Washington State


I spent the last week in Seattle and the San Juan Islands and just had a blast! First, the weather was stupendous. I’ve never been there when it was 75 and sunny everyday for a week. It really was just brilliant. It was also great because I got to hang out with my photo pal, Brenda Berry. She is a great portrait photographer and a lot of fun to hang out with. Brenda and Jon have a great house on Bainbridge Island and I always find something to photograph in her yard, which always manages to annoy her because she never gets around to photographing her own yard birds! Here are a couple of favorites from this trip. I’ve also always wanted to go watch the Orca’s in the San Juan Islands. With the weather being perfect and having some extra time, I made it happen on this trip. I left out of Bellingham aboard the Island Mariner. Very well run trip on a very large boat. The nice thing about this boat was that it was very stable, no rocking and rolling. This is a big plus for photographers and those without sea legs. The downside was even though fast for its size it can take a while to find the whales. The naturalist on board made the time without whales entertaining and educational. I was happy to get a couple of bird shots as well as my first jellyfish photograph.

Of course the Orca’s are the stars out here and it was with some relief that we found them. Even though the success rate of seeing the whales is high, they are wild and you just never know. This was a very challenging shoot to say the least. Even though stable, the boat is moving, the whales are moving, the whales are underwater 95%  of the time… You get the picture. So I was very happy to get a couple of keepers. My favorite is this with Mt Baker for a background. I was soo busy trying to get a shot that I didn’t realize that we were in line with the mountain until the naturalist asked if I got it in the images. I re-doubled my effort to make that happen and got a bit lucky.

I also took a trip out of Friendly Harbor aboard the Western Prince. This was a smaller and more intimate boat. It was a very fast boat and we were with the whales in a fraction of the time it took aboard the larger boat. I had a better time viewing the whales on this boat, but had less success in my photography. I would like a to go back and give it another try and would spend more time in San Juan and Friendly Harbor. I am very excited to get back out there and give the orcas another shot!

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