I’m a portrait photographer who moved to Newfoundland last year. With my normal business being interrupted by COVID-19, it’s given me time to explore the island and do more nature photography than ever before.
On July 22, 2020, dozens of humpback whales arrived in the small town of Sunnyside, Newfoundland. This time of year, it’s common to see them breach the water as they hunt for caplin. It’s less common to see so many arrive so close to town.
They stayed in town for 3 days before they left. It was the perfect opportunity to photograph these beautiful giants with my drone. Such an amazing experience!
The experience was overwhelming! Ever since I got my drone last year, my #1 dream had been to fly over a whale! When they were in front of my home and I had my chance, I was shaking with excitement. After I had exhausted my only battery and my wife and I watched them from the shore, she began to cry. It’s a pretty unreal experience. It defies description.
The things I love about whales are all the things that are hard to appreciate unless you see them in real life: their scale, their playfulness, the way you can hear them from so far away when they inhale and exhale out their blow hole. The sound carries so far and sounds like giant cows breathing through a pipe. Now imagine that times 30, all around you.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t a challenge at all to photograph them. I’ve tried photographing other whale species before and it’s easy to lose track of them in the water when they dive. Humpbacks, though, have bright white fins, so on a sunny day, their fins radiate light even under water.
I couldn’t be happier with the results! It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of capturing and more. I’m so inspired, I hope someday, when I get back to business, to afford an underwater drone and photograph them from below!