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  A Cetacean Salutation  

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Uploaded: 09/15/21 8:05 AM GMT
A Cetacean Salutation
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Hola! Shalom! Humpback Whales will raise their flippers in the air, (this one about 8ft tall) and vigorously slap the water. This enthusiasm usually take place in the presence of other whales. While naturalists don't exactly know the reason for the behavior, I was lucky enough to observe this on a recent trip to the Stellwagen Bank off the coast of Massachusetts.

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::corngrowth
09/15/21 9:19 AM GMT
Paul, I'm no naturalist, but if these don't know what raising their flippers in the air means, then I certainly don't. It may be that such a gesture serves to maintain or reinforce the obtained status within the group. But maybe I'm talking nonsense right now. Who knows? 😁
Very nice photograph though!
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::Nikoneer
09/20/21 2:16 PM GMT
I have been forever fascinated by these gentle giants, Paul, and I think if I ever experienced one surfacing next to my kayak I would first, list the encounter as a top-of-my-bucket-list event, and second, be glad I packed extra underwear. That being said, I might recommend if such an opportunity arises again for you, to pull back a bit on the lens to either include a little more of the water around the whale, for context and to allow the viewer to better grasp the swing of the whales movement, or, if your lens is of good quality and you are able to successfully capture the textures of the skin and flying water drops, to crop in even more, the capture then being a combination of pure nature and an abstract view. I do not know your experience level of photography but I do know that it takes years of trial and error, joy and disappointment, to arrive at a point of ^instinct shooting^. You apparently have photographic opportunities that many, if not most, of us have, and I am looking forward to seeing more of your work in the coming years.

Happy Trails.

-nik
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.icedancer
09/23/21 5:46 PM GMT
Spectacular action shot of this huge fin of the humpback, must have been exciting to see in person
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