Why Underwater Photographers Need Rearview Mirrors

Whitetip Reef Shark sneaking up on a diver

by B. N. Sullivan

This underwater photographer was so completely engrossed in setting up his shot of some tiny creature that he was oblivious to the two sharks approaching him from behind.  The curious sharks ultimately swam right above the diver, as if to have a look at what he was doing, then continued on their way down the reef.  The diver never did see the sharks.

Lesson: While you are in the deep, it might be a good idea to look up, down, and over your shoulder from time to time -- if only to see who (or what) is looking at you!

The sharks are Whitetip Reef Sharks (Triaenodon obesus), photographed at Pulau Sipadan, off the coast of Borneo.

Stony Corals in the Red Sea

Hard corals in the Red Sea
Red Sea hard corals
by B. N. Sullivan

This is one of my favorite reef photos.  It was taken in the Red Sea at an area of Ras Mohammed known as Shark Observatory Wall.  When I took the photo, it was a sunny day and the water was very clear.  I was not very deep beneath the surface, but I was positioned below the corals. I was shooting up toward the surface with a wide angle lens, using the sun as a back-light for the coral.  Pictured are several species of stony corals common to the Red Sea, of the genera Acropora and Stylophora, and some Millepora (which is actually a Hydrozoan).