humpback whale

Bridle Portrait of Nouska

Bridle Portrait of Nouska

 

Nouska is a Dutch Warmblood mare imported from Great Britain to compete at showjumping’s Grand Prix level. I captured this shot while she was waiting at ringside to compete, and processed it using a high key effect to blow out the background. I like the limited color palette and the great detail that reveals even the stitching on her bridle. Nouska went on to win the Grand Prix that day. She is now retired to broodmare status.

Nikon D700, 1/750 sec at f/4.8, ISO 400, 125mm, hand held

Unfortunately, my online Store|Gallery crashed late last week and the weekend has interfered with a quick fix from tech support. Hopefully all will be back to normal in a few days. You can check in at cbparkerphoto.com – but if you see blank white where the images should be, have patience (mine is wearing thin!).

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Enjoy, but please respect.

Posted by Carol in Animals, Arizona, Equestrian, Horses, USA, 0 comments
See You Later

See You Later

 

 

The summer of 2014 we spent cruising the chilly waters near Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Especially at the north end of the Johnstone Straits, near Blackfish Sound and Echo Bay, marine wildlife was abundant. We enjoyed multiple sightings of humpback whales, orcas, dolphins and more. I spent hours on AVATAR’s foredeck, wearing cold wet socks on my feet, trying to capture photos of these impressive creatures. Sometimes I scarcely knew which way to point my camera as the whales surfaced on all sides of us, announcing their presence with the whoosh of their exhaled blows. This humpback whale swam past our small open boat in Echo Bay, then showed his tail as he dove down deep. I was also captivated by the beautiful scenery, especially the way the mountains were silhouetted in the moisture laden atmosphere into multiple shaded layers. I count 15 layers in this photo – how many do you see?

Composite of two images:
Whale: Nikon D4S, 1/2000 sec at f/11.0, ISO 800, 180mm (80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6) hand held
Mountains: Nikon D4S, 1/1000 sec at f/11.0, ISO 200, 160mm (80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6) hand held

BUY PRINT

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Please respect.

Posted by Carol in British Columbia, Canada, Landscapes, Marine Life, Scenic, Seascapes, Underwater, Whales, 0 comments
Eye To Eye

Eye To Eye

 

This is the wildlife image that holds the most meaning for me of all the photographs I have taken over the past ten years. I have it hanging in my kitchen where I see and marvel at it each and every day.

My husband and I are fortunate to have had access to a cruising yacht based in the South Pacific over the past several years. One of my favorite destinations is the small Kingdom of Tonga, where humpback whales migrate each year from the Antarctic to give birth and mate. We have visited several times during whale season and each time I took the opportunity to go out with whale watching professionals, over time learning the basic elements of locating and interacting with the whales in the water.

On our last visit in 2013, we were out for a cruise and scouting for whales on the way. The ocean was empty, no whales or whale watching boats in sight. Then suddenly we spotted a blow quite nearby.
Luck was entirely on our side. We had found a mother and very young calf that were floating quietly near the surface. They showed no signs of avoiding us or moving on, and no licensed whale boat operators were in the vicinity to ‘appropriate’ our find. I couldn’t resist such a golden opportunity. I quickly peeled off my clothes down to the swimsuit underneath and grabbed my underwater camera, fortunately already assembled and leak-tested and ready to go. There was a mad scramble gathering the bare necessities – fins, mask and snorkel – and then I eased into the water off the boat’s stern.

The two whales were maybe 150 feet away and I located them instantly through my camera’s viewfinder. I swam slowly and carefully towards them, minimizing any splashing or sudden movement, and they allowed me to approach without showing any skittishness. After a few minutes, mom turned and started swimming slowly away, giving me a rear view of her tail. But as I watched her go, snapping my last few photographs, I realized that her path was curving back in my direction. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the pair drifted back towards me until I found myself so close that I started backpedaling to avoid making accidental physical contact with mama’s long pectoral fin.

I spent nearly twenty minutes eye to eye with this calm and generous whale, while her baby slept and breathed above her, as we silently communicated with each other. I finally cut the session short when a third whale, probably her escort, arrived on the scene.

In itself the opportunity to swim alone and close to a cooperative whale is a rare and awe-inspiring experience. For the whale herself to voluntarily initiate that interaction was such an amazing, incredible privilege, never to be forgotten.

CBPP_20130831_Whale2-103-MI don’t often post photos of myself (especially in a swimsuit!), but my husband took this photo of the three of us from the deck of the boat.

Nikon D4, 1/180 sec at f/2.8, ISO 400, 35mm (17.0-35mm f/2.8)

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Please respect.

Eye To Eye is available for purchase HERE.

Posted by Carol in South Pacific, Tonga, Underwater, Whales, 2 comments