The sight of a 1000-kg-plus shark defying gravity is surely one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. How do you capture this moment? The great white shark is a creature of many moods, emotions and habits, and as such I feel an image which tells the shark’s story should be a sum of all its parts.
In order to capture a wide angle shot of a big sky and a great white shark flying through the air all in the same frame requires careful planning, an eye for detail and, most importantly, an athletic shark jumping clear of the horizon very close to the camera.
Added to this for the image to really work, the attitude and orientation of the shark in the air is vital, as the audience needs to instantly recognize features that say “SHARK”.
On this particular wintry morning, the Cape of Storms felt windswept and hostile but so very, very alive, as trailing in the wake of the cold front, beautiful clouds lined the horizon from East to West. This scene was my favourite canvas on which to portray the Great White Story.
As we came around what has been dubbed by film crews as Seal Island’s ‘Ring of Death’, which if you are a seal, is probably the most dangerous small stretch of water on earth, I had a feeling I needed to be alert.
Whoosh! … a large great white rocketed skywards not 3 metres away from me, hanging for one magnificent moment as gravity and inertia shook hands, and then plunged into its watery world with a massive splash that had all the makings of a full orchestral climax.
Trembling, I looked into the display at the back of my camera, and before me was ‘The Essence of Seal Island’, in image that, for me, told the story of these most incredible flying great white sharks and the often-turbulent world they inhabit.
Exhibition: 173cm x 113cm (68” x 45”)
Large: 146 cm x 95.5 cm (57.5″ x 37.6″)
Classic: 118cm x 77cm (46.5” x 30.5”)