Arts / Photo of ‘sleeping giant’ makes shortlist of photography awards

Photo: Nick McCaffrey

A STUNNING overhead image of a humpback whale has earned a Shetland-based photographer a nomination in this year’s British Photography Awards.

Nick McCaffrey’s image is nominated in the drone photography category – with public voting and judging taking place throughout December.

McCaffrey, who lives in Aith, headed to Muckle Roe after learning of a humpback whale sighting in Muckle Roe on 19 March this year, shortly before the UK went into the full Covid-19 lockdown.

As a professional drone pilot he specialises in capturing images of wildlife using drone equipment and says he would “never leave home without at least one drone and a back-up camera’.

He borrowed a friend’s boat and went to search for the “elusive” creature: “It’s surprising how tricky it can be to find these 25 tonne animals but when I finally did locate it I realised why this particular animal was so hard to find, it was sleeping!”

McCaffrey launched his drone from the boat, dialled in his exposure “as best I could (white on pectoral fins are difficult to expose for) and took the shot”.

“I’m grateful to the Shetland community for all their help in finding these fantastic creatures around our shores and in some ways this is the fruit of everyone’s labour getting Shetland images recognised,” he said.

“The calibre of photography on pages like Shetland on Camera has been inspirational and has made me push myself to do better.

“I would be grateful for any votes on my image and I think ultimately this is a win for Shetland and a win for cetaceans because proceeds will go to the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust.”

  • You can vote for Nick’s entry here.