Recently Craig Parry jumped into the ocean with some of the world’s largest mammals, Humpback Whales, as they migrated through the waters of the Kingdom of Tonga, in the South Pacific Ocean. He wanted to take a series of unique portraits and images that he could share with the world to do his little bit to help raise awareness and create an environment where these gentle giants are respected and protected.
In one life changing photo session, he spent over three hours free diving with two bulls (males) and one cow (female). Their inquisitive nature led to a depth of interaction beyond anything he has ever experienced, as each took their turn to welcome him into their world and put on a show for the camera.
This image was recently awarded as 2014 Outdoor Magazine Underwater Image of the Year, so I’m very proud of it. I was approximately 3 meters away from her fin as it sliced through the water.
Taken after a quick visit to the surface for air, this image captures the graceful decent of the whale back into the depths.
One of my favorite images from this assignment. Setting out to capture some detailed portraits, I changed lenses to a Canon 50mm. This image was taken at a distance of around 8m.
This particular image was taken approximately 5 meters from the subjects. As this was taken, I was swimming back to the boat and felt something following me – I turned around and my new friends were close behind keen to keep on playing.
This extreme close up was taken approximately 6 foot away from her tail. The movement generated from the flick of the tail forced me back, but only after I managed to capture this.