Seal Island is nestled in the spectacular marine wildlife area of False Bay, in Cape Town, South Africa. It is home to a 65,000-strong fur seal colony and during the winter months of April to September each year Great white sharks come here specifically to feed on the young of the year’s seals. In fact, this tiny one-mile area around Seal Island is home to one of the most intense predator and prey interactions on Earth, with naturalists recording in the region of 600 predatory events over a four month period. These events, where Great white sharks often breach completely clear of the water whilst in pursuit of the seals, are extremely challenging to capture photographically.
Operators and researches here are permitted to tow seal shaped decoys with the intention of eliciting a great white shark to breach. There is absolutely no warning before or even if the shark will breach, and the breaches have been timed at less than seven-tenths of a second. All breaches are different and can vary from side-on lunges to sky-high, white-belly full breaches. The great advantage of photographing a decoy breach is that it allows Chris to choose his background and the best lighting conditions, and then all that is needed is a spectacular breach to get the shot! – Chris and Monique Fallows
Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L telephoto zoom lens – 1/4000th at f/5.6, ISO 500
This image is available as a print here. Follow Chris and Monique Fallows on Facebook. Their portfolio can be found at their website, www.apexpredators.com, alongside more information on year-round Great white shark expeditions including cage diving, which can be found directly on this page.