Photo: And if you think timing the tail is difficult (and it is), getting the head up on lunge feeding is even more difficult. You're looking at open water when suddenly you have a whale head in front of you and it's only there for a moment. But you have no idea it's coming, let alone where. It's all quick reaction and having the camera preset.

Here's an example where I was set all wrong (I was at 100mm because I was photographing the whales right next to me; I would have liked to be at 300mm, obviously, but you have absolutely no time for that, as this happens very rapidly). If you look closely you see little black bits to the left and right of that whale: those are fish jumping out of the water in front of him as he lunged upward ;~). Also, if you don't recognize what you're looking at, the vertical part is the top of the whale's mouth, the horizontal part is the bottom. In other words, his mouth is open at 90 degrees as he came up.
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Thom Hogan
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And if you think timing the tail is difficult (and it is), getting the head up on lunge feeding is even more difficult. You're looking at open water when suddenly you have a whale head in front of you and it's only there for a moment. But you have no idea it's coming, let alone where. It's all quick reaction and having the camera preset.

Here's an example where I was set all wrong (I was at 100mm because I was photographing the whales right next to me; I would have liked to be at 300mm, obviously, but you have absolutely no time for that, as this happens very rapidly). If you look closely you see little black bits to the left and right of that whale: those are fish jumping out of the water in front of him as he lunged upward ;~). Also, if you don't recognize what you're looking at, the vertical part is the top of the whale's mouth, the horizontal part is the bottom. In other words, his mouth is open at 90 degrees as he came up.

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