This is a slight diversion from the Kimberley! I took this shot yesterday of 3 Southern Right Whales in Geographe Bay just off Castle Rock. I was up on top of the rock and waited for them to come past. As they went past Dad got a bit frisky and turned and fronted Mum, then span around. They locked flippers (I guess the whale equivalent of walking arm in arm!). The calf got caught between them and here you can see the calf’s tale in the air as it tries to get out.
I am not an expert on whales, but these seem to fit the descriptions of Southern Right whales – they are very large (the mother is around 50 foot long – 15m). One characteristic of the SRW is that their blow is V shaped and these whales exhibited that characteristic. According to Wikipedia there are only around 1500 of these along the southern coast of Australia.
I took this from our balcony Saturday night around 11. This was taken over a 15 minute period. I used a torch to light up the garden in the foreground. Most of the lightning was “sheet” lightning – the whole sky was lighting up. At this stage the main storm appeared to be over Bridgetown ( by looking at the weather radar!). You can see a couple of lightning strikes low in the sky though.
You can also see the lights of Busselton, Capel, and Peppermint Grove Beach. These are the red lights on the horizon, low in the image (to the left of the lightning strikes. Busselton is the rightmost patch of red lights. The 3 red vertical dots are the ABC transmitting mast at Siesta Park.
This is known as the “Little Planet” format. There are a number of ways to achieve this, some complicated, others not quite so. The first step is to take a 360 degree panorama. I recall this image as having 2 rows of 13 images. Each image was a blend of around 5 exposures. The resultant panorama is resized to a square format and turned upside down. Then you use the Photoshop rectangulat to polar coordinate conversion and this is the result. (If you dont turn it upside down, then the sky will wind up in the centre).
This image won GeoCatch’s Bay OK competition probably because it captures many of the features of Geographe Bay – the jetty, the Busselton Foreshore, the swimming platform, the water, and on the right you can see the coast to Cape Naturaliste (probably not on the screen, but the full size image shows it). I was playing around with this technique when GeoCatch announced their competion. There were some very, very good entries but they generally showed one feature of the bay.