Afloat Adventure

Lifetime encounter with the gentleman of the sea: The Wahle Shark

BY Alfonso Ortiz Montes / Pochortizm Photography

It appeared suddenly on our side the Great Giant, showing its 39 feet long and 15 tons of weight. We were about 30 feet deep and was a little dark, forcing us to keep the darkness that surrounded it and highlight its moles and unmistakable lines.

The whale shark needs water with lots of plankton, their main food. As a wonderful gift from the ocean, the planktivore came into the surface to say hello and feed, showing us his best side, just perfect for a great portrait We had great natural light for its top side. We needed to be carefull reducing strobes power and closing diafragm a little bit, because we didn’t want an overexposed white skin on the bottom.

Maybe tired of swimming with us, the Giant began his journey and left us on surface, happy for having shared a great time. We did our best to photography our friend, despite the low light and high distance between us. We opened diafragm to f/5.6, maintained our shutter time to 1/80, ISO 160 and gave maximum power t o our strobes.

Probably, hungry, the Giant came to the surface, but got distracted with our group. We saw it, while playing with them. Showed us its best angle! Whale Sharks also eat small fish, crustaceans and even squid and tuna. We took advantage of little natural light coming from surface to display its top, skin texture and color. Controlling the power of our strobes, to avoid burning its white skin.

At 25 feet deep, the great Giant surrounded by clear waters, still illuminated by the sun, swam near us. Despite the distance between us, with beautiful red planktivores in the scene, we got one of the best images.

After a spectacular diving, the appearance of our friend around the boat, forced us to jump into the water with only the basic scuba gear. We attended its game on the surface and capture its movements, with the support of natural light. We were so happy with the photography results, seeing the Giant alongside our partners, being the star of the evening .

It is believed that whale sharks have no fixed migration patterns and depending on the abundance of food can be found in different areas of southern and eastern South Africa, Utila in Honduras, Belize, Western Australia, Philippines, Sea of Cortez and off Isla Mujeres in Mexico , Indonesia, Maldives, Madagascar, reefs Mozambique, Tanzania, Zanzibar, in the Red Sea, Bahia Solano north pacific and Malpelo Island in Colombia. Here, we were so happy with the photography results, seeing the Giant alongside our partners, being the star of the evening

Special thanks to Alfonso Ortiz Montes, great professional and friend, to more adventures together!