Humpback Whale

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel 15 Comments

Humpback whale in the Fredrick Sound, Southeast, Alaska.

Humpback whale in the Fredrick Sound, Southeast, Alaska.

I had an exciting trip to Southeast Alaska last week.  I rented a 22 foot aluminum boat with the hopes of photographing humpback whales in wonderful light.

The trip got off to a rough start – wind, waves, low clouds and fog – then hit the prop on a rock ($190 mistake).  My plan was to sleep at night on the folded down seats, but after that first day I couldn’t wait to get back to dry land and a hotel room!  After that things went far better thanks largely to an improvement in the weather.  I’ll probably never forget my first night anchored up in a remote cove listening to a pack of wolves howling on shore just 50 yards a way!  I never did see them despite the light from a nearly full moon, but evidently they are frequently seen in the area.

This was from my final morning when everything came together – whales, great light and a nearly full moon.  The hard part was getting all three in the same frame!  I found that the further away from the whales I was, the easier it was to include all three elements – if you are too close when the whale surfaces, then just 20 feet left or right prevents me from including the moon.  It was a thrill and a relief to have all the elements come together in one frame!

Comments 15

  1. Aweseme Ron! I’m so glad all the elements came together! Reminds me of our sunrise bear pictures…wouldn’t have happened without a great sunrise or if there was no bear walking in the tide flats 🙂

  2. Funny story, especially the part about hitting the rock. Ouch! Glad everything finally came together. The resulting image is fantastic.
    What was not to like about sleeping in the boat? Paula and I love it.

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    @Shari Thanks – and I agree it was like that morning trying to include the animal with the light!

    @Milo Thanks! Yes, I love sleeping in the boat – at least once the weather improved! Especially when you can hear hauling wolves or breaching whales Knowing I rented the same boat as you own – that is a great setup! I really liked it and can see why you do as well.

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    Thanks a lot everyone! Yes, I was definitely excited when this all came together – and was afraid I would blow it!

    @ Ron R. Funny you ask as that was why I was down there -to scout locations and look at yachts for a tour for next year. I found a great setup with 5 small cabins with private baths – should be promoting it soon!

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