whale underwater pictures
Humpback whales , whose scientific name is Megaptera novaeangliae , are baleen whales. They are very large cetaceans : adults can be 13 to 14 meters long and weigh 25 tons on average The humpback whale, this artist! Humpback whales perform spectacular jumps out of the water. The way they sing is also very complex and elaborate. It is a real pleasure to hear them while diving, especially when you use the more silent close-circuit rebreathers. These huge cetaceans are present in all the oceans and seas of the world.
During the Austral winter, they come to spend a few months in tropical waters. In the Indian Ocean, Humpback whales travel from Antarctica to sometimes Kenya, or even further North. On the other hand, it seems that there is no exchange between the whale populations of the two différents hemispheres. Long hunted for their fat and meat humpback whales were on the verge of extinction.
The vast majority of whale photography will be done without strobes. As such, s shutter speed of 1/100s should safely stop motion for wide lenses and if light is in short supply you can extend this to 1/60s or longer, depending on how fast the subject is moving.
Fortunately, my self-induced anxieties were foundless, and the water quality improved. Many hundreds of whale encounters later, I can say that I have never met a whale that was in a bad mood. In fact most have extended me great courtesy, leading to my most thrilling encounters in over 40 years of diving.
A female humpback whale calf uses her pectoral fin to measure the distance between her and myself to ensure her fluke (tail fin) doesn’t come in contact with me when passing by.
This year World Whale Day falls on February 18, and to celebrate we’re sharing some of our favorite whale images from Scuba Diving‘s 2016 underwater photo contest.
It’s not often that we get to see the magnificence of a humpback whale in up-close detail. In fact, the world below the surface of the sea is often quite a mystery. Photographer Tony Wu spends much of his time traveling around, seeking out adventures, and documenting incredible underwater displays of what Wu describes as many “charismatic marine mammals.”
The fearless photographer gets amazingly close to his subjects, capturing everything from humpback and sperm whales to playful little sea lions. Wu’s passion for the animals he gets to know is evident through his stunning photography as well as the extensive information that he offers on his website. His crisp, detailed photographs are the result of a challenging environment and Wu explains, “‘It’s a bit more complicated photographing in the water because your time is limited by the amount of air you carry and the time you can stay at a given depth without risking decompression sickness.” Included here are a collection featuring the humpback whale, images that Wu was able to collect during his travels to Tonga.
Set a course 250 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and in 23 hours you will arrive in the Revillagidedo Islands, commonly referred to as “Socorro.” At Roca Partida, a single rock pinnacle 70 miles from the nearest island, several adult humpback whales were surfacing so near that we felt the boat rock – the sound of their gasps resonated in our ears. Upon spotting a mother humpback with her calf we scrambled into the pangas with fins and snorkels in an attempt to catch a quick underwater glimpse of the pair. Strangely, this mother humpback wasn’t threatened, alarmed, or annoyed by our presence. This unique situation provided ample opportunity over the next two days to be entertained and delighted by this mother teaching her newborn the “Basics of Being a Whale.”
The calf seemed to be a quick learner. I am not sure what other standards still needed to be met, but I feel confident that in the 8 to 11 months it is being weaned, this beginner will earn a “full whale certification.”