We spoke to Marten about what he thought would be the best tips for photographing wildlife in Vesteralen. He was pretty busy, so it is brief but he did emphasize that he would be more than happy to expand on these if you wanted to visit Vesterålen on either our Ultimate Whale Watching or Orca Whale Watching holidays.
Tips for visiting Vesterålen
“Climate and clothing: Vesterålen has a maritime climate with mild winters (-5 to +8 degrees Celsius) and summer (+5 to +25 degrees Celsius), so Norwegians wear mostly woollen clothing, in multiple layers. This means you can easily adjust to changes in temperature by putting on or removing clothing. Other man-made wicking materials found in outdoor clothing are also excellent. When you are out on the RIB you need to wrap up warm. While in summer you can, sometimes, get away with summer clothes you will also need to make sure you have autumn clothing as well. “
Tips for your cameras and equipment:
1. Set your white balance between 5000 and 8000 Kelvin (see the instruction booklet of your camera).
2. Although the guide will make sure the boat is as stable as possible having good balance yourself is an advantage. The combined movement of the boat and the animals can make photographing wildlife a real challenge.
3. Take more than one trip, that way you can get used to the behaviour of the animals and the motion of the boat.
4. Allow time yourself time to watch the animals without the camera. Some people can get quite emotional when they see them and you will give yourself time to study them. Regularly looking at the landscape without the camera can also help prevent motion sickness.
5. For the whales in the summer you can manage well with a lens between 200 and 400 mm and a “bright” (wide aperture) lens is a nice to have, but not necessary.
6. For bird photography, a teleconverter can be very useful, particularly if you are not in possession of an expensive 600 or 800mm lens.
7. In the winter, a lens between 100 and 200 mm to get pictures of the humpback and killer whales is recommended.
8. In the winter controlling your brightness is a must, from F2.8 and below is highly recommended at any time that the sun is not high in the sky.
9. During the winter nights, a wide angle lens for the Northern Lights will be useful.