The Cape of Good Hope at the South Western tip of Africa was described in 1495 by Bartolomeu Dias as Cabo Tormentosa, (“The Cape of Storms”). Less than a hundred years later the famous British explorer, Sir Francis Drake, rounded the same landmark and described it as “A most stately thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth”.
Swimming in the shadow of this famous landmark, it is perhaps a perfect marriage that the waters of the ‘Fairest Cape of Storms’ are home to the legendary breaching great white sharks.
As a person who loves emotion in my imagery, I always get excited with the approach of big weather systems. Raw, wild weather stirs up a sense of being alive as the wind shrieks through the boat’s riggings and spray careens off its decks. Yes, you feel vulnerable, yet in this vulnerability is a deep sense of awakening; your whole being seems so much more in tune with your surroundings.
The great white, like the region’s highly variable weather, is a creature of many personalities from calm and benign, to ominous and volatile. With the approach of deep low-pressure systems, we learnt that Great Whites intensify their hunting. It is as though these two great forces of nature combine and all who encounter them either watch in awe or flee in fear.
I always hope that on the day just after a storm has passed, I will be able to use the post-storm canvas as my staging ground to capture the countenance of a great white. The fact that this particular huge shark had a gaping wound, suggesting the perils of its predatory endeavors with its prey or its own kind, fittingly adds to the dramatic lives these sharks live, as well as the tempestuous environment in which they operate.
The Storm Lord is one of the very few times I feel that I have scratched the surface of doing justice to the raw beauty of a super predator living in a wild and volatile environment.
Exhibition: 173cm x 116cm (68” x 45.5”)
Large: 146 cm x 98 cm (57.5” x 38.5″)
Classic: 118cm x 79cm (46.5” x 31”)