“Humpback Whale Tail” – Photo Art Print P103
I moved to Juneau in the summer of 1979. The following summer, I found myself photographing whales in a skiff off Point Adolphus in Icy Strait. Before this time, I had not really ever seen a whale. When the whale in this image showed up it started slapping its tail. I slowly moved in to capture the behavior. By the time I got near enough for a shot the whale had been tail slapping for at least ten minutes. With each successive slap, the whale kept picking up more and more water until it had a waterfall cascading off its tail. I was able to shoot a few shots and then everything stopped. I thought to myself that I would see this behavior again. Well…34 years later and hundreds of whale photographic adventures, I have never seen anything like it again. This is why this image is so special and the reason that it is included as the sixth spread in my children’s book “Once Upon Alaska”. It is also available as a note card and a postcard.
The humpback whale is the most animated of all the baleen whales and is often seen breaching, spy hopping, pectoral fin slapping, and tail lobbing. Tail lobbing occurs when a whale repeatedly slaps the water surface with its tail, or flukes. The flukes hitting the water surface sound like a gunshot. Although there are many theories concerning tail lobbing, whale researchers are not sure of the causes or accomplishments of this behaviour.
Mark Kelley Photography created this print for you using only top of the line inks and paper that have been independently tested for archival quality and color brilliance. Like any artwork, your print should not be exposed to direct sunlight. We recommend that you have your print professionally framed using archival materials to assure yourself a lifetime of appreciation. All matted prints fit standard frame sizes.