Wildlife Warriors capture underwater magic!
As we embark on a new season each year we have a line up of VERY excited and experienced photographers ready to come down to Bremer Bay to capture the magic that we witness onboard! A split second image from an eight-hour expedition has the potential to describe the entire day. Photographers, particularly wildlife photographers know how hard it can be to get “the shot” when you have zero control over your subject. When filming orcas, we are at the mercy of them AND the sea. Two things we cannot control, these will set the challenge for the day.
With a strange 2020 (Let’s not even mention it…) we thought it only fitting to bring in the big guns for the 2021 season! Our line up of photographers meant we have the best of the best this year. Those who have experienced the canyon and the orca for many seasons now and have extensive experience working in the field of wildlife photography, land and ocean based. Some of whom have ventured all around the globe, more than once, and explored some of the coldest AND hottest places there is.
Along with these 2021 super star photographers we also invited a guest photographer pair onboard. Introducing Jake Wilton and Elle Mayell. These wildlife warriors double as resident photographers and adventurers on the Ningaloo Reef in Coral Bay, Western Australia. Together they have produced some outstanding and award-winning work. It was only fair to let them loose on the Bremer Canyon and watch while the masters worked in their favourite domain – the ocean.
The images and videos they produced speak for themselves. Let me reiterate – its a hard gig, and these two stood up to the challenge.
Read on for a Q & A with Jake and Elle:
“Bremer bay is such a special place, we have travelled 60,000km around Australia and in terms of wildlife spectacles, the orcas of Bremer canyon is right up there with the best.” Yeah, we agree guys!
“The crew were incredible and really go out of their way to give you the best day possible. You can tell how much they genuinely love showing people the orcas and other wildlife of the canyon.”
Q: Thoughts prior to making the southward journey to us here in Bremer Bay?
“We didn’t really know what to expect. Knowing it was reliable to see them here and knowing how rare hunting was and how unpredictable wildlife tours can be, we were just excited to be able to see orcas and spend the whole day with them. Both of us have seen orcas a couple of times before but it is still really rare on the Ningaloo and normally it is a very brief encounter.” – If only they knew what they were getting themselves into…!
Q: Thought process on building the underwater rig… that captured that shot?
A: “Building the camera housing rig, I didn’t expect to get any underwater shots as I knew how close they would have to come and how hard it would be to capture the image but I also knew I would not be able to live with myself if the opportunity presented itself and I didn’t try! “
“I just built it as strong as possible, renewed my insurance and hoped for the best.”
Q: Describe the feeling on your first glimpse of the Bremer Orca.
“The first sighting was pure euphoria! We have only been lucky enough to see orcas a couple of times elsewhere and seeing them up close is like no other animal we have seen before. They are a favourite animal for the both of us and every time you are lucky enough to see them is a privilege.”
Q: Best part of the whole adventure to the Great Southern and Bremer Bay?
“The best part of the adventure was on the 3rd day when we decided to stay around and do another tour. Some friends of ours came out with us as well and after an explosive morning chase the orcas disappeared and the day sort of fizzled out… Then literally as we were turning to go home, the water erupted and we were treated to a full hunt with multiple pods of orcas joining in.
“After the hunt they started to breach and play with the boat in celebration. It was one of the most incredible wildlife moments we have ever witnessed.”
It has only been a week since their visit to the Bremer Canyon but Jake and Elle are already planning their next trip south! It is addictive WE KNOW, so stay tuned for the amazing images we will be sharing throughout the season from their time with us in the canyon. Make sure you plug into their socials too for killer whale watching Australia photos!