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Old 08-19-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
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Incredible Humpback Whale Shots

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The underwater dance of David and Goliath: Diver perches on the fin of friendly 50ft humpback whale



By Eddie Wrenn
Last updated at 2:23 PM on 19th August 2009



A playful flick of his colossal tail and the diver could be dead.
But instead this curious, intelligent humpback whale takes a shine to diver Marco Queral, and the two end up drifting through the seas together.
The astonishing contact between the 50ft king of the ocean and the minuscule human was captured off Hawaii in the South Pacific last week.

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Swimming together: The humpback whale takes the diver by the fin and goes for a spin
Diver and cameraman Marco Queral, 42, said the jaw-dropping moment was all down to luck, and little to do with the skills he has mastered over 17 years.
He said: 'The success in getting these shots is pretty much always down to the whale.
'They are extremely intelligent. Just like humans they have their own mind and come with strong personalities.
'Therefore the success in cetacean photography is pretty much all up to them. They decide whether I can take pictures of them or not. They must be in a right mood to let me get into this position.'
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Reaching out to make contact: The humpback whale and Marco Queral look like they're about take part in an underwater dance
To get his spectacular images of marine life the world, South American Marco relies on various tricks to catch the attention of passing creatures.
'Perhaps the most effective and possibly only way to help my photography is to try to stimulate their curiosity.
'Dolphins, for example, sometimes love to hang out with me when I do some acrobats underwater like spinning and turning.
'They get as curious about me as I am about them, and that is the right time to take pictures of them as they show their individual personalities.'

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Marco Queral gazes down on the humpback whale, as the two get to know each other
But mammals as large as whales are a different and much more dangerous affair.
Marco said: 'Their enormous size itself must be considered as an immediate life-threatening danger.
'I must be very cautious when they approach and investigate me.
'I believe they are gentle by nature but I am always aware their kind greeting of a tail swing may easily kill me by accident.
'Also, they are usually more shy and cautious toward humans and boats than dolphins are, perhaps because they are not so accustomed to seeing humans offshore.
'I think their bashfulness and timidity have been ingrained into their DNA as they have been chased and hunted by humans for centuries.'
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The gentle beast heads to the surface, seeking a close encounter
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: Incredible Humpback Whale Shots

I miss freediving in Hawaii!!!
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