For Whale Geeks Only by Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)

Canvas Prints

Available to buy on…


Okay, this is a weird view of a whale compared to the breaches and tail views we all enjoy seeing. Yet, since it IS so unusual I thought I’d share this with you.

This is Stripe, a very friendly humpback whale I encountered in late Autumn in a remote fjord in SE Alaska. Stripe repeatedly spyhopped next to our boat—-spyhopping means putting their large heads up above the surface of the water for a look.

Often Stripe would linger just below the surface for a bit before spyhopping, no doubt contemplating the strange beings waving and calling to him from above.

What is unusual about this photo is that it gives a very good look at a humpback whale’s rostrum (snout) and big, lumpy tubercles (bumps). When viewed from afar, these whale bumps do not appear all that big but when seen from mere feet away, they are indeed quite large. One can even see individual hairs extending from the tubercles as well as whale lice, the brownish little creatures on Stripe’s rostrum. A crop of barnacles is growing on Stripe’s rostrum.

Incidentally, the smaller portion of Stripe’s rostrum is called the upper pre-jawbone (on the left side of the photograph) and the more massive mandible with the knobby tubercles and barnacles is the lower jaw (the right side of the photograph). It’s difficult to get one’s bearings but the top of Stripe’s head is on the left side of the photo. Here’s a link to another photo of Stripe that may help you envision what this whale looks like.

SE Alaska, USA

October 31, 2009

Canon 40D, Tamron 28-75mm lens, shutter 1/120, f/4.5, ISO 400

It is my sincere wish that visitors to my portfolio experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Moreover my hope is that my photographs will inspire viewers to be proactive toward the protection of wildlife and its habitat, those efforts ultimately making a far better world for all beings.

View Full Profile


  • StacyLee
    StacyLeeabout 5 years ago

    Wow this is fascinating!! Thank you for your description— I had no idea what I was looking at until I read it.

  • Stacy, you are welcome. It is a pretty geeky image but it is so different that I wanted to share it with fellow RedBubblers interested in whales. I’m glad you found it interesting!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • kalaryder
    kalaryderabout 5 years ago

    A great description, like StacyLee, I had no idea what we were looking at. Fabulous shot, how wonderful to be so close

  • I hope I didn’t confuse everyone too much with this unusual view of a humpback whale. Thank you for stopping by for a look and to comment.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • LTPhotography
    LTPhotographyabout 5 years ago

    Amazing, would love to see a whale, great detail

  • Thanks a bundle! We have to get you over to Alaska to meet these “wee” beasties!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Wendy  Slee
    Wendy Sleeabout 5 years ago

    How truly fascinating…thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Wendy, these creatures never cease to fascinate me. I’m happy you enjoyed meeting Stripe, my favorite whale.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • emel
    emelabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful texture!stunning.

  • Thank you, emel! I wonder what you could do with an abstraction of a a whale?!!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • dinghysailor1
    dinghysailor1about 5 years ago

    remarkable capture!!

  • Thank you! I get so excited about whales that I like to post “geeky” pics of them; not quite as exciting as a breach or bubble feeding but just kind of different.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Randall Scholten
    Randall Scholtenabout 5 years ago

    What a cool shot!

  • Randall, thank you ever so much! Glad you enjoyed encountering old Stripe.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Lyn  Thomsen
    Lyn Thomsenabout 5 years ago

    Amazing photo whalegeek, thank you for sharing and the details,simply awesome

  • Lyn, thank you for writing such lovely comments.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerabout 5 years ago

    WOW !!

  • That’s similar to what I said when this big old fella came up out of the water a few feet from where I was standing. They look REALLY big when viewed from close quarters.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Barbara Burkhardt
    Barbara Burkhardtabout 5 years ago

    Couldn’t you just give him a big wet kiss!!!! B-)))) Incredible shot Gina.

  • Now that would have been memorable, Miss B! Wish I could have done that…thus far I’ve only kissed a wild gray whale and that was a thrill of a lifetime. Yet I think I’d have to administer breath mints to this big fella for it had very fishy breath.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.