Posted on: September 22, 2010

2010 Whale Photo Contest Winners Announced

Images of whales breaching, swimming, spy hopping, pec slapping and tail slapping were among the dozens of whale photos that Pacific Whale Foundation staff evaluated recently in selecting the winners of the organization's 2010 Humpback Whale Photo Contest.

"It's always fun to look at all of the photos, but it's never easy to choose the winners," says Greg Kaufman, President and Founder of Pacific Whale Foundation. "We're grateful to all of our friends and supporters who shared their fantastic whale images with us."

The first place prize went to Kevin Olson, of Puunene, Maui, for his photo of a whale tail, taken on February 9, 2010. "We loved the way the water flows off the tail in this photo," says Kaufman. "It's a beautiful reminder of the graceful nature of whales."

Another Maui resident, Jeannette Howard of Lahaina, took second place honors for her photo of a humpback whale's tail slap. "The fact that you could see so much of the whale's body added to the appeal of this dramatic photo," noted Kaufman. "You don't often see the main part of the whale's body when it is tail slapping."

When she submitted the photo, Jeanette Howard wrote, “I was so lucky to get on your (Ocean) Discovery boat as much as I could this whale season. I went out most Sundays; thank you so much for another great season with the whales.”

The third place winner was Janet Ballard, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, who submitted a photo from a February 2010 whalewatch out of Lahaina. Her photo, of a whale tail, is so crisp that "you can see the barnacles on it, and the reflection of the tail on the water's surface," notes Kaufman.

The award for "Best Breach" went to Ted Neese, who was on a Pacific Whale Foundation cruise on February 21, 2010.

The prize for the "Most Creative" entry went to Linda Townsend, of Beverly Hills, Florida. Her photo was taken on December 2, 2009 at sunrise. It shows two whales, swimming side by side, in an ocean reflecting the golden light of morning.

A dramatic shot of a peduncle throw was the winner of the "Best Non Breach" photo taken by Steve Sonnenburg of San Clemente, California.

"We are looking forward to the arrival of the humpback whales this fall, and a great season of whalewatching ahead," notes  Kaufman. "People are already purchasing their whalewatch season's passes, so they can get out and watch whales as often as possible."

The first place winner will receive a $200 gift certificate from Pacific Whale Foundation. The second and third place winners will receive gift certificates for $150 and $100, respectively. The "Most Creative," "Best Non Breach" and "Best Breach" will each receive $50 gift certificates. The gift certificates may be redeemed for Eco-Adventure cruises, at either of Pacific Whale Foundation’s two retail stores in Maui, or at Pacific Whale Foundation’s online Ocean Store at

Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit, 501 (c )(3) organization dedicated to protecting whales, dolphins and the ocean environment. The nonprofit is the sole owner of Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures, which offers whalewatches, wild dolphin watches, snorkel cruises and sunset cruises. Funds raised by Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures help support research, education and conservation programs on behalf of the marine environment. To learn more, visit