The 7th annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition received thousands of entries from 70 different countries, and now the winners have been announced. Above is the first place winner in the wide-angle category, “Gentle Giants” by François Baelen.
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.