Photographer Captures Rare Drone Footage of Killer Whales off the California Coast

It's pretty rare to even see a Killer Whale in their natural habitat. A photographer stumbled upon the once in a lifetime experience to not only see the creatures but to capture them up close on camera for us all to admire; his footage is stunning.  

Photographer Domenic Biagini was alone on his small boat, 20 miles off the coast of San Diego near Mission Bay. He was searching for gray whales to get footage of but to his surprise, he stumbled upon a pod of 6 majestic orcas swimming playfully together instead. Biagini captured the videos on a DJI Phantom 4 pro in the middle of the ocean.

Everything was perfect for Biagini that day, the water, the weather, and the whales. May it be luck or destiny, I think he was definitely meant to capture and share this with the world. Biagini explained on his social media the feeling of spotting the whales was something like an out of body experience. He says it's a place and a day that he will never forget.  

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12 Comments

Jasmin Bataille's picture

Domenic should sell this to the BBC or National Geographic right away! And also add cinematography to his tag line. And get a better signature - I understand that the signature is there to avoid getting robbed, but, a nicer one in the bottom corner with reduced opacity would be more elegant. Amazing footage!

Michael Holst's picture

Unfortunately if it's already viral it's going to lose a lot of its value.

Jasmin Bataille's picture

I don't why it would "lose it's value" at all... it doesn't lose is value in being inserted into a documentary about whales, since it's perhaps the only drone footage of killer whales ever made. And, viral or not, that's his footage, and to me the fact that it is viral *prove it's quality so it adds value in my book*. In the end, you know as well as I do that anything "viral" on internet is very quickly forgot about... and... who cares if people recognize the footage from a YT video in a documentary? My opinion.
If they don't wanna buy it because of that, then they shoot themselves in the foot.

Michael Holst's picture

The production studio cares. They might still use it but it's going to be valued less if everyone has already been exposed to it. There's a reason why cinemas have a hard time charging full price for tickets if the movie has been released on dvd or streaming. Or why when I've shot for a magazine they don't want to pay for photos that have already been posted on the Internet.

Jasmin Bataille's picture

Yes, but that's when the whole film is leaked... not a clip in a documentary. One of my friend sold one second to her footage to Air BnB for 500US *after it had been exposed to her audience* and she used to have a very popular travel blog... so in that case, that's totally different. It's a clip that can be seamlessly integrated into a documentary and almost no one will tell.
Plus, it's not that "viral" at all. It's popular in our community for sure, but that's about it.
Yes the more conservative studios will perhaps consider that it's have less value, but your comparison is flawed. A documentary is made from many clips from many different people more often than not, and since killer whales are such rare animals, if the BBC think about making a documentary about whales and the cost is less for them to buy this than to send a team in hope of getting the same type of footage... then I don't see why they wouldn't buy it.
You can always try ;)
Sure it would be one unusual practice, but independents hired to shoot wildlife is a common thing. So I guess it's not (that) far from it...

Michael Holst's picture

The point stands that if a studio like BBC or Discovery were to make a documentary about they would value the footage lower than if they were approached without it being released. That's typical in the industry. If someone knows what they're doing they will be able to command a higher price if the footage is fresh and can offer the opportunity for it to be released by the studio. Exclusivity is worth something in the media. Those independent documentary shooters withhold their footage from the public and sell it to studios for that reason.

Also claiming your friend got $500 for a clip doesn't really mean anything if there's nothing to compare it to. It also has little to do with extremely rare and unique footage of killer whales.

Christian Berens's picture

Wow that's pretty cool

My LORD ! this is a Fantastic piece of Footage !! GREAT JOB !

lee arthur's picture

Beautiful. I only wish their were some way to edit out the reflection of the drone in some of the footage without detracting from the overall beauty of the piece. .

Fristen Lasten's picture

Looks like computer animation.

Synchronized blowholing and diving ought to be an Olympic sport!