them will be a winner.

Ever notice the faint grid on your iPhone camera? This grid makes using the rule of thirds easy from the basic photography tips mentioned earlier. Situate the focal point on one of the grid intersections, as they’re more dynamic than the center of the frame. You can also use the grid to make the horizon nice and straight. 

a man standing next to a body of water

Best Way To Photograph Wildlife

Wildlife photography can seem more intimidating than landscape photography or simply taking pictures of family, but it’s worth trying on your next whale-watching yacht excursion.

One shot that’s easy to get when photographing whales is the fluke, or tail fins, emerging from the water. Each whale’s fluke has a different pattern, similar to a huge version of a person’s fingerprint. Since the same whales migrate through San Diego every year, there’s a chance you could catch the same whale on camera twice!

One of the most crucial wildlife photography tips is to consider your backdrop. Watching whales from a boat already offers stunning ocean views, but incorporating the shoreline can also make for memorable photos. Try to get the horizon line to sit straight across the frame for a professional-looking shot.

What Are the Best Settings for Whale Photography?

Go to your phone’s “pro” camera settings for greater control over your pictures. A raw camera mode strips back a phone camera’s autocorrection for more accurate images you can edit yourself later.

Third-party apps allow you to control your phone camera’s exposure or shutter speed and are worth playing around with before the whale-watching tour. If you want to avoid downloading additional camera apps, the sport mode on a built-in camera is excellent for capturing the dynamic movement of whales.

a whale jumping out of the water

Frame Your Photographic Memories

An excellent whale photo can make an impressive decoration for your home that is unique to your vacation experience. Use an app or service to print a large-scale copy of a phone picture and buy a matching frame to showcase it.

Capture your whale-watching tour by using your phone camera to its full advantage. Following these tips, it’s not hard to land a professional-looking shot.