This is one of the most stunning and beautiful nature photographs I’ve ever seen. (Select the thumbnail image to see the full size version.) Considering that it also took first place in the Smithsonian’s National Wildlife Awards, I guess I’m not surprised.
The image was captured off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii and here is what the photographer, Lori Mazzuca, had to say:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was observing a strange interaction between a pair of bottlenose dolphins and a humpback whale, when it became apparent that the two species were collaborating in some way. The dolphin was lying on a humpback whaleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head while it was slowly swimming along. Looking through my camera lens the stunt appeared to be orchestrated by mutual Ã¢â‚¬Å“agreement.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The whale very slowlyÃ¢â‚¬â€and verticallyÃ¢â‚¬â€lifted the dolphin into the air. I expected the dolphin to wriggle atop the humpbackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head to get off, but it just laid still and arched, trying to stay on top of the whaleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s snout. In this frame the dolphin was beginning its slippery return to the sea. Once back in the ocean, the dolphin swiftly swam away with the other dolphin, leaping joyfully as if they had just scored a coup!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The photo was shot with a Canon EOS 10D; 70-200mm lens with 1.4x extender; digital capture.
The original and more of these nature photos can be found here.