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Auke Bay and Whale Watching

Humpback Whale, Auke Bay, AK

Auke Bay is an Ocean inlet several miles northwest of Juneau.  The natives had their settlements in Auke Bay.  Directly across from the bay is Auke Lake, a freshwater lake, which provided them with a source of fresh water during the winter months.

We boarded a boat in the marina which was outfitted for us to photograph through open window, yet be under cover in case of bad weather.  No need.  We had bright blue sky and sunlight.  Almost difficult conditions to photograph in.  Legally, the boats must stay a distance away from the whales.  Occasionally, a whale will surface much closer to the boat — but we didn’t have that experience.

I set the 70-300 on continuous, and used shutter priority, using an 1/800 second speed and set the

Humback Whale, Auke Bay, AK

ISO high enough to yield no larger than f8 aperature.  The new D700 showed its “stuff” here.  I have become more and more “fearless” about boosting the ISO setting up to accommodate low light conditions.

I was a bit disappointed in the whale watching excursion.  I had hope for closer shots with more definition.  The fluke shots are unmistakable.  But they were few and far between.  The others are not necessarily obvious to the observer unless pointed out.  I did get a couple that I thought were post-worthy.  While a long distance and through the haze, the shot, with the fluke and the gull in flight with the snow-capped mountains in the background, is my favorite.

Humpback Whale, Auke Bay, AK

Humback Whale, Auke Bay, AK

View of Balien, Humpback Whales, Auke Bay, AK


2 Responses

  1. Andy: Your photo of the whale with the water dripping from its tail, the snowy mountain and gull, is definately my favorite of all your shots. It is very “Alaska” indeed! I find it to be such an invigorating picture!

    I’ve always wanted to go whale watching. Lucky you to have done that in such an awesome place!

    • Thanks, CT. It definitely gives an “AK mood” on screen. To me, the proof has always been in the print (NPI). I’ll have to try to print it and see what I get.

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