The winning shot: November 2018


Behind a Humpback Whale by François Baelen


Reunion Island, Saint-Gilles


  • Sony A7III
  • Sony-Zeiss 16-35 mm Lens
  • Nauticam Housing
  • Ambient light

Dive Centre

This shot was actually taken before a dive, while free diving with friends, we rented a boat to shoot whales which are here during the winter season (from July to October).

The Shot

François said “Shooting humpback whales can be challenging but this one was unbelievably calm. The mother would stay at the bottom, about 15 meters down, while the calf was going up and down to breathe and to play with us. After taking pictures of the calf for something like 15 minutes, I told a friend I wanted to take a picture from behind while he was free diving. So I went down, and very slowly, approached the tail, until I was centimeters away from it (the tail is huge and one single movement could be dangerous.. but this whale was so peaceful and accepted us). Little did I know when I took the picture, that not only my friend was in the right position, but the calf decided to be part of the picture. It was a amazing instant.

To see more from François please visit his website by clicking here, or visit his Facebook page by clicking here.

If you want to enter the next Underwater Photography Competition, click here

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

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