Humpback Whale Breach 103

Humpback Whale Breach 103, Frederick Sound, Alaska

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 7fps, 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.

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