Pelagic Bird Photography Workshop

False Bay in Cape Town is blessed with a rich biodiversity of marine animals. Species such as whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, and penguins are all present in the bay and it is well known as a destination for viewing and photographing many of these species. While it is never a certainty to see any particular animal, this workshop will provide an opportunity to photograph a number of different marine creatures from a closer vantage point than would ever have been possible from the shore.


  • Capture pelagic birds and marine mammals in their natural environment.
  • Learn from the professionals what to look out for and how to capture the best possible photograph of these wonderful animals.
  • Get the insights from a legendary marine photographer, Patrick Benade
  • Go out at sea on a boat and view our world from a slightly different perspective!

Depending on weather and sea conditions, some of the species will come quite close to the boat and on a calm day this will provide for wonderful opportunities of frame filling close up images. Not only are you likely to see many sea birds, but you may experience many other marine dwellers such as dolphins, penguins and more from a closer vantage point than would ever possible from the shore. Don't miss this amazing opportunity!

The trip will depart early in the morning from Simonstown and will provide four hours dedicated to looking for and photographing marine wildlife.


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Patrick Benade is based in Cape Town, and has a love of nature photography with the ocean and its creatures specifically, being a favorite. Patrick says that the ocean offers many surprises and if you spend the time looking you sometimes get to see and photograph something very special.




  • – Camera & lenses, rain gear.
  • – As with most handheld action photography and moving subjects its best to maintain a fast shutter speed for sharp images and depending on the available light you may need to increase the ISO on your camera to achieve this.
  • – Zoom lenses such as 70-200mm,70-300mm and 100-400mm will be adequate for most situations.
  • – Having a zoom lens also allows one to initially find the subject at a shorter focal length, acquire focus, and then zoom in closer on the bird.
  • – Also be aware that salt water spray can be very dangerous for camera equipment so a plastic camera cover will be useful along with a chamois or cloth to wipe off the spray.
  • – Remember to give your equipment a good clean when you get back home to make sure any residual traces of salt spray have been removed.