Close Encounters Man vs. Nature

Breaching dolphins show Australian surfer who really masters the waves

'Obviously you don't get to eyeball a dolphin like that every day,' Trent Sherborne says of rare experience, captured by photographer Matt Hutton

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Matt Hutton images were approved for one-time use and are protected by copyright laws

A surfer in Australia enjoyed one of those rare magical days recently when the waves were large and perfect, and the company was leaping dolphins.

But the day was just as extraordinary for photographer Matt Hutton, who captured the scene with his camera and new lens.

While dolphins are known to occasionally share waves with surfers, they usually stay beneath the surface. Rarely do they breach completely free of the water on the same waves–and rarely is a photographer present to capture the event.

“The surfer’s name is Trent Sherborne and, yes, he was a lucky surfer to not only ride one wave, but two with these dolphins,” Hutton said. “I was watching for about two hours and he was the only one I saw who managed to get a nice wave with the dolphins breaching.”

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Hutton, who had recently purchased a new 70- to 200-millimeter lens, with an extender, was traveling between Perth, in Western Australia, to his home in Wickham.

He stopped at Kalbarri for a couple of days and decided to do a little surf photography.

“After an hour of shooting a pod of dolphins started to follow the surfers in on the big waves so I took the opportunity to try to capture some amazing photos, which I think I was lucky enough to do,” Hutton said. “The surfer has come forward saying it was a magical experience and something he will never forget.”

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Hutton’s images have been widely appreciated and shared on Facebook, and this week appeared on local TV news stations.

Sherborne was one of the hundreds of people to comment on the top image.

He wrote: “Mate, that’s a sick shot and it’s me on that wave with the dolphin! I remember that wave clearly–obviously you don’t get to eyeball a dolphin like that every day!”

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