19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
A Sperm Whale and Her Calf

After days of bad weather, there was a small window to try and photograph the sperm whales of the Azores. After hours of searching, we saw a large female spout at the surface. I prepped my camera and slid off the boat. I could hear and feel the clicks of her echolocation in the distance. Within a matter of minutes, I was faced to face with the largest toothed whale on the planet. On the surface, I could see she had a calf that was following her. They both turned, looked me in the eye, and came in for a closer look. After one big kick of her fluke, she was well on her way and headed back down to the depths to feed. Taken under Azorian audio and visual cetacean permit.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Pico Island, Portugal
Camera: ILCE-7RM4
Copyright: © Tyler Schiffman