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Photographing the Hammerhead Sharks of Bimini, Bahamas (Watch Video)

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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If you want to get up close and personal to photograph Great Hammerhead sharks then Bimini, in the Bahamas, is the place for you. Every winter, Great Hammerhead Sharks frequent the shallow clear waters around these tiny islands and divers flock to see them. The conditions are usually perfect for underwater photographers, as the dives are in shallow water (7-10m), giving plenty of natural light to work with. The water is warm and the visibility great, so you can stay underwater for long dives to maximise your photographic opportunities. The sharks come in very close, attracted by fish in a metal bait box, so you can use a wide angle or a fish-eye lens to get dramatic shots.

We always dive with Neal Watson when we head to Bimini. Throughout the season, which runs from December to April, you can do a 2 tank dive each morning and experience something very special. Your two guides will get into the water first and get the bait set-up in the correct position depending on any current. We have never had to wait long for the first shark to turn up and you can see them swimming over the sandy sea bed from the boat as you gear up. The Great Hammerhead Shark can grow to over 5m in length and are impressive at the best of times, but when you have one swim right over your head, it is something to behold.

Great Hammerhead sharks

Great Hammerhead sharksAs you kneel on the seabed the sharks will follow the scent up current and make their way to your location. There are usually around 8 divers in the water, positioned in a line with the bait and guide in the middle. The sharks swim slowly past on their way to and from the bait box and seem to take it in turns, making this dive a photographic treat. It is not at all chaotic, like some shark-baiting dives, giving you time to compose your shots (once you have got over the initial excitement). Our record is 8 individual Great Hammerhead Sharks on a single dive.

While you are visiting Bimini, make sure you visit the Bimini Shark Lab, where you can get a tour to see the amazing work they do here to gain a better understanding of sharks and the ways we can help conserve them and their environment. Watch the bull sharks cruise around the harbour at Bimini Big Game Club. Head out to swim with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. For such a tiny island, there is plenty to keep an ocean lover and photographer entertained!

Great Hammerhead sharks

This is a perfect stop on a multi-island tour of the Bahamas. If you want to photograph sharks, then these islands have a huge amount to offer. Watch out for next articles about photographing Caribbean Reef Sharks in Nassau and Lemon Sharks in Grand Bahama.

Great Hammerhead sharks

Tips for Great Hammerhead Shark photography

  • Try to position yourself so that you are not shooting directly into the bright sun.
  • Try to avoid the sand stirred-up by both divers and nurse sharks in your shots.
  • The most striking thing about a hammerhead, obviously, is the shape of its head and the position of their eyes, so try to get shots from different angles to show this feature off. From above looking down on the sand; at eye level up close, or as it swims over you.
  • By conserving your air consumption, you can stay longer and have the dive to yourself and your buddy, later on!
  • Remember to enjoy it! Put your camera aside every now and then so that you can take it the beauty of these incredible apex predators.

Video Clips

Further Information

www.biminiscubacenter.com

www.biminisharklab.com

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and they are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Curaçao Dive Site of the Month – Smokeys (Watch Video)

Bryan Horne

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New Video Release: Smokeys near Eastpoint Curaçao.

Learn about https://bit.ly/Smokeys-Dive-Site-Curacao – a Top 10 Dive Site in Curacao located near Eastpoint and arguably one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean. 

It rivals the finest dive sites in Belize, Bonaire and the Cayman Islands.

Video produced and edited for Dive Curacao, by NaturePicsFilms.

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Top 5 things to do above water on a diving trip to Barbados

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Whilst you will want to spend as much time underwater as possible on any diving trip to Barbados, with its amazing wrecks, reefs and marine life… you will have to spend some time on dry land! So here are our top tips on what to do topside on this stunning Caribbean paradise.

1) Go Caving!

Babados offers the perfect instagram cave experiences. Two stand out from the crowd: Harrison’s Cave and Animal Flower Cave.

Harrison’s Cave offers a guided tours on a tram to allow you to safely explore these incredible underground caverns. Located in the central uplands of the island, this crystallized, limestone cave is characterized by flowing streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and towering columns.

Animal Flower Cave is named after the anemone’s that can be found in the rock pools that sit within the cavern. This is a perfect spot for a photo or two, with the wild coastline visible through the cavern windows that have been carved out by wave action.

Both these tours are great options for your non-diving day before you fly home.

2) Take in a show

I have to admit that we do not usually get excited about an evening show put on for tourists. But just a few minutes into the show at Harbour Lights and we were dancing along with locals and tourists alike. The show is great fun and is full of talented performers. The buffet dinner included with the event is perfect too, with something for everyone. They had to throw us out!

3) Head to the Beach

Barbados is packed with incredible beaches. Some are setup with entertainment, resturants and bars, others are completely deserted. So it is up to you to find your perfect one. Whether you love to surf, want to relax in the sun, or get into the party spirit – there is a beach for you waiting to be discovered.

4) Learn to cook Bajan Style

If you love your food, and are a whizz in the kitchen, then why not spend an evening with a local chef to show you how to cook some of your favourite Bajan dishes. Award winning Chef Creig Greenidge joined us in our hotel to pass on some of his secrets. An amazing evening saw us chatting about our love of Caribbean cuisine, he guided us through a three course meal, even stopping to help us work out what we could replace hard to find ingredients in the UK with. The food was incredible, but it was also a wonderful experience. Great food and wine too!

5) Rum and Food Pairing Dinner

Barbados is the home of rum. This was a perfect way to round off our trip. Set in the Rum Vault at the Colony Club Hotel, we were treated to a private 5 course meal, each course paired with a rum cocktail. Finished with some fine sipping rums and delicious chocolates. Heaven!

Of course there is so much more than these 5 we have picked. So here are a few more things you should try out: Horses on the beach on Sunday mornings; Friday night is party night at the Fish Fry; Eat out! There are too many amazing restaurants to name here. Have a Mango Chow cocktail. Do a rum distillery tour at Mount Gay or St Nicholas Abbey or try our a local craft beer. Most of all – get out and explore. Barbados has so much to offer.

Next up… we will be back underwater exploring one of our favourite diving areas – Carlisle Bay.

For more information about Barbados click here.

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