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UPY 2018 Wide Angle - Winner
'Humpback whale spy hopping' - Greg Lecoeur
Each year, I go to Tonga to lead a small group of nature enthusiasts to photograph humpback whales. Tonga offers probably the best opportunity to interact with the whales in blue water. This year was very special, with my friends we had sone of my best moments in my underwater photographer's life: Very curious and playful whales came to investigate us and adopt the spy hopping posture in front of our masks. Although weighing several tens of tons this mammal showed incredible agility and power in holding itself vertically in the water. It was very impressive and we could feel the power of nature but we were also invaded at the same time a feeling of gentleness. I had the chance to freeze this moment with a split shot to recreate a spectacular moment.
Judge's comment: An amazing subject, caught at the precise peak of the action. Greg’s split level is an image that truly justifies being a split level. The gesture of the humpback reaching out with its pectoral fin completes the moment.
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