Breaching Whale + Diver

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I was photographing the flukes of a diving whale for submission to Happy Whale when a nearby whale breached.

Technical Details

Canon R5 and 24-105 at 1/1000, f/8 and Auto ISO. Edited in LR and cropped to a pano.

Richard, this is a special, two for one. Your have a great depth of field . The details of the whales are nice and sharp and the mountaians are pleasently softened. The panorama crop helps emphasize the important elements and suggests the vastness of the ocean. The snow on the mountains is a nice balance to the spray from the breaching whale. Although I can’t see all of the shadow of the breathing whale that dosn’t really bother me. This would be beautiful blown up and hung on the wall of a large space.

Hi Richard, a really fine capture of a special moment. Love seeing the breaching whale with the snow capped mountains as a back drop. The power of the whale with the splashing water is really on display. Well done.

Very nicely captured, I really like the contrast between peaceful scene and turbulant action !
You may try to get some details on the shadow side of breaching whale.

Barbara, Allen and J Rajput: thank you for having taken the time to look and comment.

Super capture!! Only thought is how wonderful it would look on your wall – maybe life-sized!

What a great capture, and a great moment to witness! I completely agree with the previous comments about the action and the soft, peaceful scene, as well as the pano crop.
Yes, this should be on the wall.

Richard, I love that you captured the double action here. An underrated aspect of this photo is the way the breaching whale and the snow-capped peak (the third major element) balance each other (the whites even echo each other).

I like the choice for a pano, but feel it’s almost too wide. I’d feel differently, I suppose, if the snow extended all along that mountain range, but it’s a bit too much homogenous emptiness out on the fringes. I think you could keep the pano look while still bringing in the sides a bit, further heightening the focus on the three central objects.

(Edit: I realized afterward that this composition is very similar to my own recent bear pano from Alaska… which also has a lot of wide space on either side of the central subjects. I think in that case because my cloud textures extend all the way through the frame, I feel more strongly about keeping the outer edges. That’s what I was trying to get at with the lack of snow on the other peaks here.)

Diane, Hans and Max: thanks for taking the time to reply which is appreciated. Max, I’m away from this file at the moment, but will try your suggestion when back in Denver. C heers, Richard