Looking for Whales: Perth couple documents giants of the deep in natural habitats


Wade and Robyn Hughes. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d475473
Wade and Robyn Hughes. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d475473

PICTURE that you are in the water alone and up swims the largest living organism you have ever seen.

These are the complexities photographers Wade and Robyn Hughes have tried to capture in their exhibition Looking for Whales.

The Hugheses have been photographing whales for more than 10 years, the couple’s interest in the mammals initially sparked in 2005, leading to their first private expedition to the Azores.

Since then they have made eight more expeditions to the Portuguese islands as well as an expedition to the Vava’u archipelago in Tonga in 2016.

The couple have independently funded each expedition, in the hopes that their body of work will one day contribute towards greater understanding and appreciation for the roles that whales play in the overall web of life on Earth.

“There’s an aesthetic in the form and lives of whales that goes beyond their sheer size and presence,” Wade said.

“Every encounter, every opportunity to observe and record them, is a privilege.”

The pair takes their photographs using a mask, snorkel, and fins only as open-circuit scuba equipment is too encumbering for them.

Their whale photography is known internationally and has been described as “among the finest” by leading whale expert Hal Whitehead.

Wade has been announced as a finalist in the National History Museum of London’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards, with his photograph competing against 50,000 entries.

Looking for Whales runs until Wednesday, November 1 at Kidogo Arthouse.

Opening Hours are 11 am to 4pm daily.