1st Place Wide Angle Ocean Art 2018 François Baelen

1st Place Wide Angle

François Baelen

 Saint-Leu, Reunion Island, France

"Gentle Giants"


François won a 9 day luxury liveaboard trip on the Socorro Vortex.


The Story: This unique encounter happened in September 2018 in Reunion Island (Western Indian Ocean) where the humpback whales come here to breed and give birth. The mother was resting 15 meters down, while her calf was enjoying his new human friends. 

Trust : this is what came to my mind, when this close to 30 ton-animal, still hunted today by mankind, allowed me to freedive behind her and take that shot.

From down there, everything seemed unreal: that huge tail centimeters away from me, the calf, my friend free diving symetrically. I knew I would not get a shot like this one again.

The post production was all about getting a good white balance and reducing noise, because this photo was taken with natural light only, 15 meters deep.

Location:  Saint-Gilles, Reunion Island

Equipment Used:  Sony A7III Camera, Nauticam NA-A7III Housing, Sony 16-35mm Lens.

Settings: F9, 1/80 sec, ISO 400


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