The big four
Tony spent an unforgettable morning snorkelling above a large group of sperm whales off the Caribbean island of Dominica. 'They spent much of their time at the surface of the ocean, rubbing up against each other, vocalizing and gathering in raft formations - often appearing as if they were playing,' says Tony. 'Though they were preoccupied, the whales seemed to take an interest in me from time to time.' When he took this photograph, four were swimming directly up towards him. They paused about 10 metres (33 feet) below the surface, and as Tony dived down to have a better look, he could feel their clicking sonar resonating through his body as they checked him out. Then suddenly they surfaced, and Tony found himself in the middle of the four enormous animals. 'As I swam along with them and we made eye contact, it seemed as if, however briefly, they were socializing with me.'
Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 15mm f2.8 fisheye lens; 1/400 sec at f4.5; ISO 200; Zillion housing.
Off the Dominica Coast, Caribbean Sea
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Tony Wu, United States of America
Since 1995, Tony has combined his love of visual art with his interest in the marine world through underwater photography. He has recently focused on photographing cetaceans and documenting spawning aggregations of fish. Tony uses his photographs and writing to encourage others to appreciate and protect the beauty of the oceans. He is also a frequent public speaker.