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What to do when shooting (blue) sharks?

Blue shark (Prionace glauca)

Blue shark (Prionace glauca)

What should you do if you want to photograph sharks?

This depends on the environment where you are, and for the blue shark, this is the open water.
Blue sharks look cute, but of course they always remain predators. A shark is never a pet, so stay careful at all times. Another aspect of good photography is being able to dive. This may sound weird, but these days many divers start taking photographs without any dive experience at all – right after certification. Take your time! It is really important that you have good buoyancy control. Always, but especially in open water. And look at your depth gauge regularly!
Because the sharks are almost always attracted with bait, they are very active. Try to stay in one spot, stay close to the bait, and let the sharks come to you. They will approach when you stay calm.
A great angle is created when they approach you directly, straight towards you and swim just over your head. This is natural, curious shark behaviour: they dominate you. Make sure you see at least one eye of the shark in the picture. A picture must have appeal: you see what the subject is, what it does. And it should always be in focus. This last point may sound weird, but I see too many pictures that are out of focus, especially online. You can correct anything you like later but even Photoshop cannot turn a bad picture into a good one!

If you want to read more about baited shark dives and my point of view on this, please read:

Photo data:

  • 1/125 sec
  • F/13
  • ISO 200
  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 16mm Fisheye
  • Subal underwaterhousing

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