4th Place Novice Wide Angle Jake Wilton

4th Place Novice Wide Angle

Jake Wilton

"Beauty Spots"hW


The Story: I wanted this image to capture and highlight the beauty of sharks at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. Many species of shark are unjustifiably feared and are now facing extinction because of the actions of humans. This image of a very curious Leopard Shark (stegostoma fasciatum) was taken while free diving in the clear shallow waters along the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Contrary to their fearsome names, these sharks are actually harmless to humans and make the perfect subject to help educate and change the bad perception the world has on these incredible animals.

Leopards are nocturnal hunters and are usually found resting on the ocean floor during the day, so to encounter one actively swimming around in the shallows is quite rare.

This very inquisitive shark was completely at ease with my presence, continually approaching me again and again.

As it is so rare to be able to swim along side these striking sharks in such shallow clear waters, I took advantage of the abundance of light to capture the vibrant colours and patterns which give the shark its name. Due to the black and white striped patterning it has as a juvenile, they are also known as a Zebra shark.

With wildlife encounters such as this becoming rarer in today’s world I hope this image can inspire some change in the perception of sharks held by many around the world.

Location:  Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Equipment Used:  Nikon D500 Camera, Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye Lens, AquaTech D500 Surf Housing, AquaTech PD85 Dome Port, 

Camera Settings: 1/500 sec, F9, ISO 250


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