The winning shot: December 2018

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Follow my Lead by Cédric Péneau

Location

Reunion Island (my home) 

Equipment

  • Nikon D7200
  • Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens
  • Nauticam housing
  • mini-dome

Dive Centre

No dive center, we rent boats with friends and go whale watching and swimming. I am a scuba diving instructor with a 12 year experience with whales so I guess I know the dos and donts… 

The Shot

We are very lucky to have humpback whales visiting our shores every Austral Winter (from June to October). They come from the Antarctic to mate and give birth to their calves, who can enjoy the warm clear water of Reunion Island. Whales are quite easy to find (look for the blows !), but getting a good swimming interaction is trickier, for that you have to be lucky and especially very patient, and to approach slowly with your boat and swim the last 100 meters as calmly as you can. 

The rest is up to the whales, sometimes they don’t want to be near you and swim away, but sometimes they stay calm or can even get playful. This was the case of this mother who is called Rabajou and who kept swimming towards and around us.  The closer you are the better your shot gets, as we don’t use any strobes and rely on ambient light, that’s why most of the time I use Tokina 10-17 fisheye at 10 mm.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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