Many a quiet whale watch can be saved by the sight of dolphins, leaving everyone with a huge smile on their face.
The variety and number of different dolphin species often surprises people. Found in all oceans and also in fresh water, these intelligent, versatile and incredibly successful hunters are one of our favourite animals. However, don’t let the smile fool you. Dolphins can be aggressive towards each other and different species and a dead dolphin is still smiling so a smile does not mean they are ‘happy’.
They are supreme hunters and their large brains allow some species at least to develop culture and sophisticated sounds that we believe includes ‘signature whistles’ or ‘names’ for individuals.
Dolphins are a great photographic challenge, with their fast pace, disappearing underwater and then surprising you with a huge leap, far out of the water.
I have been lucky enough to see many different species on my travels, but there are many more to go. Here are some of my favourite images of the thousands I have taken, trying to get a decent shot. The images show bottlenose, common, striped, Atlantic spotted, Rissos, Indian-ocean humpbacked, white-beaked, dusky, Pacific white-sided, Atlantic white-sided and northern right whale dolphins. So much stunning variety.