In a new Behind The Shot series on the Alpha Universe YouTube Channel, Sony Artisans Sea Legacy co-founders Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier share the stories behind some of their favorite photos and videos. Watch in episode one as Nicklen details the story behind what he calls one of his favorite moments he’s ever had shooting video and one of the finer moments that he’s ever experienced in nature.
Product Preview – In This Article You'll Find:
–Sony Alpha 1
–Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master
Behind The Shot Episode 1
The moment took place near Wolf Island in the northern Galapagos Islands at 100 feet deep. “Fully camouflaged in the rocks, nothing to reveal my position,” Nicklen explains. “Just waiting and hoping that a school of hammerhead sharks would come cruising by.”
After spending over 100 hours underwater waiting with his Sony Alpha 1 and Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master, Nicklen confesses he began to give up hope that it was going to happen. He was doing everything he could to manifest the situation into reality. After capturing images of the large Galapagos sharks that were swimming by on his right, he turned to the left and there they were.
“A wall of hammerheads coming toward me,” he says. “I switched my camera quickly to video, hit record. A river of these hammerheads pouring over me for at least a minute. 60 frames a second, in slow motion. An ultra wide-angle lens. And when I thought it couldn’t get any better…I felt a tap on top of my head.”
Nicklen didn’t know what it was, but what he did know was that he was completely alone with all of these massive sharks around him with nothing watching his back. “But I can’t break this shot, I can’t flinch,” he says. “And then I saw this flipper fall down in front of my mask and I realized that it was a turtle that had just landed on top of my head.”
“With all this going on, all of this bounty of life – the scene was so beautiful. It was at that moment that I knew we had the shot. For me that was definitely one of the finer moments that I’ve ever experienced in nature.”