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Renata Bruynzeel with artwork

Humpback inspired artwork from Renata Bruynzeel

On occasion I receive requests from artists who have kindly mentioned that my images of the Humpbacks have inspired them and they would like to create or reproduce the subject in their own unique style. Someone who has done this is Renata Bruynzeel, a local Wollongong artist with a phenomenal talent for creating beautiful wildlife art.

Renata has been to Tonga on several occasions spending time in the water with the Humpbacks. She has a passion for these amazing whales which is indicative of the beautifully crafted artwork you see below.

You never know how an artist will interpret a photographic piece or what to expect, which is the part I find exciting. But as you can see, the end result is spectacular as Renata brings these amazing creatures to life and captures the emotion and passion that she has for all wildlife.

She truly captures the wonderful life-like effects and the awesome beauty and spirit of these gentle giants in their natural environment.

You can see and buy any of her original artworks and prints here: http://www.natureartists.com/renata_bruynzeel.asp

Jacobs Creek Video featuring Scott Portelli

Scott Portelli, featured in the Jacobs Creek, True Character Series

The Jacobs Creek, True Character Series is a collection of stories about inspirational people that have stayed true to dreams, through their passions. I was selected along with several other inspirational, funny, interesting characters from around the world to talk about my passion for whales.

You can watch the True Character series on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TrueCharacterSeries

A swimmer in front of a huge humpback whale, on tour with Swimming with Gentle Giants

Marine Biologist, Tia Rose joins us in Tonga this year

Joining us this year in Tonga is Tia Rose Marine Biologist and Guide. Not only an expert on whales, she has an extensive knowledge of marine mammals and has been a frequent visitor to Tonga over the last 5 years. Tia has her Master of Science in Wildlife Conservation. She lives on the beautiful island of Maui. When not out exploring the waters of the pacific she works on her blog communicating science and illuminating the issues facing our oceans today by gathering the latest scientific publications and connecting it to policy, human behavior and attitudes to the environment. To view Tia’s research on swimming with whales in Tonga visit her blog:

Check out Tia’s Blog at: http://seaillumination.blogspot.com

Exhibition Customs House

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Launch exhibition at Customs House Sydney

IFAW have launched their “”We’re for Whales” photographic exhibition at Customs House in Sydney. A number of our phots of Humpback Whales feature on the massive digital wall on the ground level and throughout the exhibition. If you are in Sydney it is worth going to have a look at the exhibition and support the fight to protect our whales.

Magazine Article cover photo

Afloat Magazine Article – Whale Song

Although we will never know with any certainty just how many Humpbacks swam the world’s oceans before whaling began in earnest in the seventeenth century, the latest genetic estimates suggest the number may have been as high as 240 million animals.
Check out the article at: afloat.com.au

A swimmer in front of a huge humpback whale, on tour with Swimming with Gentle Giants

We are expecting a big season in 2013

Some of the most amazing moments I have had in my life have been in the water with Humpback whales and after a decade of doing this I can truly say there is nothing on this planet that comes close than being face to face with a Humpback whale underwater. So we are counting down the days until August/September and hope to have some of those life changing moments for our guests. we only have 3 spaces left for the season so if you are thinking about a trip, Tonga is the place to be.

Humpback whale mother and calf

Kicking off the 2012 season

The the whales are here! And they come in all shapes and sizes! I can’t think of a better way to spend your time than floating on the surface face to face with these majestic Humpback whales. The people who have spent time with the whales over the last 10 years with me know how much of a privilege it is and it is good to see these friends again year after year. Our team will be in Tonga this year to help create some new memories. Enjoy the season and hope to share these experiences with you all soon.

Artwork Patrick LaMontagne

Humpback Inspired Artwork

I recently was approached by an artist, Patrick LaMontagne, who creates unique cartoon characters of various wildlife and has put together a collection of these wildlife cartoon totems. He asked permission to use a particular Humpback calf photo I took in Tonga last year and explained what he was trying to achieve. I didn’t know what to expect but as you can see the final piece is very engaging. It is always flattering when someone is inspired by your work and as you can see below the results are truly amazing. Patrick is a very talented artist and you can see more of his collection at http://www.cartoonink.com

Freediver in Swallows Cave

Epson World Shootout Underwater Grand Prix for 2011

During August this year the Epson World Shootout was taking place. I just found out that I won third prize in the wide angle category. There were some great entries for this event and I feel privileged to be awarded along side some amazing photographers. you can checkout some of the photos at the World Shoot out website. The shot below was taken in swallows cave in Vava’u Tonga and no matter how many times I come back to Tonga this is always a favourite spot for taking photos. Special thanks to my model Rebecca Hayter for patiently holding her breath so I could capture the light and colour.

sea shepherd and Paul Watson

Meeting Paul Watson Captain of Sea Shepherd

As many of you know I am a keen advocate for the preservation of whales and spend half my life in the water photographing these amazing creatures. It was privilege to meet the Captain and Founder of Sea Shepherd last night as the conservation group try and raise enough money to fuel their campaign to Antarctica to stop the Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean in Australian and New Zealand Antarctic territory. Hope this is the year they end whaling.