THE SHOT

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Baja California -

Pho­tog­ra­pher Justin Foulkes on the chal­lenges of pho­tograph­ing marine wildlife off Baja Cal­i­for­nia We were re­turn­ing by boat to La Paz from the is­land of Espíritu Santo when our cap­tain sud­denly no­ticed some marine life in the dis­tance. When we got closer, we dis­cov­ered they were false killer whales, which are ac­tu­ally the fourth-largest mem­bers of the dol­phin fam­ily. The pod was quite large but well scat­tered, and I took up po­si­tion near the bow of the boat to get a clearer view. Oc­ca­sion­ally the dol­phins would break the sur­face but it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict where they would next ap­pear. I changed to my 70-200 tele­photo lens and switched my cam­era set­tings to con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus. Soon enough, a small group started fol­low­ing the boat and rid­ing in the wake. My view was par­tially ob­scured by the back of the boat, but be­fore I’d had a chance to switch po­si­tion, a cou­ple of the dol­phins leapt into the air very close to us. For­tu­nately, I man­aged to get this un­ob­scured view be­fore they dis­ap­peared un­der the water again. We were very lucky: our guide had never seen them this close be­fore. Shot on a Nikon D800 // 70-200mm lens // ISO 500 // aper­ture f/9 // shut­ter speed 1/1250

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