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Self cam with whale sharks, Mexico

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Inspired by Rob Stewart’s self-cam footage in Sharkwater, I turned my camera around and took some footage of me swimming with whale sharks off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Shot with Canon 5D Mark II, Tokina 17mm/3.5 lens. 0260619

Rob was in Isla Mujeres the week before I was, and shot similar footage (although he dove down, whereas I stayed on the surface).

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 14, 2010 11:43:29

Whale shark poo, a photo essay

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Whale shark poop

A couple weeks ago, I posted images from my first attempt to capture a whale shark silhouette with a sunball behind it. The attempt produced a decent photo.

The following few days presented many more opportunities to go after such a shot. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Aug 14, 2010 01:25:03

Heidi’s whale shark journal from Isla Mujeres

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Heidi Connal with a “botella” whale shark

Whenever I travel with Heidi, I rely on her to properly chronicle our experiences in words — and, of course, she didn’t disappoint. Heidi has just posted an in-depth trip journal from our time with the whale sharks in Isla Mujeres. I’m off to read it!

July 30 – NYC to Isla Mujeres
July 31 – Isla Mujeres
Aug 1 – Isla Mujeres
Aug 2 – Isla Mujeres
Aug 3 – Isla Mujeres
Aug 4 – Isla Mujeres
Aug 5 – Isla Mujeres

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 7, 2010 16:08:05

What do whale sharks eat?

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Bonito eggs clumped on human skin

The hundreds of whale sharks that aggregate off of Isla Mujeres each year are here in a massive feeding frenzy. Their food are the eggs of bonito, which are released in huge quantities during spawning events in July and August. During our hours in the water each day with the sharks, our wetsuits act like egg collectors; by the end of the day, we have eggs all over our skin. Nathalie was nice enough to allow us to photograph eggs on her arm. She makes a great skin model.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 3, 2010 19:50:37

Whale sharks aggregation from the surface

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Whale shark aggregation off of Isla Mujeres

It has been extremely difficult to capture the scale of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) migration off of Isla Mujeres. Underwater, one can only snap a still photo of 4-5 sharks at the most, and my 11-shark video sequence was the best I could do. From the tuna tower of the boat, hundreds of sharks are visible, but the ones in the distance are hard to make out in a still photo at web resolution.

We’re going up in the air today to try to capture something that really shows the scale of the migration. The sharks are dwindling in number by the day because bonito spawn on the lunar cycle, but hopefully, we will come back with something compelling!

Isla Mujeres, Mexico | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 3, 2010 06:38:56

11 whale sharks in rapid succession, Isla Mujeres

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This is an attempt to show the number of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) in the water during the aggregation in Isla Mujeres. I only wish it were possible to show the hundreds more around me!

Isla Mujeres, Mexico | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Aug 2, 2010 19:13:09

Whale shark gulp in 3D slow motion, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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We had in excess of 500 whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) at Isla Mujeres today in perfectly clear skies and mirror-flat water. I am speechless… but not speechless enough to try to upload some video (the internet is fast enough tonight for me to get a few videos online).

Click through for 3D version of the video, plus a bonus video of Heidi Connal swimming with a “botella” (bottle) — a whale shark that is vertical in the water gulping water without moving (well, it rotates, but it stays in the same place). (read more »)

Isla Mujeres, Mexico | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Aug 1, 2010 19:21:20

Whale shark aggregation near Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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A whale shark (Rhincodon typus) feeds in a bonito spawning event off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico

There’s no other way to put it: our first day of photographing the whale shark aggregation off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, was absolutely epic. Within an hour of leaving port, we found a group of over 300 whale sharks, all feeding constantly on the huge concentration of fish eggs in the water. I’m exhausted now and don’t have time to process and video (I’ve been shooting both 2D video with the Canon 5D Mark II and 3D video with my custom rig), but I can at least present a few photos (for now — more later, including 3D, slow-motion whale shark feeding!). (read more »)

Isla Mujeres, Mexico | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jul 31, 2010 19:59:48
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