Man and right whale size each other up in the winner of the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition's underwater category, announced on October 30.
"The whales were highly curious of us. Many of these animals had never seen a human before," Skerry told National Geographic.
Photographed off New Zealand for National Geographic magazine (more photos from the magazine article), the whales shared top honors with a comical, quizzical monkey, eagles in an air battle, and a battling lizard and snake, among others. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News and National Geographic magazine.)