F 4.5, 1/160 sec, ISO 200, 14mm
I traveled to photograph the humpback whales in the calving and breeding grounds off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Divers are required to maintain a certain distance from the whales at all times, but the whales can approach as close as they want to you. This personal encounter happened when the mother whale was sleeping, and her calf was hanging out and interacting with the divers. After about 10 minutes, the encounter ended when the sleeping mother woke up and slowly dove beneath me. The calf, which was directly in front of me, followed her. The baby came right at me and at the last minute, dove under me. My only thought was: “I hope I got the face-to-face picture.” Luckily, the single frame I shot managed to capture this amazing encounter.