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Upstart Shark

By Aimee Braniff Cree


TERRIFYING cage diving images shows a young ten-foot long upstart female Great White shark attempting to dominate her territory.

One high impact image shot from a shark cage shows the great white thrashing around in the water capturing close by fish for dinner, while another heart stopping capture shows the shark chewing on a rope attached to the catch with its mighty jaws within touching distance.

Photos also show the shark charging towards the cage face on with its jaws stretched open.

These images were captured by Ecommerce Creative Services Manager Ron Daniel (55) from San Diego, California.

The shark catches one of the lures from the boat while a school of fish swim away.

Ron captured these images in Isla Guadalupe, off the coast of Mexico’s Baja California on his Nikon D7200 in an Ikelight underwater camera housing. The excitement of this close encounter is not lost on Ron.

“Over the course of three days, we ended up getting very well acquainted with this particular shark,” said Ron.

“She was new to the area – and hadn’t yet been named by the Marine Conservation Science Institute.

“At about ten-feet long and probably 35-40 stone, she was young and boisterous and didn’t yet respect the typical pecking order of sharks.

“Like many others in the animal kingdom, the alpha female is the biggest shark in the area. But this girl was having none of that.

“She would race around and cause all sorts of mayhem, seemingly oblivious to her place in the hierarchy. She gave us lots of up-close facetime – sometimes too close for comfort.”

Ron explained how he tracked down this impressive female Great white shark.

The great white shark chases its lure.

“I was ensuring my friend’s mother was doing okay, breathing comfortably, and had the right amount of weights on to keep her feet on the floor of the cage.

“When suddenly, her eyes got huge and she frantically pointed behind me. What they had seen and I had not was a great white leaping out of the water.

“This series of images came from the first dive on the first day.

“I spun around and fired off five frames as the shark belly-flopped back down, without knowing if my camera was even set up properly.

“The shutter speed was much lower than I would have chosen, but that unintentional blur does give you a sense of how fast things can happen down there.

The great white opens its behemoth jaw.

“As one of the “experienced veterans” now, I help first-timers get into the cage and make sure they’re feeling confident and safe in the underwater environment before focusing on my photography.

“99.9% of the time, these massive creatures are being very chill. They silently swim in peace, moving gracefully and beautifully.

“I have seen people cry when they see their first great white. Others come out of the water speechless, unable to articulate what that interaction with such power and beauty meant to them. People who thought they’d be scared say how they felt only peace.

“I’ve never seen anyone who had a negative reaction to the experience. It’s always overwhelmingly positive.”