Humpback Whale Breach 103

Humpback Whale Breach 103

I hope that my regular readers aren’t getting bored yet of all my new breaching humpback whale photos. Though I had spent over 20 weeks the last 4 summers cruising Southeast Alaska with my boat, not until 2 weeks ago did I encounter a whale that yielded so many publishable breaching images. I could post a unique breach a day for the next month if I wanted to. What an amazing experience! Based on my hectic travel schedule, I will still be editing and posting these images well into the fall.

I have high standards for photographing whales, especially since I am friends with some of the top professional marine photographers in the world, like Doug Perrine, Brandon Cole, and Stuart Westmorland. I prefer to use my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens to photograph breaching. This lens gives me the flexibility to zoom in and frame the breach once I see it start to happen, but requires me to be relatively close to my subject. I used to also use a Canon 1.4X tele-converter, but now prefer the results of using the smaller image sensor on my Canon 7D with its 1.6X crop. I am a real stickler when it comes to my photography ethics and consider cropping more than 10% of the original image a failure. At 8fps, I typically capture a number of out of focus, poorly composed images, with a horizon that is consistently skewed down to the right. Thus, I am particularly pleased when I capture a moment like this, especially at 70mm.

Be social and share.

3 thoughts on “Humpback Whale Breach 103

  1. Fantastic image, Jon (and at 70mm that whale was close!) Glad to hear you had such a high shooting ratio on this trip.

  2. Amazing shot, Jon. I like all these that you’ve been posting, and I’m sure the rest of your readers agree. I SO wish I could’ve been there for this! Thanks for sharing the technical details, too…I’m blown away that this was shot at 70mm. Great job, Jon!

  3. Thanks for your kind words. I can not stress enough how difficult & relatively dangerous it is to create this kind of image. Legally, I am required to shut my engine down when a whale is within 100 yards, so I have to hope that it is not going to breach too far away or on top of me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *