Whether it’s your first visit to British Columbia or your hundredth, a visit to Sointula BC will no doubt leave you stunned by the beautiful landscapes that surround you. From the towering mountains in the distance to the tranquil coastal waters to the deep forests, these vibrant landscapes are just waiting for you to explore them. And in each one, you’ll find a variety of unique and beautiful wildlife.

Spend a day fishing off the coast of Malcolm Island, and you could find yourself riding alongside orcas or dolphins. Keep your eyes peeled for bears or wolves along the shoreline. Don’t forget to look up to spot bald eagles and countless other bird species.

Having a camera or even your smartphone along—and knowing how to use it — can help you take home some souvenir-worthy photos of the wildlife you see. This also means you’ll have more than stories to share with friends and family back home. Ready to start planning your next Sointula BC adventure? Keep reading to learn a few wildlife photography tips you can put to use during your trip.

Get to Know Your Camera at Home

Wildlife photography is a tricky business. Even with the best equipment, capturing images of wild animals can be difficult. Many move quickly. This means that you won’t have much time to choose the right camera setting or to set up the perfect shot.

It’s important to understand how your camera works before your trip. Look for opportunities to practice using your camera in quick situations. Take it with you on a trip to your local zoo. Use it to get pictures of your kids as they race across the soccer field. Try snapping a few pics of your family pets as they play or run outside. The more comfortable you are quickly setting your camera and snapping a shot, the better prepared you’ll be for your trip.

Patience is Paramount

The wildlife that you’ll encounter moves fast. However, wildlife photography still requires patience. If you’re headed out for the day specifically hoping to capture some great shots, it can become discouraging if you don’t see many animals right away. Sointula BC is full of wildlife. But it’s still very possible to go long hours or even a day without getting lucky enough to spot very much.

It’s important to not get discouraged! Getting discouraged can cause you to lose focus. This could even lead to you missing the shot when an animal does appear.

Choose a Fast Shutter Speed

A good rule of thumb to stick to when choosing a shutter speed is to think about how much light you will let in. A faster shutter speed means less light, while a slower shutter speed lets more light in. In low-light situations, you may need a slower speed to illuminate your images. However, a slow shutter speed, mixed with a fast-moving animal, will leave your images blurry.

This can make a huge difference when shooting wildlife pictures — the less blurry your photos are, the more impressive they look! In most cases, you’ll want to use a fast shutter speed, especially when capturing whales, orcas, and other quick creatures. You can always brighten your images in editing afterward. But fixing a blurry photo is far more challenging.

Experiment with ISO

ISO is a term that photographers use to describe the level of sensitivity to light in their cameras. From a technical standpoint, increasing your ISO will allow you to shoot in darker conditions and create images with less noise (when there is too much light). However, this will also result in more grain or noise.

While higher ISOs can be used to compensate for low light situations or freeze motion (think sports), they have unique aesthetic qualities that can’t be ignored.

As with all of your camera’s features, take some time to get familiar with your camera’s ISO settings ahead of your trip.

Use a Tripod or Monopod

You may think that a tripod is only for landscape photographers, but this isn’t the case. A sturdy tripod or monopod can make all the difference in whether or not you get great shots of wildlife in their natural habitat.

Tripods are important for wildlife photography because they help you avoid camera shake, which makes your photos blurry and unusable.

Camera shake can be instigated by many things: wind, movement from yourself or other people around you, vibrations from nearby traffic (or even cars driving), etc. To avoid these issues when shooting with a big telephoto lens, it’s best to use a tripod or monopod to help keep your camera steady whenever possible.

Preparing for Your Sointula BC Adventure

The most important thing you can do when photographing wildlife is to always be prepared for anything! And the more practice you can get with your camera ahead of your trip, the better prepared you’ll be when you come face to face with wildlife during your Sointula BC adventure!

Ready to start planning your next visit? First, you’ll want to choose the right Sointula rentals for your stay! Check out our planning resources today to choose the right hotel, vacation rental, or all-inclusive resort for your next visit!