Featured / Inspiration

Swimming with Whales

About the Author:

Michelle Valberg is the founder of Valberg Imaging, Ottawa, a Canadian Nikon Ambassador, and an award-winning Canadian photographer. Renowned for her soulful portraiture, majestic wildlife and stunning landscapes, Michelle recently published her third book, Arctic Kaleidoscope: The People, Wildlife and Ever-Changing Landscape.

There are places on this planet where magic happens. Places where creatures briefly congregate in dynamic, amazing, migrating communities to breed, feed or rest. And sometimes, amidst those remote locations, humans can witness nature unfettered.

This past winter, the magic appeared for me in Silver Bank National Park, 10 hours by ship from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. There, I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with 16 metre-long, 50 ton creatures. It was a dream come true… jumping into the ocean knowing that there were humpback whales just a few feet below the surface. To photograph and swim with the whales in their underwater realm was undeniably a career highlight. Spending a week experiencing both topside and soft-in-water-encounters with North Atlantic humpback whales was magical and extraordinary…

For the full article please download our PhotoNews Magazine – Summer 2014.

Whales, Humpbacks

A curious Humpback calf comes in for a closer view of the underwater visitors.
Photographed with a Nikon D7000 and 10-16mm lens in an Aquatica housing.

Nikon AW1 camera

I used clamps to attach the Nikon AW1 underwater/shockproof camera on top of the housing to capture some
video. We were within a few feet of these amazing creatures. Photo by Thomas Lennartz

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