The Great White Shark is a predator that impresses us on so many levels. From poise to power, from calculated to explosive, and many hues in between. There is no other wild animal on earth that elicits as broad a range of emotions from us and there is no other that creates such a frenzied feverish? interest.
As a photographer, I try to create a stage worthy of having a performer of the likes of a great white shark take to it whenever I have the opportunity. As such I pay a huge amount of detail to my backgrounds, trying to do whatever I can to maximize the potential on offer on each given day. False Bay, near the South Western tip of Africa, is blessed with beautiful scenery, wildlife and vistas. The Bay’s moody visage is often set alive by shafts of sunlight that squeeze through breaks in clouds as if at the hands of a stage lighting choreographer.
The sight of shafts of light dancing down on a seascape waiting for a predator to spring into action is akin to watching the old films of World War II where huge single beamed searchlights were cast skywards at night trying to unveil the approaching enemy’s warplanes.
When I see these opportunities I therefore do anything that I am able to in order to position my subject in the most beautiful of these scenes. There are so many days where I am lying on the deck of our boat, camera at the ready hearing myself subconsciously saying “now, now, come on shark, now, please !!” only to be disappointed and left with photo dreams and what if’s as my only spoils. As a photographer, there is a beauty in the unfulfilled image. The beauty is in the chase, the hope and the hard work that makes it so much more rewarding when in those fleeting moments it all comes to fruition.
This image symbolizes one of those fleeting moments.
A beautiful shaft of light burst out from behind a silver-lined cloud and in its beam, a magnificent great white shark hurtled through a glittering shower of shattered chandelier like spray.
The star of the show had come to deliver the final Act of the season and all who were on board were enraptured with the performance.
Exhibition: 173cm x 114cm (68” x 45”)
Classic: 118cm x 78cm (46.5” x 31”)
© Chris Fallows 2018