A really interesting man who shoots whales. But in a good way.

January 16, 2010

Duncan Murrell is an amazing wildlife photographer. He takes pictures of Humpback whales that are just incredible. Like this one.

Humpback whales feeding

He understands more than most the behaviour of these magnificent whales, as you’ll discover.
Humpback whales are incredible. They’re pretty enormous, at anything up to 52 feet (16 metres) long. And they’re amazingly agile for something so huge. They breach the water with great regularity, lifting up to two-thirds of their bodies out of the water. No mean feat for a mammal that weighs up to 36,000 kilograms.

The males also perform complex whale songs, each lasting for 10 to 20 minutes. And they can repeat the songs for hours. The reason they sing is not fully understood, but it’s believed to be part of their mating ritual.
Click here to learn more about these amazing animals.

A Humpback 'lobtailing'

Synchronised blowholing

I saw the images that are shown here on the Guardian website. And they blew me away. I’m in awe of just how close he gets to the whales. I believe he’s spent many, many summers off the coast of southeast Alaska in his kayak photographing them. That’s right, in his kayak. Which, in itself, is pretty brave.

Close enough for you?

But what a buzz he must get as he captures his images. And the results are truly amazing. View the Guardian’s picture galleries here. They’ve always got some incredible shots.

Amazing detail

All the whale images shown here are copyright of Duncan Murrell and Steve Bloom Images.


2 Responses to “A really interesting man who shoots whales. But in a good way.”

  1. Thanks for your flattering comments about my photos. They are spot on. Yes, it was an indescribable buzz that I can never re-create in any other way…an addiction and compulsion of a magnitude that can never be emulated.. a long passage of my life that still fills me with longing and a passion that still burns whenever I have the opportunity to stand before an audience and captivate them with the crazy adventures of the Whaleman. I hope that it won’t be too long before I can produce my long overdue book. I just need a publisher … watch this space.
    Duncan the Whaleman

    • chrismuir1 Says:

      Hi Duncan,
      Thanks for your comments. I’ve been lucky enough to see whales before, from a bit more of a distance than you. Both here in Scotland (where I live) and in South Africa (somewhere I love). The sight of the sun rising over the Indian Ocean as I watched a pod (school, herd – there appear to be quite a few collective nouns for whales) of whales majestically pass by is a sight that will live with me forever.
      I’m absolutely amazed at how close you managed to get to them. It must require equal amounts of patience, determination and sheer courage.
      If you do find a publisher, let me know as books are another of my obsessions.
      I work as a copywriter, producing advertising ideas for clients. If you ever need any ideas to highlight a good cause (or even to promote your book), feel free to give me a shout. You can see examples of what I get up to by clicking the link to Flickr on the home page of my blog.
      Good luck with the book and future trips to capture more amazing images.

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