As we settle back into our summer abode and prepare the hostel for incoming guests, we are once again awestruck by the beauty of this place. The amazing cliffs, the beautiful skies, the savage sea, and the wildlife.
Living in an Instagram filter is both wonderful and challenging, as photos never seem to do the landscape or its inhabitants justice. One of my biggest challenges is photographing wildlife. Luckily for me, there is an expert in this very subject who lives just down the road.
Paul Dolk is an incredibly talented wildlife photographer from Holland, who also has the pleasure of calling this peninsula his summer home.
In an effort to improve my own skills, and in the hope that I may inspire some of my friends and guests to test their own skill, I asked Paul for his top tips on capturing great wildlife shots.
Tip 1 Take your time.
Don’t look around for two minutes and then assume there is nothing here. If whale watching from shore, stay at one spot for at least 30-60 minutes.
Tip 2 Don’t reject the obvious places.
For puffins head to Elliston, for gannets go to Cape St. Mary’s etc.
Tip 3 Get out early!
Some animals are most active in the morning, like the foxes at the end of the Skerwink Trail.
Tip 4 Use the Sun.
The best light is early morning and later in the afternoon.
Tip 5 Take advantage of local knowledge.
Ask local people about where to watch wild life, they know the area better than anyone!
Tip 6 Be Patient.
Many animals will come and go from wharves and stages, especially during the fishery when there are fish scraps, including small whales like minkes and belugas, and seals. So sit and wait.
Tip7 Keep your eyes out for nests and habitats.
Look for beaver lodges in the ponds. Active beaver lodges usually have branches with leaves on them or look for “fresh” little dams they have built. Watch for the beavers when they get active around dusk.
Tip 8 Always play it safe.
Never approach big wildlife, like moose or bear, no matter how cute they look. Your picture is not worth your life.
Paul also welcomes guests out for trips with him from Open Hall in Bonavista Bay, and you can visit his website here for more of his beautiful photos, and to get in touch!