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UPY 2019 Wide Angle - Winner
'Gentle Giants' - François Baelen
At the very end of the day, this humpback whale was resting 15 meters down and allowed me to free dive centimetres away from her tail. I told my friend I wanted him to be part of the shot, but didn't need to ask the playful calf : he was very curious.
From down there, the scene looked unreal and I'm glad that this photograph has captured this moment. Humpback whales are amazing and peaceful animals and I still can't believe they are still being hunted by mankind today.
Judge's comment: The first moment I viewed this image I knew it would be a strong contender. For me it's the symmetry of the Humpback and the balance between the diver and calf. Everything about it is in perfect alignment. The shape of the tail in relation to the four corners of the frame, not to mention the position of the free diver and calf. Superb imagery at its very best. Many congratulations Francois.
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