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Story Behind the Photograph: Misunderstood Predators
I grew up surfing at a beach notoriously known for having sharks and lots of them. New Smyrna Beach Florida is best known for being the shark bite capitol of the world and knowing sharks like Great Hammerheads were just beneath the surface petrified me. There was not a day that I surfed there and did not see a shark in the water. Spinners. Black tips. But back then, the idea of intentionally diving with sharks was out of the question, that was until I began to understand their role as the oceans’ top apex predators. Sharks remove the dead, the dying, and the diseased. They are key to cleaning our oceans, making them stronger and healthier, yet humans continue decimating shark populations. As a wildlife photographer and filmmaker, my responsibility is to accurately illustrate wild animals and the ecological issues they face, including sharks. To fulfill this responsibility I needed to become more comfortable with them and overcome my childhood fear.
Diving with them opened my eyes about them. And now, diving with great hammerheads is nothing but stoke—pure joy. I am still constantly looking around, but they are kind of chill and kind of relaxing.
One of the best locations to see great hammerhead sharks is the Bahamas. Its shallow turquoise waters allow you to view them very close up with pristine clarity. They can reach up to 20ft long and have weighed in over 1200 pounds. They are gigantic predators that could easily consume anything in their path but believe it or not there has yet to be a single recorded fatality by a great hammerhead. During my first dive with them I had seven 13-foot great hammerheads coming from all different directions and although you must stay very alert and aware of your surroundings, it was ultimately a very calming experience. As they passed by I would lock eyes with them and see this massive eyeball looking directly back at me, and instead of feeling threatened, as I imagined I might, I ended up feeling as if they were just curious about what I was.
Hollywood films and news headlines tell us sharks are life threatening man- eaters, but statistically speaking this couldn’t be further from the truth. They are simply just misunderstood. If you haven’t yet been on a shark dive, please begin researching ones that interest you and give it a go. The more people that dive with sharks, the faster we can help protect them and ensure the overall health of our oceans.
About Untamed Photographer
Untamed Photographer is an online art gallery that brings together wildlife photography and stories from a range of international environmental artists, both emerging and established.
Structured as an online marketplace, Untamed Photographer offers a selection of handpicked, limited-edition works of art, alongside the photographers’ compelling stories of what occurred in the wild to get the shot. The exclusive limited-edition pieces are printed in Miami and come with an artist-signed certificate of authenticity from their respective worldwide locations.
The Nature Trust of the Americas (NTOTA) was founded with the mission to give back. While building awareness for NTOTA’s causes, the founders met talented nature photographers who are passionate not only about photography, but also about saving the planet. Their life’s work and stories are inspiring, and their art, passion and stories deserve to be shared on a platform that benefits the environmental causes they are dedicated to.
Just as the photographers preserve the beauty of the planet in their art, Untamed Photographer is dedicated to preserving the planet for the future. All profits from photographs go to Untamed Photographer's two pillars: the artists and causes that protect the environment, ecosystems, and wildlife.
About the Photographer: Brian Moghari
Brian Moghari is a wildlife photographer and filmmaker who specializes in marine eco-systems. Brian aims to spark an emotional connection with his images to inspire others to protect our planet's natural spaces and the wildlife we share it with.
Born in the swamps of Florida, Brian grew up immersed in nature, which ultimately inspired his love of the natural world. Since graduating with a bachelor's degree in film from the University of Florida, he and his best friend created Comfort Theory Films, a production company that focuses on telling wildlife and conservation stories.
Brian has worked as a cinematographer and photographer for National Geographic, Disney+, Toyota, AMC, History Channel, Direct TV and many others television networks and brands.
If he isn’t filming beneath the waves, you can find him riding them up and down Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.