Flipper Rides Again – Charlotte Harbor, Florida

I was on my way out to see the “white pelicans” last year with a group of photographers. The guy that I was riding with had a 24 foot deck boat and a itchy throttle hand. He would look at us from time to time and say, “Prepare your hats for 40 knots!” This guy loved going fast as I do to. If I were to go fishing, I would just throw the net over the side of the boat and have him run full throttle around the harbor all afternoon. I guess we could call this “speed fishing”. In the day of the microwave everything, why can’t we have instant fishing? I would rather spend my time photographing, than sitting out there in the hot sun and hoping that a fish would like the smell of the stink bait that I had found from under the car seat.

Ok, back to the trip. On our way out to “Pelican Island” I heard this noise as if we had a flat tire. Seeing how we were in the water, I wasn’t sure if this noise was coming from the Titanic that I just boarded or something else. I turned around and there they were. Dolphins. This was truly a unique experience.

Having a prime seat on the back of the boat, all I had to do was turn around and they were literally ten feet away from the boat. There were two of them playing in the wake from the boat. Now was the time to photograph.

How I photographed this…
Alright, it doesn’t take a manager at a fast food place to tell you that first we are on the water. Second, we are going FORTY KNOTS! Now I know how some of these acrobatic pilots feel when they are trying to concentrate in something that is going every which way but straight. No fear, shutter priority is here.

I put the camera into shutter priority and chose 1/1000 of a second. I also put the camera on continuous. I usually shoot RAW but I could only get two frames a second in RAW. I switched to JPG and now I was getting ten frames a second. They stayed with us for about ten minutes and then they want a different direction. I burned up a couple of four gig cards in five minutes. I must have taken 800 images. Everyone was laughing at me because I was “machine gunning” the camera. Well, I asked to see theirs and it seems as if they didn’t get a “good angle”. I’ll have to remember that one.

Normally I would be put off by the direct sunlight as this was mid morning. However, it was a life saver since I wanted to shoot at such a fast shutter speed. If memory serves me correctly, I think I was even at 100 ISO.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to do something different. Also, try and use the different options on your camera! To this day this is how I photograph air shows, rodeos, cars, anything that I want to freeze the action. Give this a try and see if this works for you. By the way, if you don’t know, you can click on the thumbnail of the photos and make them bigger.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


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