Guy Looking At His Phone Doesn't See The Giant Humpback Whale Right In Front Of Him

02/05/2015 03:34 am ET | Updated Feb 05, 2015

Whatever this guy is looking at on his phone, it better be good -- because it cost him the sight of a lifetime: a humpback whale breaching just feet away.

Photographer Eric Smith caught this image of a man looking at his phone as the whale surfaced at Redondo Beach, Calif., and posted it to Instagram earlier this week:

A sign of the times.

A photo posted by E. Smith (@esmith_images) on


"The whales were breaching off Redondo (Beach) and this small sailboat maneuvered into the spot where the spout occurred," he wrote in the comments. "I was roughly 50 feet from the whale and her calf when they surfaced next to the sailboat. The guy never looked up from his phone throughout the entire breach. Two women at the front of the boat were taking pictures but he didn't notice."

He told CBS News that a whale and her calf were "flapping, breaching, jumping, mouths eating fish," but the man never budged. He said he has five photos of the man busy with his phone as the whales surface around the boat.

"He could have been texting his mom in the hospital for all I know, but I thought it sucked that he missed such a wonderful moment happening just two feet in front of him," Smith told ABC News.

“We’re all guilty being buried in our phones, even me,” Smith was quoted as saying. “You think life is better on your phone, but we’re missing what’s happening around us.”

Smith doesn't appear to miss what's happening around him much. His Instagram account is full of stunning images of everything from hummingbirds to rock concerts. Check it out here.

  • Steven Benjamin / Barcroft Media
  • A huge humpback whale leaps out of the water in an amazing display of strength and agility. These awe inspiring pictures were taken in June 2013 by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin who was documenting over 1000 whales migrating from the coast of South Africa to the warmer waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. And the 31-year-old confirmed that it is very rare to see such a powerful and majestic breach at such close proximity.
  • Steven Benjamin / Barcroft Media
  • A huge humpback whale leaps out of the water in an amazing display of strength and agility. These awe inspiring pictures were taken in June 2013 by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin who was documenting over 1000 whales migrating from the coast of South Africa to the warmer waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. And the 31-year-old confirmed that it is very rare to see such a powerful and majestic breach at such close proximity.
  • Steven Benjamin / Barcroft Media
  • A huge humpback whale leaps out of the water in an amazing display of strength and agility. These awe inspiring pictures were taken in June 2013 by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin who was documenting over 1000 whales migrating from the coast of South Africa to the warmer waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. And the 31-year-old confirmed that it is very rare to see such a powerful and majestic breach at such close proximity.
  • Steven Benjamin / Barcroft Media
  • A huge humpback whale leaps out of the water in an amazing display of strength and agility. These awe inspiring pictures were taken in June 2013 by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin who was documenting over 1000 whales migrating from the coast of South Africa to the warmer waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. And the 31-year-old confirmed that it is very rare to see such a powerful and majestic breach at such close proximity.
  • Steven Benjamin / Barcroft Media
  • A huge humpback whale leaps out of the water in an amazing display of strength and agility. These awe inspiring pictures were taken in June 2013 by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin who was documenting over 1000 whales migrating from the coast of South Africa to the warmer waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. And the 31-year-old confirmed that it is very rare to see such a powerful and majestic breach at such close proximity.
  • Steven Benjamin / Barcroft Media
  • A huge humpback whale leaps out of the water in an amazing display of strength and agility. These awe inspiring pictures were taken in June 2013 by marine tour guide Steven Benjamin who was documenting over 1000 whales migrating from the coast of South Africa to the warmer waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. And the 31-year-old confirmed that it is very rare to see such a powerful and majestic breach at such close proximity.

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