JONAS AND THE WHALES

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - TIM HAMER

AFTER tak­ing tens of thou­sands of spec­tac­u­lar pic­tures of whales, Jonas Lieb­schner (left) is still search­ing for the per­fect frame.

“It’s a pas­sion, an ad­dic­tion al­most. You have to get the best shot pos­si­ble and if you don’t get it, it’s a ter­ri­ble feel­ing,” the 32-yearold Ger­man-born Bondi lo­cal said.

He was of­fered a whale-watch­ing guide job on New Zealand’s South Is­land while back­pack­ing, but soon started tak­ing a cam­era out with him, and his pho­tog­ra­phy ad­dic­tion be­gan.

By the time he ar­rived at Whale Watch­ing Syd­ney 10 years ago, the now op­er­a­tions man­ager for the tour boat op­er­a­tor was deeply in love with the chal­lenges of pho­tograph­ing the ma­rine mam­mals.

“It’s a re­ally cool job be­ing so close to na­ture, watch­ing whales,” he said.

Lieb­schner has now put to­gether a pho­to­graphic book — Whales of Syd­ney — fea­tur­ing his best work.

He will do­nate a per­cent­age of the book’s pro­ceeds to­wards vol­un­teer ma­rine mam­mal res­cue and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion group ORCCA. It’s his way of giv­ing back.

“I’ve prof­ited off the whales over the past 10 years be­cause they have en­abled me to be a pho­tog­ra­pher and take pho­tos of them,” he said. “By buy­ing the book, peo­ple can help the whales that way.”

Come June and July the north­ern mi­gra­tion of most of the 30,000 hump­backs who sum­mered in the Antarc­tic will peak, and their trip north is much closer to shore than their south­ern mi­gra­tion.

Once again, Jonas will be cradling a big lens on a rocking boat, search­ing for that

per­fect shot.

A cu­ri­ous hump­back, taken with a GoPro on a stick.

Who’s watch­ing who? A hump­back in­spects a bow-full of hu­mans.

A tail-slap­ping hump­back framed by the Syd­ney sky­line at sun­set.

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