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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Wildlife 
Thread started 24 Feb 2013 (Sunday) 17:27
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Courting whales in combat

 
Skip ­ Souza
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Feb 24, 2013 17:27 |  #1

9 February 2013, we were on a Pacific Whale Foundation excursion out of Lahaina, Maui. We were out in a Zodiac. We had been watching a "Competition Pod" which consists of one female Humpback and at least 2 males, perhaps several more males. The males are all trying to be in the position of prominence in the hopes of being chosen to mate with the female. Typical huh? Just like people.
In any event the whales fight like sumo wrestlers, bashing each other with their 45 ton bulk. The brawl goes on beneath the surface so we don't get to see much but we know they are there.

Suddenly a Male did a very aggressive head thrust.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8236/8501747412_d574fb4652_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/14684330@N02/8​501747412/  (external link)
Whale Fight 1 (external link) by Skip Souza (external link), on Flickr

Then the fun started, another 45 ton leviathan did a head thrust next to the first one.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8529/8500593993_c0345837e0_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/14684330@N02/8​500593993/  (external link)
Whale fight 2 (external link) by Skip Souza (external link), on Flickr

The fight was on with the second Sumo wrestler seeming to get the upper hand.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8237/8500592459_8cf092a02b_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/14684330@N02/8​500592459/  (external link)
Whale fight 3 (external link) by Skip Souza (external link), on Flickr

Seemingly to be left the "Last one standing"
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8529/8501698836_2817b1e1f4_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/14684330@N02/8​501698836/  (external link)
Whale fight 4 (external link) by Skip Souza (external link), on Flickr

All in all it was quite awesome. And we think dating is tough. :lol:

Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
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Zipline
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Feb 24, 2013 17:29 |  #2

What an amazing experience this must be! Great photos!

I know these are off HI, but my mother and I along with a few friends are going to the breeding grounds in the Dominican Republice next March (2014) to visit our population of whales. We'll actually be able to get in the water with them. It'll be a trip of a lifetime for us. I'm hoping to get some above the surface activity like this too! :)


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blinkeredfilly
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Feb 24, 2013 17:32 |  #3

Fantastic!!!! Thank you for sharing!




  
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Pjay
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Feb 24, 2013 17:33 |  #4

Wonderful series - but I'd like to be in something more substantial than a Zodiac!


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Wallace ­ River
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Feb 24, 2013 17:45 as a reply to  @ Pjay's post |  #5

Awesome shots, Skip, I bet they rocked your little boat!


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Skip ­ Souza
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Feb 26, 2013 13:09 |  #6

Zipline wrote in post #15647826 (external link)
What an amazing experience this must be! Great photos!

I know these are off HI, but my mother and I along with a few friends are going to the breeding grounds in the Dominican Republice next March (2014) to visit our population of whales. We'll actually be able to get in the water with them. It'll be a trip of a lifetime for us. I'm hoping to get some above the surface activity like this too! :)

That should be an awesome experience. Careful around the young whales. They are so exuberant, they are like active 4,00 pound puppies :lol:

blinkeredfilly wrote in post #15647832 (external link)
Fantastic!!!! Thank you for sharing!

You're quite welcome. It was a great time, already looking forward to the trip next year.


Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
That which does not kill me ~~ Should Run.
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Skip ­ Souza
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Feb 26, 2013 13:29 |  #7

Pjay wrote in post #15647834 (external link)
Wonderful series - but I'd like to be in something more substantial than a Zodiac!

Actually it is a good sized Zodiac, holds about 20 people. We also go out on their larger craft. http://www.pacificwhal​e.org/content/meet-our-vessels (external link)

Wallace River wrote in post #15647875 (external link)
Awesome shots, Skip, I bet they rocked your little boat!

Oh yes, just the pitching due to wind and waves can have quite an effect. I shoot with the spray and pray method to try to get the sweet spot of the action. In the following series I was again on a Zodiac that was really pitching hard, not to mention that the leaping school bus was only about 75 yards. Consequently in was a lot of water-water-fish-fish-fish-sky-sky-sky-sky-fish/splash-water-water. This was last year.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7190/6929478003_a632887cb5_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/14684330@N02/6​929478003/  (external link)
Thar he blows. (external link) by Skip Souza (external link), on Flickr

then this :p

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7043/6783360690_d27fdb72d9_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/14684330@N02/6​783360690/  (external link)
Almost got away (external link) by Skip Souza (external link), on Flickr

Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
That which does not kill me ~~ Should Run.
5DMkII, 7D, 70-300L IS, 24-105L,
No more PayPal gift payment requests.
"PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED."

  
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BrianB.
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Feb 26, 2013 18:13 |  #8

Good images! I am heading there at the end of March and hoping they are still around. I had my first taste of whale photography last summer with a pod of Orcas. You have to attempt to guess where they are going to be and be quick with the shutter when they do. Tough to get a decent image but it sure feels good when you do.




  
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Skip ­ Souza
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Mar 01, 2013 00:46 |  #9

BrianB. wrote in post #15655577 (external link)
Good images! I am heading there at the end of March and hoping they are still around. I had my first taste of whale photography last summer with a pod of Orcas. You have to attempt to guess where they are going to be and be quick with the shutter when they do. Tough to get a decent image but it sure feels good when you do.

While February is the prime time, you should still see whales into April. As far as successful captures, it is better to be lucky than good although "Chance favors a prepared mind."

Have a good time.


Bless the recently fallen and their family and friends.
I have a Cannon with me at all times. You can't take the shot if you don't have something with which to shoot. :rolleyes:
That which does not kill me ~~ Should Run.
5DMkII, 7D, 70-300L IS, 24-105L,
No more PayPal gift payment requests.
"PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED."

  
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kingsown
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Mar 01, 2013 04:12 |  #10

Stunning shots love the one,s with all the spray you have a a marvellous day on the water


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Flo
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Mar 01, 2013 15:59 as a reply to  @ kingsown's post |  #11

What fun that must have been! The size is just stunning.


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photohistorian
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Mar 04, 2013 06:29 |  #12

Great set and thanks for sharing! Whales are majestic animals!




  
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studlyism
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Mar 04, 2013 08:10 |  #13

great pics. thanks for sharing


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skygod44
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Mar 04, 2013 08:25 as a reply to  @ studlyism's post |  #14

Simply wonderful!

Every time I see pics or video of these majestic beauties, I'm left in awe!

Thank you so much for sharing, and perhaps for risking your life in the first place, to get these photos!

Regards,

Simon


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Garry ­ Gibson
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Mar 04, 2013 08:44 |  #15

Wonderful!! What a great experience that must have been.


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Courting whales in combat
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