WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Animal Portraits

Marc McCormack, Australia

White Fella

Migaloo (Aboriginal for 'white fella') is the only known all-white humpback whale in the world. Marc had photographed him at sea level but knew that the way to get the perfect portrait would be from the air. He had already made three attempts, on days when the water was too rough to capture the white whale against the white-capped waves. On hearing that a tour boat had spotted Migaloo off Green Island, in the far north of Queensland, Marc chartered a helicopter to take him directly to the spot. 'On this day the water was almost smooth,' he says. 'I clicked the shutter as Migaloo took one last breath and disappeared like a giant ghost into the depths.' Migaloo belongs to the eastern Australian humpback population that is thought to total about 15,000 - still way below half the number that existed before commercial whaling began.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D Mark III + 600mm f4 lens; 1/1600 sec at f13; ISO 250.


Coral Sea off Green Island, Australia: latitude -16.7434, longitude 145.971 Coral Sea off Green Island, Australia: latitude -16.7434, longitude 145.971

Coral Sea off Green Island, Australia

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Marc McCormack, Australia

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