Hawaii Whale Photography with Tom Mace

When people think of Hawaii; they think of summer vacation, beaches, and relaxation. What many people overlook are the warm winters, lush tropical landscapes, and spectacular wildlife Maui has to offer. February is one of the best times to visit. Over 10,000 Humpback whales return to give birth, mate and nurse their young. Hawaii is the only state in the US where birthing and mating occurs. Why do whales choose Hawaii? Some of the same reasons we do; warm clear water, shallow depths, and lack of predators. Maui is the premier photography location as the depths in the Maui channel do not exceed 200 ft. In February 2017, we witnessed over 100 breaches from our hotel Lanai. You learn quickly there is a big difference between seeing and “experiencing” these majestic mammals when you are on a boat, within 100 yards of a breach, camera in hand.

We round out this itinerary with other incredible photography opportunities. We experience a spiritual Haleakala sunrise, travel and photograph along the historic 64 mi. Hana Highway, and spend time in a unique lava field landscape. Our objectives are to give photographers a chance to scratch items off their bucket list while we work with you to improve your nature photography skills. Your hosts for this trip have been fortunate enough to visit Maui 5 times and understand the island culture, best locations to stay, and where to put photographers in position to capture all the beauty and mystery this island has to offer.
This is an all inclusive workshop, All ground transportation, hotel, excursions, park fees, meals, and all the little things are included in the price.

Included in this Trip:
4 Boat excursions to get up close and photograph Humpback Whales, including one sunset dinner cruise.
1 guided trip to the summit of Haleakala Crater to photograph a sunrise, weather permitting.
1 trip to Hana and Back, capturing Seascapes, Waterfalls, and Rainforest along the way
1 trip to the Wailea Lava Fields
1 Luau, VIP seating
Multiple Sunrise and Sunset opportunities
All Meals, minus one dinner. We want you to experience Kaanapali or Lahaina with your partner.
High end beachfront resort in Kaanapali steeped in Hawaiian culture and tradition. Ocean view rooms.
Built in downtime for exploring, hanging out at the beach. Also a good time to review post processing with anyone in need of assistance.

The life of the sea otter

Story and photography by Frank Toller

These marine mammals live mostly on the North Pacific coast and typically weigh between 31 and 99 pounds. They are able to live their entire life in the water, in part because of a massive fur coat, the densest in the animal world. They feed on invertebrates such as sea urchins, clams, crab, and abalone as well as octopus and some species of fish. The otters will use rocks to scrape their prey and open shells, making them unique among marine mammals as tool users.

The sea otter population has risen from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago to 100,000 now. © Frank Toller

The sea otter population has risen from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago to 100,000 now. © Frank Toller

They can go onshore and occasionally will do so. The otters are very friendly and while taking these pictures on Jetty Road at Moss Landing, California [55 miles south of San Jose on the coast], I observed the animals allowing children to approach within six feet. The kids and pups seemed equally curious about each other. Continue reading