Missed It By That Much

"Reflected On Dark Water" - the brilliant color of sunset clouds is reflected in the ripples just off the shore

A late night drive to the Shrine of St. Therese proved to be a real treat when significantly more clouds than expected hung around to catch the light. Then, while working on another wide-angle composition, I heard it. The explosion of air and saltwater spray nearly made me jump, and I turned to see the arching humpback not thirty yards from me, not thirty feet from the water’s edge. I scrambled to my bag knowing that my wide angle lens would do nothing but diminish the sense of proximity I wanted to illustrate. I watched another spout as I hurriedly but carefully started swapping to a short telephoto zoom. Finally, so nearly ready, I looked up to see the whale flash her beautiful fluke and dive deep under the water. By the time she resurfaced, I was ready…but the spout was an eighth of a mile away. In the end, there was no artful record or even crude documentation, but what a rush! I wouldn’t trade having the experience for having the photo any day.

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