UPY 2017 Up & Coming - Commended

Christophe Lapeze

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UPY 2017 Up & Coming - Commended
'Whale calf posing' - Christophe Lapeze

I travelled to French Polynesia for a once in a life moment of playing with a whale calf and I decided to devote a whole week to this. One morning, the magic happened. A mother and a calf were sleeping quietly at 15 meters. When they feel safe and unafraid, they can really come close to you. And this six tonne 6 meter calf was amazingly playful. Strobes were not allowed but you don't need them. The contrast of the deep blue and the sunlight were enough. The difficulty was to be at the right place according to the sunlight and to get a gracious pose from the calf: another photographer on the other side, the whale posing, a few bubbles out of his blow-hole, a short eye contact, Click! Fixed in my memory forever.

Judge's comment: Peter Rowlands: I am naturally drawn to shots like these and especially to subjects like these. I fully accept that as an image in the Up and Coming Category it has much stronger competition but this has captured the ‘This is what it’s like ‘being there’ factor.

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