March 30, 2002

8:47pm - Humpback whales are very cool. JimMasa and I were out all day on the boat watching humpback males try to mate with humpback mothers (in plain sight of their innocent little calves, too!). Whale sex jokes flew without abandon (heh). Competitive groups typically have lots of surface activity, so they're perfect for photo shoots. I think I managed to get a few good shots (theirs are much better, I'm sure), but it's really hard to get a crisp photo shooting from a rocking boat with a huge zoom lens. Actually, even getting the horizon to be horizontal is hard enough. :) Compounding the problem, it was slightly comical trying to use the Canon D30 to photograph things like breaching. Here's a typical scenario:

Jim and Masa: "Breach!!"
Jim and Masa: *clic-clic-clic-clic-clic-click!!* (with EOS 1v and EOS 3 camera bodies)
Eric: "oh!!" (Eric struggles to get his D30 out of his camera housing)
Jim and Masa: *clic-clic-clic-clic-clic-click!!*
Eric: (struggles to switch lenses. it's especially hard because he's forgotten the lens cap to his wide-angle lens, and he's too anal to just drop the exposed lens into his bag)
Jim and Masa: *clic-clic-clic-clic-clic-click!!*
Eric: *click* ... *click*
Eric: "Crap. I think I missed it."

What can I say? They're professionals. If you want to see real whale photographs, see their respective galleries. :)

I was talking to Sophie tonight about watching four or five male humpback whales trying to get with one female, and she exclaimed, "(in horror)... in front of the little one?!" After a moment, she laughed, and commented (regarding the male-female ratio), "It's just like Silicon Valley!" :)