Photographing from a kayak offers much more probability of catching a glimpse of wildlife. You can paddle almost soundlessly through the water. One of the advantages of photographing animals from a kayak is that you have a greater likelihood of getting close to them than by most other means. A kayak can maneuver in very shallow water, which allows you to visit areas that are not accessible by other watercraft. Wildlife and birds are often unruffled by their presence.
Wildlife photographer and kayaker Colleen Cooney has never been a professional photographer, nor has she ever considered photography to be a hobby, as the word 'hobby' simply cannot adequately describe the deep passion she has for photography. Over the years, Colleen has had many hobbies and interests, including kayaking, hiking and camping. But it is photography that has been the one constant passion in her life.
For years, Colleen has been photographing the beauty of California’s wilderness and wildlife. Colleen expresses her deep gratitude, “I am fortunate to live in an area that has an abundance of wildlife and beautiful destinations. This has allowed me to create a large portfolio of many wildlife and nature images I have photographed over the years. I consider myself to be very blessed to have seen so many breathtaking locations and amazing animals.” Colleen’s passion for photographing wildlife while kayaking has allowed her to capture photographic images that might otherwise be impossible to obtain.
One of the pleasures of photographing wildlife on the water is the joy of kayaking. With their ability to quietly glide through the water and access places that are difficult to reach on foot, photographers are able to capture images of animals in the water or feeding along the shore without disrupting them. “It isn’t that often we are ever in the right place at the right time with a camera set up. Yes, some of it can be attributed to luck, but I like to think it’s because of all of the hours I’ve sat in my kayak waiting for a good shot. Patience is key with all wildlife photography. A quick shutter speed is also necessary to capture wildlife on the move,” Colleen explains.
Kayaking in the morning and evening provides a wealth of photographic opportunities for spectacular sunrises and glorious sunsets dripping with vibrant colors. Wildlife activity also tends to increase as dusk sets in. Many people kayak after 10:00 a.m. and before 4:00 p.m., but any photographer will tell you that early morning and late afternoon provide the best light for photographing outdoors.
Photographing at sunrise or sunset are the perfect times to take reflection shots of the surrounding terrain on glassy water. Even on gusty days, the wind typically tapers off in the early evening and is calm at first light. If you launch when the sun comes up, you will also enjoy cooler air temperatures.