San Diego for Whale Watching — Part 2


Flagship Marietta

For the next couple of hours we chased whales . . . at a distance.  If one of the tour boats in the area observed a whale, the whole fleet would reposition close, but not too close, to that area.  Regulations require whale watching boats to approach no closer than 100 yards/90 meters.

Gray Whale

Fortunately, I had with me a Panasonic FZ1000, which has a 35mm equivalent focal range of 400mm, or about 8x telephoto magnification.

Gray Whale

The FZ1000 is a very versatile travel camera with a fairly large 1-inch sensor in a relatively compact form.  The drawback is that at its finest JPEG compression, the photos tend to show blotchiness in uniform areas, such as blue sky.  Also, vignetting at the corners is a bit of a problem, especially at the longest focal lengths.  Both problems can be solved if you store images in both JPEG and Raw, allowing you to replace the occasional defective JPEG through Raw post-processing with the Silkypix software that comes packaged with the camera.  That’s a pain, but fortunately most JPEGs from the FZ1000 aren’t bad enough to require fixing.

Gray Whale

 

Gray Whale

As you can see from today’s photos we were far from the only whale watchers out this day:

Producer

And whales were not the only animals to be seen.  Here is a dolphin:

Dolphin

This particular cruise is 3.5 hours long.  Heading back into port we passed these chaps ignoring a “No Trespassing” sign:

No Trespassing!

By the time we got back the sun was in a perfect position for this colorful shot:

San Diego

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