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Whale Shark Encounter



While scuba diving in Cenderawasih Bay had a great encounter with several Whale sharks. It was a dive of lifetime with up to 12 sharks. Also did a night dive ...
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While scuba diving in Cenderawasih Bay had a great encounter with several Whale sharks. It was a dive of lifetime with up to 12 sharks. Also did a night dive with them that was out of this world.
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Awards

Legendary Award
Contest Finalist in Animals In The Wild Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Wildlife On The Move Photo Contest
Community Choice Award
Contest Finalist in Colossal Wildlife Photo Contest
Great Shot
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Peer Award
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Magnificent Capture
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Top Choice
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Absolute Masterpiece
Puer2reco Karl-Heinz cohooper alisongeorge Imperfection606 Ulla_Have musyka +3
Superb Composition
JanHrischenko rosefosterhunt hfickinger Grestrepo13
Outstanding Creativity
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Superior Skill
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Emotions

Impressed
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Top ClassTM

photographyawards2019Top 10 class
photographyawards2019Top 10 class week 2
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 6Top 10 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 6Top 10 class week 1
Animals In The Wild Photo ContestTop 10 class
Animals In The Wild Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 30 class
Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
The Swag ProjectTop 10 class
The Swag ProjectTop 10 class week 1
Wildlife On The Move Photo ContestTop 20 class
Wildlife On The Move Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class week 2
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 5Top 20 class
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 20 class
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 35Top 20 class

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4 Comments | Report
CURUTCHET
 
CURUTCHET December 06, 2018
beautiful animal , you are a lucky one great , must be a tremendous experience
Divenolte PRO
 
Divenolte August 24, 2019
Thanks to all for voting and comments. This image is a favorite both with the shark but the diver is my wife of 40 plus years.
p_eileenbaltz
 
p_eileenbaltz August 24, 2019
Extraordinary work! Congratulations on winning another contest finalist award.
PapaSchlumpf
 
PapaSchlumpf March 02, 2020
wow!!!

Behind The Lens

Location
This image was taken in Cenderawasih Bay, which is a bay located in the northern Province of Papua and West Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia. Look it up, it's a very remote and beautiful area which has been designated as a national marine park. We were diving off a live-aboard dive boat and spent 2 days diving with whale sharks. The local fishermen have large floating platforms in several hundred feet of water where they lower nets to catch fish. They believe the whale sharks bring them good luck and leave a few of the small fish in the water which attracts the sharks. After receiving permission and making a donation they allow us to both dive and snorkel in the waters around the platform, we would have up to 12 sharks circling at one time. It was heartwarming to see human and sharks coexisting.
Time
We spent many hours during the day, and even went back and did a night dive under the platform where they had lights set up working their nets which were deep below us. This shot was taken during the day in about 40 feet of water.
Lighting
This was taken with available light. When photographing under water the use of strobes is possible but the light fall off underwater makes it hard to photograph anything this big.
Equipment
The camera was a Nikon D800, with a 16-35 mm Nikkor lens. The underwater housing had a large 10-inch dome port to accommodate the wide angle lens.
Inspiration
After being able to spend a lot of time with the whale sharks, I started looking for opportunities to capture the sharks interacting with either humans or the fishing platform. The fisherman had some of their family with them on the platform and the little kids where also swimming and feeding the whale sharks. This image was of my dive buddy as we would simple suspend in the water waiting for the sharks to circle by. The challenge was to be sure to get all of the 24 foot shark and diver in the frame. I also payed attention to diver and did the best to catch the shot in between breaths to minimize bubbles.
Editing
With most underwater shots the two things you have to work on is white balance and particle noise. The deeper you go the water will filter out color particularly the reds, but knowing the diver had a white bandanna and yellow fins, adjustments were possible. The noise from floating particles was not to bad due to using natural light, and the clear deep blue water was a perfect medium. Nothing was added or removed.
In my camera bag
Currently I'm shooting Sony a7r3 and Sony lenses. My D800 diving rig got washed overboard in 2017 by a rouge wave, during a dive trip in Cuba, which was bad news for the camera but no divers were lost. But that is a whole different story which I might get to tell later as I post additional underwater images.
Feedback
The underwater world is a very fragile and sensitive environment, that is being effected around the world due to global warming, pollution, over slaughtering. There are still a few places left that this type of interaction, with large marine animals are possible whether it is whale sharks, humpback whales, great white sharks, etc., but you need to find the experts and local guides to find the locations. Mexico, has a few locations, but the south pacific is my favorite area. It also helps to travel with friends that have the same passion as your self. I'm fortunate to have a travel group that won't think twice to spend 4-6 hours in the water looking for opportunities.

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