2013 Photo Contest: 20 Best Whale Photos | Scuba Diving

2013 Photo Contest: 20 Best Whale Photos

Maternal Support

I was in Tonga where humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth. That day, we found a settled mother and calf. The calf was still quite small, and on a few occasions, the mum supported it on her head at the surface of the water, as if to help it breathe.

Vanessa Mignon

Majestic

I was in Tonga where humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth. That day, we found a mother and a calf. The calf was already quite big and very curious. It came straight at us and shared chasing us around, always maintaining eye contact. It was a bit hard to focus on taking pictures while having this little giant swimming after us! Such a great memory!

Vanessa Mignon

Look At Me

I was in Tonga where humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth. That day we found a resting mother and calf. We approached them slowly and silently so that we would not disturb them. The mother didn’t move and just floated there, motionless, with her eyes shut. But as soon as we got close, the baby started swimming around, regularly making eye contact with us. It felt as if it was saying to us, “Look at me, look at me.”

Vanessa Mignon

Gentle Giants

I was out spearfishing with a friend of mine and two whales swam straight up to us. It was an unreal experience. I’m glad I had my camera on the correct settings for the photo. Photo taken on Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Brian Head

Cetacean Giant

I was in Tonga where humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth. On the day I took this photo, we found a mother and calf. The calf was already quite big and very curious. As soon as it saw us, it came straight at us. It was a bit hard to focus on what I was doing with the camera while I had a 4-meter, 1.5-tonne baby whale chasing me around. One of the best memories of my life!

Vanessa Mignon

Eye Contact

I was in Tonga where humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth. We found two adult whales courting. They would swim around each other, and pirouette in the blue ocean. Suddenly, one of them ascended vertically in front of me, and stayed suspended there, clearly looking at me.

Vanessa Mignon

First Steps

Mother and baby humpback whale. The baby was so young that the mom was pushing her up to breach. I will never forget this most touching underwater moment.

Craig Dietrich

Minke Whale

A minke whale swims by in the Great Barrier Reef.

Brandi Mueller

Reflejo

Reflection of pilot whales in a magic day in Tenerife Island. The blue ocean with crystal-clear water gives you a three-dimensional view.

Eduardo Acevedo

Come Out And Play!

This playful, 4-meter humpback whale baby circled me to investigate the odd big eye that was my dome port. It came so close i had to move my camera out of the way after this shot. A truly magical moment!

Brian Heagney

Flipper

A baby humpback reaches out to touch the dome port on my camera housing. The baby humpback whales are very curious about their surroundings and will approach very close to snorkelers. The whales visit Ha'ap each year from July to October.

Brian Heagney

Motherly Love

Humpback whale and baby calf swimming together in the Socorros. Taken with a Canon 7D with a Tokina 10-17 lens and natural light.

Craig Dietrich

Power And Grace

A mother humpback whale breaches. Humpback whales spend the winter months in these warm Atlantic waters, nurturing their newborn calves for the long migration to northern feeding grounds.

Douglas Good

The Next Generation

A baby humpback whale feels assured in front of the lens with mum offering support from below. The mothers give birth in Ha'apai in June and nurse the calves for the next four months in Ha'apai before they make the return migration to the southern ocean. The babies already weigh several tonnes when born, and adults are up to 15 meters long.

Brian Heagney

Three Minutes to Eternity

A gray whale photographed at mid-water as it dives down toward a sandy bottom. Gray whales are extremely shy toward divers and are most commonly seen from boats in well-known breeding aggregation areas. This particular whale deliberately approached us during a dive, lying flat on the bottom and allowing us physical contact in order to help it get rid of a piece of rope entangled in its caudal tail. Taken in Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Ramón Domínguez

Un Abrazo

Un abrazo means "a hug," and in this photo, a baby humpback whale plays while momma wseems to have him in her embrace. Taken in Roca Partida, Mexico.

David Valencia

Big Breach

Returning from diving off Maui, the whales began to compete and breach, thrilling all of us.

Patricia Mezzina

Family

Humpback whales — a mother, baby and escort male. Taken in Roca Partida, Mexico.

David Valencia

Nurture

A mother and baby humpback whale resting together in Roca Partida, Mexico.

David Valencia

Stacked

A family of humpback whales resting at the surface in Ha'apai, Tonga. The whales come to Ha'apai every year from July to October to breed and give birth. Ha'apai is a whale nursery area and licensed operators are allowed to bring tourists to see and swim with the gentle giants. One one of a select few destinations in the world where this activity is possible. Lifuka island is the base of departure.

Brian Heagney

The 2013 Through Your Lens Photo Contest has officially come to an end, and we got some great whale photos in the process! Come check out these amazing shots of whales submitted by our readers.

Captions provided by photographers.

Have a great whale photo? Submit it in the 2014 contest here!

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