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Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

houston,tx
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Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

Hi,

My wife and I are planning to hit the Galapagos this fall and where wondering if someone could recommend a good tour to take (it be land or sea) to be able to take animal photography.

Ive been reading lots of info, but its a bit overwhelming. I was hoping someone point me in the right direction and I could go from there.

We are both fluent in spanish and can get around on our own, but I dont want to leave out the opportunity to miss any good animal sitghting points.

Thanks

Jaime

Ottawa, Canada
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for Galapagos Islands
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1. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

Dear Holy Banana (good one!),

You should be able to encounter a good diversity of wildlife on the outskirts of town, or in the highlands. A cruise will get you to more dramatic landscapes and to those less easily accessible places. On a cruise, you are restricted by the need to follow the group. Some cruises are more focused on photography - you might want to look for one. I understand that the other Destination Expert for this forum - DP Software - is organizing a photography cruise next year. Such a cruise is likely to have you spend a lot more time at visitor sites, and likely to have you there earlier / later in the day, when the lighting is better.

You might want to consult this book: http://www.opentravelinfo.com/node/2643 "Wildlife of the Galapagos (Traveller's Guide)" by Daniel Fitter (a good friend who has a long, multi-generational history in Galapagos, and who has sadly moved to the continent earlier this year!), Julian Fitter and David Hosking. It has a great section on photography. Daniel actually earns a decent income from his Galapagos photography work.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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2. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

We were aboard the Samba, which tries very hard to gear their tours for photographers by being the first on the islands in the morning and usually the last to leave in the afternoon (leisurely paced, as well), we came home w/about 3,000 photos, here's a small example...

http://bethbillsadventures.shutterfly.com/33

Scroll down the left side and click on the book to be viewed, then enlarge (you still won't be able to read the text).

Enjoy!

Quito, Ecuador
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3. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

You´ll be able to snap off thousands of photos on any cruise, really! One thing I liked about Athala was that they had an open sun deck atop the ship, and another passenger set up her tripod up there for the whole cruise! Also, the Lindblad Expeditions /vNational Geographic team has a pro photographer www.expeditions.com/Photographer_Chart694.asp on all of their cruises. Good luck!

Bristol, United...
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4. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

I think I am safe under the forum rules giving my website as I have been directly mentioned already. It is only a single trip so will only be of use if the dates suit you:

www.dpphotoimages.com/galaptour/index.html

The thing to look out for is if there is any special arrangement for getting onto the islands in good light which is very early mornings and late afternoons. Even some of the photo cruises don't seem to cater for this and its more about having a photographer on a regular cruise. It does mean getting up early though - so not suitable for everyone.

I can certainly give you info on where to go if you are going to put together your own land based tour or which islands you need on a cruise for particular species. To see everything it would be best to combine land and cruise based.

Many land trips can be done without national park guides but on a cruise and some day trips you must be within sight of the guide at all times. This is why it is difficult to combine photographers with regular tourists.

I might be a little slower in answering at the moemnt as I am on holiday in Las Vegas.

Dave Peters

DP Software

houston,tx
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5. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

Thanks everyone for replying to this post. I spoke with my wife and she has told me that she doesnt want to spend the the entire trip dedicated to photography, so I need to find one that is accomodating to photography but it is not its main focus.

I looked at the Samba and it looks like a great boat. Howver I looked at it's schedule and it departs on a Tuesday which makes it hard for me to accomodate.

Any other boat recommendation anyone can give me in regards to accomodating to photograhy?

Thanks for the input so far.

Jaime

Quito, Ecuador
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651 posts
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6. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

Glad we have been of some help! In my opinion, all of the Galapagos cruises will offer a dream holiday for you, and your wife! There is just so much to see and do, and there will be thousands of "kodac moments!" I´d suggest figuring out which animals you are most interested in photographing, then building your plans from there, as you can choose a boat that will visit the islands you would like to photograph! Flightless cormorants? Fernandina! Albatross? Española ..... Keep us posted!

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

Dear HB,

try to find a cruise ship that is not operated "military style". Typically, larger ships carrying larger numbers of people have to focus more on crowd control and keeping schedules, because it takes time to get people on/off the ships to do land visits, and because more people are likely to be wanting to just "move along" and not sit and linger.

As noted, the Samba's main naturalist guide, Juan Manuel Salcedo, is developing a reputation for "slow guiding" - meaning that they really take the time to "see / feel / commune" with the land and sea. If you could make it fit, I think it would be best for you. Otherwise, find a decent small ship with a good guide, perhaps the Angelito as another good value for money option, and let the guide know your interests right off the bat - so that they may do their best to accommodate you (e.g. earlier land visits in the AM, lingering later in the PM, slower pace etc...).

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Pensacola, Florida
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8. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

photo.net/learn/nature/galapagos

good info remember you cannot use your flash on animals prohibited

widest subject diversity found by going to each island eco-system

by small more intimate boat...

www.saexplorers.org/clubhouses/quito good boat reviews info

www.galapagosXpeditions.com

www.enchantedexpeditions.com

2 good helpful local agents...

Have fun,

Bristol, United...
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9. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

If you are not doing a dedicated photo tour then you can use almost any of the small boats and it will not make much difference from the photographic point of view. You will not get any of them to take you at 6am as the other passengers would not like to leave before breakfast.

So it comes down to the itinerary and what you want to photograph. The more unusual and special islands would be Espanola, Genovesa, Fernandina and Bartolome so I usually look for boats that go to these islands. They are great for non photographers too. Although I have spent a long time on land on the populated islands, all my photography on the special ones has been on regular tourist cruises. The light is not ideal as someone already pointed out, you can't use flash to overcome this - but you will still get some good pictures.

You might want to look at the Grace, Evolution, Eric,Letty and Flamingo in addition to those already recommended to you.

Kiawah Island...
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10. Re: Tours to take in Galapagos for animal photography

I beg to differ, there were several mornings where we on the Samba were out and on the islands, prior to breakfast, not a problem w/any of the guests.