“Splash!”

“Splash!”

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”
― Christopher Paolini

I’m noticing that all my titles have become single words. That’s partially because I’m struggling to find suitable words to describe this experience fully, so it’s coming in snippets.

This image is of a female Humpback Whale as it crashes to the surface after a breach. She has propelled her massive body from the water and twisted in the air, to return to the sea on her side. The other thing this photo shows is the ocean conditions when the image was made. If you’ll notice the fishing boat to the far right, you will see only part of it behind one of the large swells we were experiencing on this excursion.

The Pacific Ocean is not for the faint of heart. Even on this relatively calm day, the swells were over two meters high, so our small Zodiac disappeared into the troughs, obscuring our view of anything but water. Interestingly, I hardly noticed it at the time, being so focussed on the marvel playing out before my eyes, though I do distinctly recall my legs cramping up from bracing myself against the continuous rolling movement of the boat.

Of the numerous images I made of the breaching ritual, this one, I think, best shows the shear force of the whale’s bulk slamming onto the water surface as well as giving a glimpse of the rugged shoreline of the Baja Peninsula.

It’s also been recently discovered, in theory, why the whales expend so much energy in these breathtaking surface activities: they are communicating, and surface activity (breaching and fin/tail slapping) increases on windy days, when the oceans are more turbulent, and thus, noisier.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 300 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

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12 thoughts on ““Splash!”

  1. bkcitta

    Like this photo the best!! Much captured in this photo! Thanks for sharing!! Enjoying learning……

    Reply
  2. Pingback: “Splash!” — Ed Lehming Photography

  3. The Showers of Blessing

    Stunning photo! I’m fascinated with humpback whale every since I read a book about humpback whale to my students ages ago. On my blog I was nominated to write a animal challenge, I picked humpback whale, so did little more research. Of course I only got photos from google search. Your photo interests me!!

    Reply
      1. The Showers of Blessing

        It’s an interesting study to me. When we watch the nature channel, the mom and baby relationship fascinates me the most, then of course their songs! Their group strategy to catch fish…Thank you for the photos. Have you submit to Nat Geo?

      2. Ed Lehming Photography Post author

        It turns out, only the males ‘sing’ but all of them communicate by various splashes on the surface or posture underwater, when waters are clear. I will be submitting to several magazines and hope to be picked up by one.

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