A Cork photographer has snapped the pic of a lifetime of a humpback whale – after some quick thinking.

Simon Duggan, a 44-year-old amateur snapper from Baltimore, was out for a walk with his dog when he spotted whales in the local bay.

Duggan and friend Yuan Jacob ran to the harbour and jumped in a rigid inflatable boat.

The Irish Independent reports that within 10 minutes they were in the centre of an active group of humpback whales.

Then one of huge animals leapt out of the water in a breathtaking display for its human spectators.

Read more: Unusual sighting of five humpback whales off Ireland’s south west coast - VIDEO

Duggan told the paper: “I wasn’t scared, really. It happened so fast - the adrenaline was going.

“The whale did six breaches in total - it was extraordinary. I have taken pictures of breaches all over the world but this happening at home is a dream come true.”

Duggan told the paper that he hasn’t slept for a week as he watches the whales off the harbour where he lives and works as a gardener.

He added: “The whales came here about 10 days ago and we have watched them bubble fishing - we never thought that we would see this happen.”