Saturday, February 05, 2011

Oldie but Goodie.

Caribbean Reef Shark (Green Turtle Cay / Bahamas, 1999)
Photo: Wolfgang Leander
Click to enlarge

I know, this is not a prize winning photo. And yet, I like it very much: It is the type of image Hans Hass took in the late thirties / early forties when he still did breath hold diving. Photographs like this one got me hooked on sharks when I was about six years old.

Since I was strongly impressed by the first shark photographs, I subconsciously still tend to photograph these amazing animals pretty much the way the pioneers of underwater photography did. Thus, I don't use flash; I stick to black and white film; I take my pics while free-diving, and I use only moderate wide angle lenses.

The featured photograph was taken with an ASA 400 film pushed to ASA 1600 - hence the grain. I used a f3,5 28mm wide angle lens, and the available light was too low to have a fast enough shutter speed - it was maybe 1/25th of a second; you can tell by the blurry yellow tail snapper in the foreground.

I still remember vividly the intense way that shark, a young female, observed me, and luckily I was able to capture that piercing look. The eye, however small it is, is the focal point of the photograph. Enlarge the image, and look how the shark looks at YOU.

So, yes, while this pic is just an average one, it is, to me, a goodie that is almost iconographic in a very personal sense.

1 comment:

ChrisM said...

The eye was indeed the first thing I noticed....awesome! A blurry good photo! ;-)