AU NZ

Events, photo walks, talks from the masters, in-depth workshops. Expand your horizons with one of our many events across Australia.

Starting Never Ends is the one place for all Sony camera mini-sites. Learn about all new Sony camera products in a fun interactive way.

Events, photo walks, talks from the masters, in-depth workshops. Expand your horizons with one of our many events across Australia.

Starting Never Ends is the one place for all Sony camera mini-sites. Learn about all new Sony camera products in a fun interactive way.

AU NZ
The Dolphins of French Pass
Sony New Zealand
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Event Host

Behind the Shot: The Dolphins of French Pass by Fiona Wardle

6 Apr 2022
Sony New Zealand
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Event Host
Image: Sony New Zealand, Alpha 9 II (A9M2) The Dolphins of French Pass

Fiona Wardle is a wildlife photographer and guide from England who moved to New Zealand eight years ago. She now lives in Kaikoura, a small coastal town in the South Island known for its abundant whale and dolphin populations. Working as a wildlife guide gives Fiona the opportunity to get up close and personal with the local sea life. She’s also an ambassador for Girls Who Click, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to encourage more young women to enter the male-dominated field of nature photography and use their work to further conservation efforts around the world.

 

The Dolphins of French Pass. Photo by Fiona Wardle
Sony Alpha 9 II with FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master lens.1/600 sec, f/7.1, ISO 800

 

Setting the Scene

Every summer, Fiona and her partner head off the beaten track to Te Aumiti/French Pass in the Marlborough Sounds for a camping and fishing holiday. The summer season is the best time of the year to spot bottlenose dolphins, so Fiona makes sure that she has her camera on hand whenever they take their boat out.

On the day that this spectacular image was taken, they woke up before sunrise, saw how calm the water was, and realised the conditions were perfect for spotting some wildlife in the Sounds. Sure enough, as the sun was climbing a pod of forty bottlenose dolphins swam over and started playing around the boat.

As she interacts with dolphins on a regular basis Fiona can often anticipate their behaviour, which gives her a distinct advantage when photographing them. However, she finds shooting out on the water can still be quite challenging as the weather and lighting conditions often change quickly. In this instance everything came together for the perfect shot - the early morning light was gorgeous, the dolphins were in a playful mood, and Fiona’s timing was spot on!

 

Gear and Camera Settings

Fiona used her Sony Alpha 9 II paired with a Sony FE 100-400mm G Master lens. Her ISO was set at 800 and her aperture at f/7.1. To freeze the dolphins in mid-flight her shutter speed was 1/1600th of a second.

To see more of Fiona’s work visit www.fionawardle.com, or follow her on Instagram - @fi_tography

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