2017 Underwater Photography Awards
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2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Humpback whale feeding on krill' Jean Tresfon/UPY 2017

A few miles offshore from Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Every summer hundreds of humpback whales gather off the Cape Town coast in a massive feeding aggregation. Working as part of a film crew I was privileged to have a chance to photograph this phenomenon. Although the water visibility was really good, inside the krill patch it was much reduced. Without warning the whales appeared just metres away with their pleats distended as they surfaced with huge mouthfuls of krill. Realising that they must be feeding deeper down I descended into the darker water to find the thickest concentration of krill. Suddenly a humpback appeared right in front of me, its huge mouth wide open as it sieved the water for the tiny crustaceans. I took several images before it disappeared into the gloom and then I was surrounded by a multitude of massive bodies as the rest of the pod took its turn to feed. Not a little intimidating!