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author mikeswiet (m&m sweet)
subjectWild life
title here she comes
date5/2/2003 6:28:36 PM
detailsendangered humpback whale taken w/ 20mm - one of my favorites this season - try to imagine taking this shot from maybe 4 to 6 feet away? the whale is about the size of a 4 story building! and weighing maybe 30 or 40 tons - with the ability to move many times faster than you - this is a female who was very curious and decided to come up within a foot and stop to check me out - i was surprised at the persion, control, and grace these creatures have - they seem to have complete control o the finest of movements imo - it's really rare to get such a curious whale - but like people they each have their own personality
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blinks: 317.85score: 9.211voted: 99

rank: 1comments: 68viewed: 12368
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1 LisaH   (5/2/2003 6:56:50 PM)
Great clarity, love the colors...all in all an excellent capture!
2 robinschooley (Robin Schooley)   (5/2/2003 7:01:02 PM)
I am in absolute awe of this one. Maybe Marty is right, you have turned into a fish. I can't believe this was with a 20mm lens. I'd love to hear more about how you actually manage to get that close. An amazing image that I would love to have a print of.
3 Nev   (5/2/2003 7:28:09 PM)
what a geat capture with crisp clean detail and great exposure under what would have been (for me anyway) a situation where preparing to take such a pic and composing the subject would be more frightening than posting in the boxing forum here at PB. I am in awe that you managed to achieve such a wonderful shot. I am sure this picture will mean much more to you than than any one of us can imagine.Excellent wildlife capture.
4 Jim (robert d none)   (5/2/2003 7:28:41 PM)
One of the best underwater photos I have seen in a long while, I have no expertise in judging this kind of photo but I have to give it very high marks. Jim as always.
5 CherylB (I only lie when I do not like your pic)   (5/2/2003 7:58:19 PM)
is there something wrong with his fin? I hope he's ok. Mike the only thing I'd like better than this is a photo of you taking the picture. How lucky you are. Nice clear photo. I like the way he is looking at you/us.
6 mikeswiet (m&m sweet)   (5/2/2003 8:27:42 PM)
robin - in hawaii here you can't approach these whales as they are protected (within 100 yards) - they have to come to you
i basically got up every morning at 5:30 and went out hoping to get lucky - as i sell the pic's i have to charter boats or work w/ researchers and keep careful documentation on how i got the shot - and form different working relationships w/ different groups
- ya just have to hope you get a really curious creature who has an interest in you - even as a researcher everyday following these creatures - your not likely to get a shot like this - it's really up to the whale - most times they seem totally indifferent to human activities - mothers are ususally to protective of their young and the boys are to busy trying to get some
- we think this is a young girl maybe 2 to 4 years old who's just very curious
7 Bill_D (William Donnelly)   (5/2/2003 8:32:58 PM)
8 KateWossner (keep on truckin')   (5/2/2003 8:40:29 PM)
Fascinating capture! Congratulations, your efforts paid off..
9 MJFerron   (5/2/2003 9:24:03 PM)
Mike your hard work and dedication paid off. Thanks for giving us this fantastic view. Very impressive image.
10 ck   (5/2/2003 9:34:52 PM)
11 Joe Bembnowski   (5/2/2003 9:57:13 PM)
I don't tire of your oceanic images. The rippled surface water really finishes off this fine image. Great wildlife portrait.
12 Richard Nowak   (5/2/2003 10:54:31 PM)
Awesome shot Mike! You're getting shots that divers all over the world would die for. Joanne and I have been diving for over 20 years and we've never seen this for ourselves. We've been to the right places but not at the exact right time. On top of that, as you stated, the animal has to come to you, and it has to get within a few feet to boot! Your photography is outstanding. I know that most folks can't really appreciate the difficulty doing this. UW macro shots are a cakewalk compared to what it takes to pull off these wide shots of very large marine animals. Maybe next year you'll invite us over so we can get aquainted with your turtle friends and these wonderful whales.
13 Art Hill   (5/2/2003 11:12:52 PM)
Mind boggling, totally awesome.
14 Deb   (5/2/2003 11:27:19 PM)
As it's been said before-AWESOME SHOT! (10)
15 ulol   (5/2/2003 11:31:53 PM)
marvelous! 9.5
16 Wayne Willis   (5/2/2003 11:43:47 PM)
This is the best photo I have seen on photoblink ever. Well done.
17 mrgetz (Thinkyouneek )   (5/2/2003 11:53:22 PM)
OK, here I go. I can't argue your patience, and your dedication. Your skills have been proven over and over. I'll never get a shot of a Humpback like this myself. HOWEVER, to me this is not "Finished". Granted, you have a lot more backgrounds available when you are shooting your turtle friends, but the surface distracts me. I love the whale, just not what surrounds him. I guess I want shafts of light or something. You haven't conviced me with the whales yet like your turtle shots. It will come with time. I never weigh difficulty in judging images. Only the image. As an image, this needs more. But it's very good indeed.
18 Trimmel   (5/3/2003 12:02:32 AM)
If one picture deserves 10, this will would be that one, not to comment just perfect.
19 Roger Ranney (Don't block the shot)   (5/3/2003 12:24:20 AM)
Excellent Mike!!
20 Richard Nowak   (5/3/2003 12:33:14 AM)
#17 mrgetz: When you dive, the surface is your friend! Looking back at the surface on a dive is a very wonderful thing. The surface here tells us a lot. The ocean is calm and peaceful, not even windchop. The sun is filtered by clouds (or volcanic ash :)) The UW visibility is 100 feet. Your rays of light this close to the surface would have ruined this shot - and after we just got telling how difficult it is to get everything to come together as it did here. The excitement here is indescribable. I'm surprised Mike didn't swallow his regulator. What more would you want? Harpoons are out.
21 Mike Blanchard   (5/3/2003 1:05:53 AM)
You've got to be kidding....we've got eye contact with a Humpback whale and it's not enough! This is simply an amazing shot. And it's not about the difficulty in getting a shot like this, though I admit, it affects it's impact when I imagine what it must have been like to have been there. That is what really gives it such great impact IMO........ Mike takes me there, with eye contact from a Humpback whale! Jeez, it's just an amazing shot!
22 mikeswiet (m&m sweet)   (5/3/2003 1:24:56 AM)
richard we always have an extra guest room ready;) man your smart rich - i was lucky the light was diffused, rays would have created harsh highlights and shadows - visibility about 100ft - the whale at the perfect angle from the sun and a very very rare almost flat day - total luck as ya can't decide any of these things - but ya i know what ya mean marty - a litle something extra is always nice
23 Ruud (they just ain't worth it)   (5/3/2003 2:20:51 AM)
What i like most is the eye just in the middle, awesome!
24 mrgetz (Thinkyouneek )   (5/3/2003 2:30:55 AM)
#21 Mike Blanchard: Yes, that is what I said.
25 mrgetz (Thinkyouneek )   (5/3/2003 2:33:07 AM)
#20 Richard Nowak: What more could I want? More! Something more. Mike is more creative than this.
26 Yuri Bonder   (5/3/2003 4:16:23 AM)
27 Olivier Deme   (5/3/2003 5:10:44 AM)
This one looks like a winner to me, Mike. I can only dream about ever being able to take a shot like this one. The surface adds to the picture, I think. It create depth, and for once, in the very first meaning of the word. Sharpness is great, and this is one of the reasons why my own 20mm lens is my favorite. But the eye contact is what make this image so powerful. Fantastic shot. Composition: 10. Technique: 10. Originality: 9. Impact: 9. Overall: 9.5.
28 mikeswiet (m&m sweet)   (5/3/2003 5:57:59 AM)
thanks olivier;) - marty you are a crack up - i love your honesty - i can certainly see what your saying - i'll keep at it ... you know
29 mikeswiet (m&m sweet)   (5/3/2003 5:59:44 AM)
actually marty - how's this? we stick you between me and the whale to add interest and give it some scale;)
30 Miguel Lasa   (5/3/2003 7:09:15 AM)
Beautiful and elegant
31 robinschooley (Robin Schooley)   (5/3/2003 8:04:20 AM)
#29 mikeswiet(m&m sweet): Actually, Mike, there was a time that if you had done that it may have been difficult to tellMarty from the whale. But recently he has been getting in shape and has become a mere shadow of his former self.

I totally disagree with marty on this one. She stands out just right against the deep blue sea, as it were. It's finished... perfect. I'm sorry I only gave it a 9.9.... shoulda been a 10... don't know what I was thinking.
32 ckldybr (A perfect photo is just a click away)   (5/3/2003 8:46:21 AM)
Mike the eye contact is unbelievable. To be that close to such a huge, fabulous creature must be an incredible feeling. Unlike you I'd have lost my composure, and forgotten to take the picture. Might even have swallowed my regulator. LOL.. Is there anywhere we can buy prints of this? Take care. Barb.
33 mrgetz (Thinkyouneek )   (5/3/2003 9:45:26 AM)
#31 robinschooley(Robin Schooley): "Mike, there was a time that if you had done that it may have been difficult to tell Marty from the whale." Thanks Robin.
34 Richard Nowak   (5/3/2003 11:09:22 AM)
#25 mrgetz(Don't Censor Me Man!):

This shot is exactly what it is man. To "create" anything here would be completely dishonest and it would be recognized by anyone who knows anything about these wonderful animals. Ok, maybe the correct placement of a calf would really blow it through the stratosphere. Marty, your mind is warped from too much studio work :)
35 SirnesPhotography (Trine Sirnes)   (5/3/2003 11:26:06 AM)
It's good to see that even with this ridicilous voting going on("show me your friends and I'll tell you what score you get"), excellence goes first anyway. This is really ever so special, and the fresh blue color together with the reflection lifts it to even a higher level. Very good indeed. ~7
36 mrgetz (Thinkyouneek )   (5/3/2003 12:03:39 PM)
#34 Richard Nowak: I didn't say create something here. Though there would be NO sin in that. You need to SEE differently, then capture it. What I am saying is that if anyone were floating in the same location with the same camera and lens, you would get this same image. It's the artist that makes it unique. Your imagination is stagnant like your F5 Rich.
37 Richard Nowak   (5/3/2003 12:22:05 PM)
#36 mrgetz(Don't Censor Me Man!): Thanks Marty. You're absolutely right. I need to work on that.
38 mrgetz (Thinkyouneek )   (5/3/2003 1:15:35 PM)
No Charge.
39 robinschooley (Robin Schooley)   (5/3/2003 2:00:27 PM)
#33 mrgetz(Don't Censor Me Man!): But what about the rest of it, Marty?
40 LindaY (Linda Y)   (5/3/2003 2:03:07 PM)
This belongs on the cover of National Geographic!!! It is an awesome shot. It's one most people can only dream of getting. The whale is positioning perfectly in the frame with direct eye contact with the whale. The surface of the water at the top adds a nice bit of framing and those blue tones are marvelous! It's been quite a while since I have given a 10, but this one deserves it.
41 archera (Roland DiSabatino)   (5/3/2003 2:05:51 PM)
It sounds to me like the whale chose the pespective! I trust the whale, especially as Mike said it was a female. Who better than they would pose to show their best side! :O))

Mike ... all I can add is congratulations, and I think Jaques Costeau and all his team would be very proud of you, your dedication, and fabulous results in photographing these extra special and beautiful creatures of the deep. Thanks! :O))
42 KAY (........ .......)   (5/3/2003 9:03:52 PM)
Ditto Roland..The best..kay
43 ha kong sang (stephen ha)   (5/4/2003 1:24:30 AM)
Excellent shot .
44 Nana Sousa Dias   (5/4/2003 4:18:53 PM)
This shot looks perfect, to me, so, I give you a 10.
45 ryenke (M.E. Majeske)   (5/4/2003 4:21:45 PM)
Wow, Mike - I just got an underwater casing for my camera and tried to get a few shots on my vacation, but I have a LOT to learn. Was this taken snorkeling?
46 Kari Post   (5/4/2003 4:44:56 PM)
Very beautiful. I love this shot. Keep up the good work.
47 herman blockx   (5/5/2003 7:16:34 AM)
Astonishing capture! Great one!
48 Rene Asmussen   (5/5/2003 7:22:55 AM)
Beautiful blue! Excellent!
49 GLIZDOWATY   (5/8/2003 3:04:07 AM)
Excellent image!!! Beautiful color!!! (10)
50 Ivan (Ivan Miksik)   (5/9/2003 2:54:56 AM)
Simply - it's excellent!
51 Jeanne Miller   (5/10/2003 10:13:20 PM)
The image is indeed everything and we give no marks for effort, BUT we can give credit for a unique photograph that shows us something we would otherwise never see. Wouldn't you agree, Marty?
52 cjm   (5/12/2003 2:49:00 AM)
how cool is that. she wanted to pose for the camera. really nice work with the blues and with the clarity of this shot. superb
53 Vlad Lojko   (5/12/2003 2:56:35 AM)
Mike, you have the life. I get up every morning at 6 and drive to work to a small custom photo print shop and get abused by the owner many times a day. He happens to think everyone but himself is an idiot. I think I'd prefer spending my days with your whales... BTW, this is a GORGOUS shot of one of nature's most beautiful creatures.

Regards, Vlad.
54 jr   (5/13/2003 5:41:03 AM)
A very rare and unique shot, and so well executed. Congrats!
55 Baku (Marcin Nawrocki)   (5/18/2003 7:07:06 AM)
the best picture a have ever seen
56 Patrik   (5/21/2003 6:13:00 AM)
Wonderfull capture !
57 Ura   (5/30/2003 12:18:13 AM)
very impressiv photo...regs.,ura (9)
58 Posada   (6/3/2003 6:13:09 AM)
Interesting image,beautiful colour.Wonderfull.
59 Joel P Black   (6/15/2003 12:50:28 AM)
WOW WOW What an adventure and great capture.
60 john ktf   (6/20/2003 9:10:49 AM)
It is rare to get this kind of shot , you are one of the lucky guy , great shot , clarity .
61 ky   (6/20/2003 10:14:37 AM)
Great shot~~
62 nuno gaspar (miguel )   (6/20/2003 12:27:31 PM) is all said.
63 L.Olsson   (6/27/2003 7:09:22 AM)
Excellent,wonderfull capture.
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