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Alexander Safonov

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humpback whales #4 [Dec. 31st, 2012|07:02 pm]
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myself getting closer to the humpback whale, Wild Coast, South Africa



Photo by Dave Caravias


Many asked me about "behind the scenes" of whale photography. Well, Two words describe process best - patience and endurance. Most of time whales are not exactly interested to socialize with you, and for them it takes only couple of tail movements to swim away from you very far. Most of the encounters are very brief 'fly-by' types, with very little actual interaction happening in the course.

For good results you have to find special situation - static whales occupied with something. We found two big male humpbacks this season in South Africa, doing some sort of dominance game on the surface. Huge bulls, making loud scary sounds like excited elephants. Of 6 people on the boat I was only one willing to get into water and approach them - such powerful was spectacle of splashes they created, people were bit afraid.

Well, visibility was not perfect too - about 6 meters at best. I jumped into water and started to make my way towards those giants. I could raise my head on the top and clearly see them on the surface. Put it back into water - only to be back into greenish milky substance - and some obscure shadows in front. I was moving very slowly since I was afraid to be hit by their pectoral fins - each about 3 meters long.

This is when something really scary happened. Remember - I told before that Sardine Run 2012 was without sardines. They failed to show up - but sharks, dolphins and photographers all came into area. I was suddenly hit into my leg above knee - quite hard. I sharply turned and saw huge 3.5m dusky shark - it came to check me out out of frustration - since I - and whales - were making splashing sounds, and sharks often associate them with fish on the surface.

I hit shark very hard with my camera. I think it was hardest blow I ever delivered on the shark - and I dove with bulls in Fiji many times ! Dusky turned, made circle and went straight at me again. After third hit I raised my hand and called skipper loudly, who was staying on zodiac about 50 meters away. Hearing engine sound shark went below me and disappeared.

In the end I managed to get close to those two males - and it was magnificient experience. Problem - I don't have very clean shots of them, since water was milky, but believe me - I was just 1 meter away from an eye of 16m long animal, biggest humpback whale I saw in my life, and I saw a few of them !

Those kind of adventures is the reason why I keep going into ocean. I feel alive and happy doing these kind of things. 2013 is promising to be interesting ! I will keep you posted on my adventures - and Happy New Year everyone ! ^_^

Also - if anybody interested - I posted story on my dusky shark shot from this year on Tetis - http://forum.tetis.ru/viewtopic.php?t=75620 - and it is in Russian ! Crazy shit ! Enjoy ! ^_^
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: staryi_vorchun
2012-12-31 12:37 pm (UTC)

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This is a gorgeous sight! I read the
translation, and imagined it all: great
waves, spray, sea and giant sharks (you
really hit her camera?) ... Happy New
Year! :)
[User Picture]From: pats0n
2012-12-31 02:31 pm (UTC)

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here is some stuff for you to devour in Russian -http://forum.tetis.ru/viewtopic.php?t=75620 ;-) Happy New Year ! ^_^
[User Picture]From: staryi_vorchun
2012-12-31 02:35 pm (UTC)

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Happy New Year !
[User Picture]From: max_e
2012-12-31 02:05 pm (UTC)

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эхх. завидно.
[User Picture]From: pats0n
2012-12-31 02:32 pm (UTC)

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Завидовать больным на всю голову людям не имеет смысла - вот тут еще - http://forum.tetis.ru/viewtopic.php?t=75620 :-)
[User Picture]From: yousei_
2012-12-31 02:23 pm (UTC)

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невероятное зрелище, аж мурашки по коже...

с наступающим вас)
[User Picture]From: pats0n
2012-12-31 02:32 pm (UTC)

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Спасибо, и вас ! Тут вот еще материальчик на русском -http://forum.tetis.ru/viewtopic.php?t=75620 :-)
[User Picture]From: vitaly_sokol
2013-01-05 12:18 am (UTC)

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Патсончик, ты лучше зацени какая экспрессия, какой риск для жизни, сколько энергии в снимках.
www.nat-geo.ru/article/1275/gallery/478/4896/



Какой драматизм в описании, сколько гламурного зерна в фото.
"Нырнув недалеко от популярного в Сиднее пляжа, девушка всплывает с песчаного дна. Жизнь ее сейчас зависит от глотка воздуха. Океан, таящий в себе множество непредвиденных опасностей, при этом не враг человеку, а друг – он так устроен, что мы всплываем наверх."

Ты понял, ЖИЗНЬ ЗАВИСИТ ОТ ГЛОТКА ВОЗДУХА.
Это NG.

Или вот

"До проявки плёнки я не знаю, что будет на моих снимках"

Кончай китов да шарков фотать - УЧИСЬ!

[User Picture]From: pats0n
2013-01-05 03:57 am (UTC)

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хыхыхыхы :-) Я Лягушкину коммент запостил, он у нас резидент русского НГ, пусть спросит там ^_^
[User Picture]From: pats0n
2013-01-05 04:00 am (UTC)

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У нее кстати выставка была под названием "Dva pivo prosim" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narelle_Autio :-)
[User Picture]From: denis_feodosia
2013-02-08 02:45 pm (UTC)

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блин и ты такую историю держал в загашниках! -)
а чего фото то не опубликовал в жж? -)
[User Picture]From: pollux78
2013-04-12 10:24 am (UTC)

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Александр, здравствуйте!
Мне кажется, что я не могу читать все ваши записи. Эта - последняя, которую я вижу. Вы ограничиваете доступ определённым пользователям?
Если возможно, откройте плиз доступ к более свежим записям:) Журнал ваш нравится, спасибо Помидорке, благодаря ему нашёл:) Не нашист, не буйный, да и троллить я не умею. Спасибо заранее.
[User Picture]From: duradulova
2013-04-17 10:09 am (UTC)

Не пОняла я шото!

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Саша, разве в 2013 году Вы ничего не постили у себя в ЖЖ? У меня та же история.

Edited at 2013-04-17 10:10 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: a_xuili
2013-04-18 08:53 pm (UTC)

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с Днем рождения!
[User Picture]From: m_tsyganov
2013-04-19 01:17 am (UTC)

С днем варенья!

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:-)
[User Picture]From: satangel
2013-04-19 02:56 am (UTC)

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С днем рождения!
[User Picture]From: nutsh
2013-04-19 04:21 am (UTC)

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С днём рождения,Александр! Очень жаль,что в ЖЖ Вас больше не видно:(
Успешных Вам новых погружений и всплытий!)
[User Picture]From: levinski
2013-04-19 05:23 am (UTC)

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Дорогой Александр:)
с
Днем Рождения!
Приятно, что есть такие люди, как Вы.
Горящие, смелые, яркие!
Успехов Вам!
Татьяна Помысова
[User Picture]From: yareactor
2013-04-19 06:46 am (UTC)

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С днем варенья! Желаю успехов, удачи и новых мест.
[User Picture]From: denis_feodosia
2013-04-19 07:12 am (UTC)

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Саня проздравляю! Желаю нырнуть в самые глубины океана! -)
[User Picture]From: angels_chinese
2013-04-19 08:08 am (UTC)

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С днем рождения :)
[User Picture]From: span_tourist
2013-04-19 01:49 pm (UTC)

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С днем рождения!
[User Picture]From: faddeeva
2013-04-19 02:07 pm (UTC)

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С Днем Рождения! Прекрасных фотографий и много-много вдохновения!
[User Picture]From: dasu
2013-04-20 09:41 am (UTC)

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С Днём Рождения! Всего самого!
[User Picture]From: maxnicol
2013-04-20 09:56 am (UTC)

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с днем рождения!
From: blog.artistcove.ru
2014-05-21 03:32 pm (UTC)

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Благодарю..