Ever since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws came out, many began viewing sharks as one of the few animals that are just pure badass, along with bears, gorillas, and rhinos. Just look at them—total units that sᴛʀɪᴋᴇ ꜰᴇᴀʀ and emanate awesomeness just by being themselves.
Well, sharks just became even more awesome (yes, even more ridiculously awesome than the concept of a tornado full of sharks). One great shark was recently recorded emerging from the water and getting some sweet air—15 feet, to be precise.
The shots were taken by Chris Fallows at South Africa’s Seal island as part of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. As part of the program, the channel brought together shark photographers to get the best possible shots of a shark breach. Many used drone technology to capture the breaches. But Chris’ photographs, which he took using a tow camera, has now caught everyone’s attention.
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, that picture is worth a thousand breaches. I can’t believe how high it came out, it was just perfect… a photo you dream of. This has to be the ultimate air jaws breach,” said Fallows.
The majestic scene didn’t come naturally, Fallows and his team (as well as other teams) had been floating in the sea for three months in search of such a moment. He spent “literally thousands of hours” lying on his stomach, camera in hand, waiting to recreate the shot. For days he and his crew towed the sled and there were moments he thought he had drowned his camera. And when this shark showed up, they knew that their hard work was paid off. It was a 10-foot young male with plenty of energy, he leaped like a real ʜᴜɴᴛᴇʀ.
“The shark came rocketing out of the water. In the air, you see it twisting and turning as if it is trying to dismember its ᴘʀᴇʏ,” said Fallows.
Writing on Facebook on Monday afternoon, Chris posted the photo (see below) and said: “This is possibly the most beautiful image I have ever taken of a breaching Great white shark…” He described how he works, constantly conceptualizing new ways to stay ahead of the pack, designing boats to enable him to shoot from different angles, “been towed behind our boat on a sled to get closer and I have constantly and diligently applied intense focus to using whatever palate nature gives me each day by way of clouds, waves and vistas to create a canvas that is worthy of having such a compelling subject jump into it. I think above all I have learnt what the sharks are comfortable with, and where their thresholds lie in terms of what I respectfully can and can’t do.” This particular breach also led Fallows to become the winner of 2020 Air Jaws.