15 Photos - Oct 31, 2011
Photo: The Moment - Maui, Hawaii
Sitting in my kayak on a calm sunny day... imagine how stunned I was when something resembling the space shuttle began to launch out of the fairly shallow water! The enormous whale seemed to move in slow motion, like when you see a jumbo jet coming in for landing and you wonder how it can still hang up there in the air. I knew a whale was nearby and thankfully I had my camera in my hands. Boom! I got a single shot in focus. The following 4 frames were thrown out of focus by the cliffs in the background. What an exhilerating moment in my life this was. As a photographer, I work carefully from a Hobie kayak using my regular "dry land" Nikon camera and lenses. The thrill and humility evoked by having a 55 foot, 70,000 pound whale swim under, or breach near my kayak is not something I can describe. A day with the whales will put your life into perspective, for sure!
© www.RandyJayBraun.comPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: ...I definitely had no plan of action when I started goofing around with this image. The cloud made it work for me. Mostly I played with the HSL sliders in Lightroom 3 to get this partially colored effect. Quick-n-dirty; Baam! Out of here!
© www.RandyJayBraun.com
#watercraftwednesday curated by +David Breazeale 
#elephantwednesday kind of an ocean elephant?? Sort of? Work with me here... curated by +Louisa Catharine Forsyth +Diego Cattaneo +Matthias HaeusslerPhoto: Photo: Photo: Maui, Hawaii - Humpback Whale from kayak. ©RandyJayBraun.comPhoto: Photo: ...So I was out in my kayak the other day and things were pretty quiet. I began to wonder if it was possible to teach a Humpback whale how to do tricks! "Goooood fishy. Stay. Wag your tail...."

I am bound to catch some grief for this... ;-)Photo: Gentle Giant - Maui, Hawai'i
Each winter season, Maui plays host to a couple thousand Humpback Whales. The warm, shallow, near-shore waters become a birthing and breeding ground for these prodigious mammals.

Before the invention of digital cameras and auto-fucus, it was very difficult for photographers to capture sharp images of whales. Todayʻs equipment has changed the guessing game to a much more predictable quest. I shoot from my kayak, and extend an open invitation to G+ photographers to join me, Jan-April.
#WildlifeWednesday curated by +Mike SpinakPhoto: Humpback Lovinʻ - Mā'alaea, Maui, Hawai'i
A newborn Humpback Whale came to explore my kayak yesterday; circling me, and poking its rostrum up towards me. This section of the whale is just about half of its head, with the eyes another few feet below the water line.

Ten feet below my kayak were both the mother, and her male escort. The male was pushing 60 feet (90,000 pounds), and he subsequently surfaced about 10 feet from me, like an island rising from the ocean floor.
© www.RandyJayBraun.comPhoto: I was feeling a little bit like Ishmael in Herman Mellvileʻs Moby Dick , except that my harpoon was a Nikon 70-200mm lens, and my "ship" was shorter than the 13 foot wide fluke of this massive mammal. This was probably the largest Humpback I have ever encountered while kayaking off the near-shore waters of Maui. The day was not clear nor was it sunny, and so why not present this capture to viewers as a sepia print with some grain? All work was done within Adobe Lightroom3.
© www.RandyJayBraun.com
#WildlifeWednesday curated by +Mike Spinak 
#TravelPanoWednesday curated by +Rolf Hicker 
#WatercraftWednesday curated by +David Breazeale 
#WetWednesday curated by +Susanne SchweigerPhoto: Whale Watching season is upon us here in Hawaii!