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Coming In For A Close Up
Coming In For A Close Up

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2010-09 (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR
Location: Atlantic Ocean
Date: Sep 1, 2010
Aperture: F7.1
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/200
Galleries: Nature, Animals
Date Uploaded: Sep 26, 2010

Over the course of two years I've submitted a total of 4 whale shots - this is my fifth. None of them have done very well but I just adore these creatures.

We were off the coast of Cape Cod - the boat was just sitting on a very calm sea - they don't move for fear of hitting the whales and there were a lot of humpbacks in the area. I think most everyone was watching whales off to our left - however, those of us out on the prow were watching this young calf coming straight towards us very slowly. We though it would dive before it got to us but it just continued to coame right up to us, then just sank under the boat. I got off about 4 shots - then it was too close with the lens I had. The guides say they are very curious. What a thrill!!! - I would go whale watching all the time if I only lived closer to the sea.

Place: 201 out of 296
Avg (all users): 5.3613
Avg (commenters): 5.5000
Avg (participants): 5.2889
Avg (non-participants): 5.5862
Views since voting: 663
Views during voting: 215
Votes: 119
Comments: 3
Favorites: 0

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10/16/2010 01:06:36 PM
Hello from the Critique Club;

First I need to point out that I've never actually seen a whale in person, so that's pretty awesome that you've had a number of chances to catch pics like this. In your comments, you allude to the other whale photos you have entered and their placement. As a general comment, I think whales are creatures that are really hard to photograph, since you have very little chance to "direct" the photo, and you don't generally have all that many encounters with them. It doesn't help things, either, that when most of us see a whale, it's an amazing National Geographic shot, so the bar is set pretty high.
Regarding this particular shot though, I'd say that you've nicely capture a whale as it comes up for air. It isn't as much of an action shot as "The Grace of The Dive" or "Dive-Dive-Dive," so I imagine that's part of why it scored where it did. Free Studies just demand superb photos that are also of "WOW" moments, and this one isn't as WOW as National Geographic shots. This is an interesting composition though, and I like how the whale's head is just pushing into the frame towards the viewer. I also like the effect of the water ripples distorting our view of its head. Personally, I don't see much of anything wrong with this shot, so I think you did a great job with things.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/02/2010 03:28:08 PM
Don't you adore polarizers???? Fabulous.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2010 05:00:08 AM
Yeah... closeup alright. Must be exciting moment to see wale this close. 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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