Day 2: Great White Shark Photo Safari

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

We have just returned from our first morning out on the ocean.

Awesome experience!

The goal is, and will be for the next three days, to photograph the Great White Sharks around Seal Island but there is so much more.  More photographic opportunities.  More experience.  More everything!!

After lunch everybody has a bit of a break so I grabbed a cup of coffee and quickly processed a few images for this blog post – so let’s get to it.

Yes, we saw sharks.  And plenty of them!

As with last year’s trip we saw a huge number of natural predations this morning.  This happens when younger seal breaks away from the group, as the move between seal Island and the main land, and a shark attacks it by crashing into it from below.

As with any predator – prey interaction you never know way to expect and anything can happen.  Literally!

We did not have any massive breaches this morning but the interaction between the sharks and seals are fascinating to watch and photograph.

Great White Shark Photo Safari

If the shark attacks the seal and misses, a deadly dance starts where the seal keeps on trying to avoid the dangerous side of the shark by doing a figure eight around the shark.  These massive sharks generally have the turning circle of a Land Rover so if the seal can avoid him for long enough things generally turn out ok for the seal.

During the morning we saw around seven natural predation and also had a lot of shark activity around the boat.  Great to see!

These natural interactions, with zero interference or influence from humans, are very challenging to photograph but make for a great experience – with or without a camera.

We still have three mornings on the water so will keep looking for that one  magical shot!

The highlight of this morning must have been this.

They appeared out of nowhere and we ended up spending almost an hour with more than 700 of these…

Great White Shark Photo Safari

The massive pod of dolphins were very obliging and made for some mind blowing photographic moments!  Cannot wait to get back to JHB and get stuck into processing and cataloging some of these images.

It was the first real opportunity I have had to photograph dolphins and, you can imagine, with more than 700 jumping all over the place there were a lot of options to play with!

There’s more though.  A whole lot more.

During the times when you are waiting for, or moving towards, the next sighting there are many opportunities to shoot the birds that are never too far away from the boat.

Great White Shark Photo Safari

This morning’s activities again reminded me why this is one of the most unique photographic safaris  on our annual calendar.

This afternoon we will be spending time around the lodge and specifically on the massive colony of Jackass Penguins which is the highlight of the area.  Some of the people on the trip want to focus on the basics of photography so we will be breaking down aperture, shutter speed and ISO while working these charismatic little birds.

The penguins tend to be rather obliging and with the sunsets we have been having it promises to be another great day on a Wild Eye photo safari.

Great White Shark Photo Safari

 Until next time!

Gerry van der Walt

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