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Day 4 of the Wetpixel Whale Shark trip.  (Yes, if you’re keeping score, there’s no day 3 yet.  When I get those shots processed, I’ll do a day 3 out of sequence.)

Each day we’ve tried to get up just a little earlier to be early out to see the sharks before lots of others get there.  But maybe we should have told the sharks we were coming early.  Because despite leaving extra early this morning, we spent a while looking for sharks.  We saw lots of flying fish.  But no sharks.  But then right as I was thinking, gee, what could we do for a plan B, the radio crackled with news that someone else had spotted sharks.  So off we went for what turned out to be another great shark encounter including one super stealthy one that snuck up on me from the back.

I definitely shot more today, but wasn’t as dialed in as before.  But I did get a few I liked.

Here’s Christian Dimitrius, Emmy Award winning wildlife cinematographer and photographer, finning hard to get the shot of the whale shark. I am jealous of his free diving fins. And even more jealous of his stamina.
1/125, f/6.3, ISO 640

The whale sharks typically carry multiple remora.  And honestly, I don’t understand why the remora hang out with the whale sharks.  I’ve always thought that remora eat up the scraps that bigger fish and sharks leave behind.  But whale sharks don’t shred up other things and leave pieces behind.  They’re filter feeders eating bonito eggs (think the size of the orange tobiko at your favorite sushi place) and other tiny stuff.  Maybe the remora are just along for the ride?

I even saw a remora in the nostril like hole behind the eye one one whale shark and on another 2 remoras on the sides of the shark’s mouth, like dimples.

1/125, f/8, ISO 640

And here’s one getting that big mouth up to the surface to suck down the eggs floating on the top.
1/125, f/8, ISO 640

1/125, f/8, ISO 640

Big, big mouth.
1/250, f/9, ISO 640

And here’s one wearing a sargasso barrette.

1/320, f/8, ISO 640

Snorkel site: 20 miles offshore from Isla Mujeres, Mexico

All shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.



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