19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Oceanic White Tip & Pilot Whales

Upon getting in, the whales were coming right for us. My friend Karim dove down towards the whales as I prepared with a few last breathes. Upon descending just a few feet underwater, I immediately noticed this shark on the surface, coming my way quickly. I began to slowly ascend, as I prepared to meet the shark head on. It was amazing how quickly it would rocket through the water, with what appeared to be an effortless swipe of the tail. As it came in for a small test bite, I successfully matadored and repositioned the shark using my camera's dome port (which did see a few teeth scratches for its effort). After this moment, we all got out of the water pretty quickly, because the shark was being too aggressive.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Mo'orea, French Polynesia
Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
Copyright: © Aaron Lynton