Meeting Migaloo – the story behind the images

Meeting Migaloo – the story behind the images

On Tuesday morning Migaloo, the white whale, made his much anticipated migration up the east coast of Australia past Byron Bay. For a nature photographer moments like these make all the long days and missed moments worthwhile – patience really does pay!

It is natural that I also often get asked how an image was captured – questions which arise from both a technical curiosity and an environmental perspective. Please read on for the full story of my interaction with this incredible creature…..

“This time of the year, I make it a habit to start my day on the ocean photographing the whales as they migrate along the coast. When I saw the white belly of Migaloo reveal itself in the distance I had to look twice – I couldn’t believe it,” said Craig.

“We turned off the engines to keep our distance and drifted along, snapping pictures like crazy. Over about 30 minutes, he slowly made his way over to us to get a closer look before giving us a little high five in the way of a fin slap on the water and continuing on.”

It was at this point Craig used his camera and water housing from within the boat, to continue photographing the other surrounding marine life. But then…. “Migaloo reappeared and gave my camera a cheeky grin,” said Craig. “Truly the image of a lifetime!”.

Additional Notes 

All imagery of Migaloo, the white whale, was captured in accordance with legislation and a safe distance was kept from Migaloo by disabling the boat’s engines and stopping the boat in excess of 500m from the whale. At this point, the vessel drifted for sometime, a period during which Migaloo swam closer to the boat and interacted with the occupants. Once it was certain the whale had cleared the area the boat departed. As stated above, the underwater images were captured using a camera, water-housing and trigger pole from over the side of the boat.

Craig also works closely with National Parks and Marine Services to regularly stay informed of current regulations and holds all relevant permits for the area.