How to Photograph Sharks

by

Photo © Copyright Cat Gennaro

If you are fascinated by sharks and would like to learn more about how to photograph them, underwater photographer Cat Gennaro says that even ordinary people can photograph sharks on shark-touring expeditions. Popphoto.com has an introductory article featuring Cat Gennaro and I’ve summarized the tips below.

1. Pick a location friendly for novices. Fortunately, two of the best places to photograph sharks are close to the U.S., according to Cat Gennaro. Cold-water species such as great whites can be found at Isla de Guadalupe, which is 210 miles from San Diego. (The article at Popphoto.com incorrectly identifies the location as Guadeloupe, which is in the Caribbean.) Warm-water species such as tiger sharks and lemon sharks can be found at Tiger Beach off of Grand Bahama Island.

2. Book your trip with a professional touring company. Cat Gennaro recommends San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions at www.sdsharkdiving.com for Guadalupe and The Dream Team at www.sharkexpedition.com of West Palm Beach, Florida for excursions to Tiger Beach.

3. No flash needed near the surface. Down to 10 feet under water, there is usually enough light so a flash isn’t needed. You’ll definitely need a flash below 20 feet.

4. Use a wide-angle lens. Cat Gennaro usually shoots with a 24mm lens, autofocus, and 200 to 400 ISO. She also recommends putting your camera a bit outside the cage so that you don’t see the bars in the photo.

5. Keep both eyes open. Cat Gennaro says that if you decide to dive without a cage, don’t turn your back to the sharks. “Tiger sharks are pretty docile, but great whites are ambush predators. Put your back up against the wall or go with a safety diver” she advises. Sounds like it’s a good idea to also keep your eyes open in back of your head!

I haven’t yet photographed underwater — let alone with sharks — but I would highly recommend that if you photograph great white sharks that you choose to go inside the cage and go with a safety diver and put your back up against the wall. You don’t want an opportunity to shoot photos from inside the shark!

Good luck!

For more underwater photography tips, read the Photobird Daily article “Underwater Photography Tips“.

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