By Shannine O’Neill
UP-CLOSE shots straight into the jaws of great white sharks have been captured by a daredevil diver who is devoted to dispelling the myth that sharks are terrifying man-hunting creatures.
One image showed a great white shark up to 17-feet long lunging out of the concealment of the dark blue water surrounding it, living up to its name by baring its great white teeth for the camera.
In another image, the photographer was so close to the average 3,000-pound great white shark beneath him that his palm was pressed against the shark’s snout from the boat where he was positioned.
These incredible images were captured by German photographer, journalist, and writer, Christian Kemper (49), who took the close-up shots in both Guadalupe Island in Mexico and False Bay in South Africa with a CANON camera.
Christian believed that diving without a cage would give him the best experience with the sharks, as he stated that “the cage option cannot create the same experience.”
“I didn’t choose to dive without a cage because I’m looking for an adrenaline rush, but because I wish to understand sharks better”, he said.
“People who want to study shark behaviour must have the courage to get up close and personal with the predatory fish.
“As a result, many shark divers seek a more personal encounter with sharks than observing them through thick steel bars.
“They want to learn more about an animal that is so often misunderstood and that few of us really know anything about.”
Christian’s close encounter with the sharp-toothed fish only enhanced his respect for the shark species, saying that he, “wants to show the beauty and power of animals and thus appeal to a different audience than most authors.”
“Sharks don’t have a particularly good reputation. Their advocates are few and far between”, he said.
“So I embarked on a mission with my camera and notebook to show that sharks are irreplaceable.”
The shark-loving photographer was working for the white shark research Institute in South Africa while he took a scuba diving trip to Guadalupe Island in Mexico.
“I was in South Africa for around three-weeks and dove near False Bay, where I was around 16,404 feet from the shore”, he said.
“I then spent three-days around Ensenada Bay in Mexico, which was around 700-feet from the shore.
“I got so close I was able to touch the Sharks, with them being around three to nearly six-meters long each.”