When it’s time to add big animals to your portfolio, the Bahamas is a can’t-miss destination. Clear water, experienced operators, and easy accessibility for most North American divers mean a phenomenal photographic experience.
White Sand Ridge has been delivering superb wild-dolphin encounters for decades. Pods of Atlantic spotted dolphins, and smaller groups of bottlenose roam over an expansive, shallow sand bank north of Grand Bahama Island.
Tiger Beach is mecca for shark photographers, home to bouncing-off-the-camera close encounters with tigers and toothy lemons. Divers cover up in neoprene from head to toe and follow strict safety protocols, kneeling on the sand in 10 to 20 feet for an adrenalin overload and once-in-a-lifetime toothy photo op. If Tiger Beach is too much of a rush, you can’t go wrong with Grand Bahama’s Shark Arena, where dozens of Caribbean reef sharks rush in for a controlled feed. The action is fast and furious, but you’re virtually guaranteed a winning shark shot for your portfolio. — BC
White Sand Ridge is fast action with ever-changing shooting directions, so select a fast shutter speed (at least 1/125 sec), auto metering, and swim like crazy!
Interacting with dolphins helps hold their interest, which keeps them in front of your camera. Don’t hide behind your viewfinder, immobile. Frisky dolphins quickly tire of boring swimmers.
When possible, shoot with the sun at your back at Tiger Beach or Shark Arena to achieve better blues in the water. Position your strobe(s) wide and to the side to minimize backscatter, as sand is often kicked up from the bottom. Shoot bursts with quick-recycling strobes, and use enough power to banish the cyan cast on the shark’s white face and chin, but without overexposing.
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Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas PADI Five Star IDC Stuart Cove’s in Nassau offers a number of shark dives. stuartcove.com