Friday, July 31, 2009

Whales of Tonga

I'm just now on my way home from photographing humpback whales in Tonga with one of our photo groups, this time aboard NAI'A. It was a wonderful experience, especially since we actually had whales with us every day. Of course, with wild animal encounters of this nature some days were better than others, mostly as a function of weather variables. But, the good days were very, very good! And the NAI'A was an absolutely stellar platform for interacting with and photographing the humpbacks.

See Lenny Rosen's photo here to see how close the whales came to the NAI'A at times.

We did some scuba diving while there, as you can see from the photos, but clearly the focus was on whales.

BTW ... The shot of the snorkeler swimming towards the whale was my 16-year old daughter Alexa. Here is the shot she got on that pass, with her Canon G9 and Patima housing:

Interesting to note that since I posted her shot I heard from two of my Shooter buddies. David Doubilet told me to go to Cracker Barrel and buy a rocking chair, because my kid kicked my butt shooting humpbacks and I should spend my days a 'rockin. Then Chris Newbert called. Said he had good news and bad news. The good news was that it looked like we had a great humpback trip. The bad news was that my kid kicked my butt shooting humpbacks. With friends like these ... ;)

Tech notes - All of my UW shots were taken with Canon 5DII and Seacam housing, available light. The topside shots were with Canon 1DMKIII, utilizing the 10-frame per second motor drive to capture the peak action on the surface.