That magic moment: Whale tail in Prince William Sound

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This is Dopey.  He/She is a humpback whale.  I am not a wildlife photographer, so it was very special to see this whale.  It was also special because we were on a small boat with good friends.  Here are a few more photos.

We were in Alaska last week and were hosted by friends (photographers and artists) Mark McDermott and Cat Larrea.  We also met their neighbor, friend, and fellow photographer Steve Skrocki.  We used the Lazy Otter Charters out of  Whittier, Alaska.

Mark and Steve eagle-eyed the spout spray and our boat skipper, Gabe, made a bee line.  I was told that humpback whales take three breaths and then dive.  We had just enough time to get close as Dopey made the deep dive.

Mary and I used our Fujifilm X-T2s with a 100-400 mm lens.  I had the ISO up at 800, the aperture at f/4.5, and the camera on low continuous shooting with wide-tracking auto-focus.  Everything worked out pretty well.  I captured a good series and the photos are sharp.  I estimate we were about 50 yards away.  It was all over in a few seconds.

When we got home, Mark found a couple of databases and was able to identify this whale by its unique “tail print.”  “Dopey” was born in 2001 (sex unknown) to “Snow White” who was born in 1980.

Next week, more from Prince William Sound.

To see more of (and buy) our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

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