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Bird’s eye view of whales sparks online interest

An amateur photographer captured his first successful whale-watching expedition on a drone – and his film later racked up hundreds of views on social media.

Danny Rogers-Johnson, 34, said that the minute-long drone footage was watched by at least 1,200 people on his Instagram and Facebook pages earlier this month.

He added that the “surreal moment” he filmed was his first time seeing whales close up and that he had chased the opportunity since he was a child.

Mr Rogers-Johnson, from Devonshire, said: “It was overwhelming to see something so mighty – but also so gentle – in its natural habitat.

“I kind of felt at one with nature as well, being that close to something so large.

“It was also a little nerve-racking because the boat wasn’t that big – it was probably a 17ft boat and that whale had to have at least been double the size of the boat.”

Mr Rogers-Johnson captured the video and a photograph earlier this month when he and a friend went fishing near Devonshire Bay.

He said he had used a drone to take pictures and videos for about four years and brought the drone with him in case he saw some whales.

Mr Rogers-Johnson added that he saw white caps and at first thought they were waves breaking on coral reefs – until he saw a “massive” whale fin breach the water and “wave” at him.

He said: “I took my drone out really quickly, launched it and just got the footage as I was doing an orbit around the whales.

“They were just dancing and prancing, waving at the camera – or at least that’s what it felt like.”

Mr Rogers-Johnson, who works at Clarien Bank, added that online viewers of his footage appeared impressed with the quality of the work.

He said: “There’s a lot of pictures and videos that a lot of people have taken before, but people though it was pretty exciting to see the theatrics that I had caught that day.”

Mr Rogers-Johnson said that he hoped to launch a website for video and photo bookings soon.

The footage was shot a week after Raf Baran, a freediver, posted videos of a chance encounter with dolphins and whales that attracted thousands of viewers from around the world.

Mr Rogers-Johnson’s other videos and photographs can be seen here.

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Published March 24, 2021 at 8:01 am (Updated March 24, 2021 at 7:59 am)

Bird’s eye view of whales sparks online interest

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