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UPY 2018 Black & White - Highly Commended
'The Talk' - Rodney Bursiel
When I originally booked my surf trip to Fiji, I didn't realize how close Tonga was. I had always wanted to go to swim with the whales so I made a last minute adjustment to my flight and jumped over. Everyone I talked to strongly advised against going to Tonga without a guide lined up but I figured a bad day swimming with whales was better than going back home. As luck would have it I found a group that was leaving early. I was able to take their spot on a boat with just one other diver and it was just us hanging with this mom and her calf. The calf was a wild one, breaching and tail slapping all over the place. I love this photo because it looks like mom is giving the baby a talking to about straying too far from her.
Judge's comment: The silent rapport between mother and calf comes over to the viewer with ease and in my case, initially, I was quietly fixated with the interaction between them both. That's when the reflections kicked in and my eye circled the image over and over again and again. The composition of the behaviour and in particular the reflections could not have been better and the choice of a mono conversion was the cherry on the cake! A lovely image.
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