Nfld. & Labrador

Stunning minke whale scene shows Rigolet is 'photographer's paradise'

Eldred Allen's photos of the whale feeding just feet from the boardwalk delighting people in his Labrador home, and from away.

Eldred Allen uses his photography to show off glorious Labrador wildlife, wilderness

Photographer Eldred Allen says he uses his drone company to show off the vast wilderness of his Labrador home. (Eldred Allen/Bird's Eye Inc.)

It's not unusual for people living in Rigolet, Labrador, to head down to the boardwalk and spot wildlife — whales, seal, eagles and the like.

But one photographer's images of a minke whale — a grumpus, as it's called locally — is making waves.

Eldred Allen said a particular minke whale has been coming in just 10 or 15 away from the boardwalk, feeding, splashing around and generally delighting people who see it.

"It's quite a show that you can experience up close," said Allen, who operates a photography and drone imaging business, Bird's Eye Inc.

A minke whale feeds just feet from the wharf, while a delighted fisherman looks on. (Eldred Allen/Bird's Eye Inc.)

"It's a great unique experience to be able to get out and just walk down without having to go somewhere and pay to take a boat tour and get out. Just a leisurely walk."

For Allen, his photography is a way to show off the natural beauty of his home to people who have never been there - and to those who maybe take for granted the splendour around them.

"Often times you'll look out and you'll see a whale half jumping out of the water and things, and you just kind of look past it because you see it all the time," he said.

"But then if you get out and you get a nice photo capturing just the moment when he's coming out and you can see the little fish flying out of its mouth and things of that sort, photography can kind of give a bit of focus again to those things that you kind of look past all the time."

Sharing his photos on social media through his company's accounts is a way for him to encourage to stop and take a look a little longer.

"I think that we don't take it for granted, we just become complacent with seeing it all the time, and sometimes it's a great thing when some people, a tourist or someone who isn't from the community, comes through and they're really excited," he told CBC's Labrador Morning.

"It kind of reinvigorates you. Yeah, we do get to see these things all the time, every day, and it is a unique and special area that we do live in, and it might make you appreciate it again for a little bit."

Earlier in the summer, Allen used his drone to get shots of a minke whale feeding close to the boardwalk and shoreline.

It was a magical moment, he said; as the whale swam about, an eagle soared overhead, and a family of ducks walked into his photo framing.

"All within a matter of an hour, just so many different, unique things to get to see and experience."

Since starting his company in 2016, Allen said he's gotten to look at his home in a different light, showing off the natural world around him to people who don't see it every day for the glory it is.

"I don't see a lot of imagery and photography from Labrador, so I find it great to be able to use the drones to get up and show people the vast landscape that we have, and the wildlife, and the culture, and be able to share that with people to be able to give them a glimpse of where we live," she said.

"To be able to capture it and showcase it, I find it's exciting and enjoying photography, we're kind of in a photographer's paradise here. There's always something."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Tyler Mugford


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