Blue Shark Eye to Eye

Blue shark showing ampullae of Lorenzini, eye and small portion of nictitating membrane, Prionace glauca, San Diego, California

Blue shark showing ampullae of Lorenzini, eye and small portion of nictitating membrane.
Image ID: 01076
Species: Blue shark, Prionace glauca
Location: San Diego, California, USA

This is a photograph of a blue shark, Prionace glauca. We bait for them offshore of San Diego, anywhere from 5 to 20 miles offshore (however far it took to get to clean blue water) and then wait for them to show up. We get in the water and swim around with them, usually with just freediving gear to remain unencumbered and agile, hoping they come close enough for really good pictures. At times we tie the boat off to a kelp paddy, allowing us to frame the sharks against something other than simple blue water. The best lens to shoot these sharks is a Nikonos 15mm lens, it is tack sharp in situations like this — check out the pores on the shark’s nose — and I don’t think any housed lens can beat it, plus framing these sharks properly is no problem with a Nikonos’ rangefinder method. The underside of a blue shark is quite white and very reflective, so stopping down to f/11 – f/22 is required in many cases, which is just as well as it helps to balance the sunburst in the background. This is essentially a silhouette exposure with strobe fill, tiny little manual MCD strobes were used, with diffusers.

Keywords: blue shark photo, shark picture, underwater photograph, Prionace glauca.

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!