Photography and Gear Tips

photographers on St. Paul island

Photography Tips

The photographic opportunities available on St. Paul Island extend far beyond the 300+ species of birds that land on the island. Reindeer, foxes, seals, even the occasional whale can be photographed during your visit. Wildflowers blanket the tundra with bright, vibrant colors, while brilliant sunrises and dramatic sunsets break through the mist-shrouded island in the mornings and evenings.

We have a few recommendations for what to pack in your camera bag:

  • Extra memory cards – the one in your camera will fill up quickly.
  • Camera batteries – pack an extra in case the camera runs out of power in the field.
  • Tripod – a sturdy tripod can be helpful. St. Paul Island can be windy!
  • Lenses – bring the longest focal length lens you have. While some birds can be viewed closely, many other wildlife will have to be photographed from a distance, so a 300mm lens or longer is a necessity. A macro lens for photographing wildflowers up close is also highly recommended.

Gear Tips

Because St. Paul Island is in the Bering Sea, the weather can best be described as unpredictable. While some days can start out mild and sunny the weather can suddenly turn wet and windy, so it is important to pack the right clothing for any conditions you may encounter.

  • Waterproof shell – A sturdy, soft shell weatherproof jacket with a hood will shed the wet weather and shield against the wind.
  • Midlayer – A fleece or insulated jacket underneath will help keep you warm, dry and comfortable.
  • Boots – The island’s terrain is a mix of sandy beaches, damp tundra, rocky, uneven coastline and marshes so bring a sturdy pair of hiking shoes and rubber boots to improve footing and keep you warm and dry. Birders in particular will want to bring a good pair of rubber boots to seek out marsh birds.
  • Hat and gloves – Don’t forget a hat and a pair of light gloves to keep your hands warm.
  • Sunglasses – In summer, the daylight can extend well into the evening hours so bring at least one pair of sunglasses.

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