Live reports: Wetpixel Whale Sharks 2015

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Aquatica’s Blake Stoughton captures a whale shark in a full “botella”.

Wetpixel Whale Sharks 2015 Report: Day 13.

I think the early starts are starting to tell! Certainly the faces don’t seem quite as enthusiastic as they were on the first day.

When whale sharks encounter a particularly dense patch of food, they stop moving and simply gulp the food in. It would seem that their tails are negatively buoyant and they tend to sink. This means that they end up in a vertical “tail-down” posture. This is known as a “botella” as they resemble a bottle in the water. From the surface, the white of the sharks underbellies reflects, producing a distinctive white patch that is easily visible.

The food seemed particularly dense today, and we had numerous botellas. They provide fantastic and unique photo opportunities.

As the sharks were again quite spread out, and it meant that we had to swim for the images. Again though, they were feeding hard on the eggs in the water

I have been experimenting with split shots a lot, particularly dragging the camera through the surface of the water while shooting continuously,

Similarly, I have been shooting “parts” of the sharks. I find their gills and gill flaps which waft in and out as they pass water through them to be fascinating.

Afters spending some quality time with the sharks, the area had got very busy, so we headed north to Contoy Island. We moored up over a shallow reef and spent some time snorkelling on it, before heading back to Isla Mujeres.

I spent some time playing with slow shutter speeds on the reef.