Canon cameras are renowned among wildlife photographers for outstanding image quality, and these pictures of whales off the coast of Sri Lanka are no exception.

They are taken from a piece by Franco Banfi on Canon’s Ambassadors Programme website, which notes that “Sri Lanka may turn out to be one of the best hot spots for seeing blue whales”.

“Imagine being ten kilometres far from the nearest coast on a small boat—with only three people plus the skipper aboard—looking for blue whales whose length can reach up to 25 metres.

“These encounters will make you feel really small and vulnerable. But you have nothing to fear from these gentle giants. As long as we are gentle and our swim is soft in the water, whales usually accept our presence with them; when they are annoyed, they easily plunge into the depth leaving us on the surface.”

Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are the largest animals ever to have lived on Earth, bigger even than the largest of the dinosaurs. These giants (up to 33 metres long and weighing 180 tons) inhabit the open ocean, where they are found most frequently along the continental shelf edges and near polar ice.

Read more here.

Pictures of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus indica), Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens inside a Seacam underwater housing; the exposure was 1/500sec at f/5.6, ISO 320. © Franco Banfi

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