Great white shark photographer gets terrifyingly close to Jaws

Ruth Doherty
Great white shark: British photographer gets terrifyingly close
Great white shark: British photographer gets terrifyingly close

This is the moment a photographer came within just inches of a great white shark's jaws - while it was feeding.

For most, the thought of swimming with a shark is scary enough, but photographer Andy Murch sets out to capture the feared predators up close and personal.

Andy has photographed a whole host of sharks from great whites and hammerheads to whale sharks, always at a time when they are at their most ferocious - feeding time.

By photographing the animals in such a way, British photographer, Andy, 47, aims to show that the sharks are far more interested in eating fish than they are people.

In fact, in his 15 years of diving and interacting with the misunderstood creatures, Andy's only near death experience occurred when his breathing equipment malfunctioned 100ft underwater.

Seen in a spectacular sequence of images, Andy calls on his extensive knowledge of the creatures to take the perfect picture of the sharks feeding barely inches away from his face.

By using a mixture of fish and squid to attract the sharks, Andy waits until their mouths are fully extended before taking each shot and has never once been harmed.

Desperate to show sharks in a whole new light, Andy now runs an adventure travel company that brings people face-to-face with the majestic predators.

Great white shark: British photographer gets terrifyingly close
Great white shark: British photographer gets terrifyingly close

Andy told Caters News: "I've swam with countless sharks and they generally show no aggression towards divers.

"When I do manage to entice sharks close to my camera, they sense the electrical fields surrounding my strobes and lights but mostly they're just looking for the fish that they can smell.

"It's important to respect these creatures, I don't wear chain mail but I do wear equipment that isn't shiny or brightly coloured because I don't want a shark to think it sees a fish and bite me in its confusion.

"The only near death experience I've had was when my breathing equipment malfunctioned 100ft underwater and I almost didn't make it back to the surface.

"Unfortunately, sharks are still portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters by Hollywood but in reality, sharks are the ones that are under threat from us.

"Their numbers have been reduced to a tiny fraction of what they once were, we are in serious danger of losing some species if we continue to fish for them.

"It's very difficult to get a good mouth gape shot, good reflexes and an underwater camera that has a fast focusing, wide angle lens are both important.

"A deep understanding of shark behaviour is also absolutely critical.

"Every shark is different, even among the same species certain sharks have different personalities.

"Some get far more excited than others so it's very important to read the sharks and pay attention to how each one responds to me."

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