Great White Shark: major new book published

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The Great White Shark is a particular passion of mine. This month sees the publication of  ‘White Sharks: magnificent, mysterious and misunderstood’ , a major new book about the natural history of this ultimate apex predator by Doctor Dirk Schmidt. I’ll leave it to the good doctor to explain what the concept behind it:

‘This book confronts many of the stereotypes around Great Whites, and tries to present a more rounded, complex picture of this feared apex predator. I address not only some of the well-known facts about Great Whites, but also explore little-understood aspects of their behaviour. There are profiles of several attacks on humans and detailed analyses of the approach behaviours used. I have also attempted to put forward new hypotheses, based on my own observations, regarding Great White predatory behaviour, sexual maturity and juvenile

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The book features a number of my images taken in South Africa with my good friend Kim Maclean of Shark Lady Adventures a few years back. Kim is a legend in South Africa  pioneering cage diving with Great whites and working tirelessly with organisations such as Save our Seas and the White Shark Trust for the conservation of this highly endangered species. I’ve known Kim for over ten years now and she’s one of the dearest friends I have. Whenever I get the chance to visit her in Hermanus it feels like I’m coming come.

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All of my images featuring in the book were shot three years ago now during a two week trip to South Africa. Amazing how time flies! Kim kindly allowed me to go out on her boat free of charge day after day. It all came together over a two day period when we had perfect viz and amazing sharks. Up to twelve at a time on one day.  I will never forget the experience of watching this majestic and much understood predator gliding silently past. Sunlight streaming from above and below. To get the images was no mean feet. All the images are taken from a cage of course. With heavy swell  and spending up top four hours in the water at a time and sea temperatures hovering just above 14 degees though,  I always compare it to trying to photograph from a washing machine! A selection of the images can be found in the Wild Africa gallery elsewhere on my website.

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The book’s publication encouraged me to look back over the original RAWs. I was surprised to find a number of images that I had overlooked  first time around. I thought I would post a few here for you.

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This last one made me laugh. For reasons that best escape me now I got a South African surfer friend to take a number of profile pictures intended for use on the website. Nope, I don’t know what I was thinking either!

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Great white shark? Great white legs more like. The horror! I post the photo though as my beloved Subal underwater housing I’m cradling in the photo has  just made it back from South Africa. I left it there two years ago fully intending to come back. I’m very grateful to Kim and one of her clients for getting it back to me. I’m going to be using it a lot next year and am going to be spending the winter getting rid of some ring rust with my good friends at Ocean Optics. The best underwater photography retailer bar none! Roll on next year…

To order ‘White Sharks: magnificent, mysterious and misunderstood’ click here

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