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Dive Photo Guide


Hammer Time – In Black and White
By Bill Fisher, July 28, 2015 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

The great hammerhead is one of the most impressive sharks one could ever hope to dive with. With its alien-like cephalofoil, chiseled musculature, and extra large dorsal fin, it’s a finely tuned machine from its bizarre head, all the way down to its sickled tail fin.

Just to share their presence and witness them move underwater is an amazing experience.  I consider myself very fortunate to have had many opportunities to encounter these rare sharks. Once I grasped the sheer magnificence of this species, I was able to recognize that one of the most astonishing characteristics may not be their unusual appearance, but their agility and precise maneuverability. The great hammerhead moves like no other shark. Their cephalofoil scans the sea floor like a sweeping metal detector, and while its massive head may seem like a hindrance, it’s one of their greatest assets. Their large volume of electro-receptors allows them to detect prey unlike any other shark, and respond with extreme quickness.

Their physical prowess and peculiar looks are just a few of the distinctive characteristics that make great hammerheads such a fantastic subject for underwater photography. While going through some of my great hammerhead images, I decided to take a few shots from dusk and night dives and experiment by converting them into black and white monochrome. Since the setting was dark, and there wasn’t much color to begin with, the desaturation ended up working well with the unique features and shapes of this species of shark.

A profile view of the oversized dorsal fin.


A great hammerhead glides through the water at night.


A swing of the cephalofoil can be like taking a hit from Thor’s hammer, so always be mindful of these large, fast moving sharks.


Profile of a great hammerhead at night.


"Coming in hot."


This great hammerhead is searching for buried treasure underneath the sand.


Heading to the surface, a great hammerhead ascends at dusk.


A different angle of the great hammer's cephalofoil.


This great hammer strikes a classic pose during a night dive.


A great hammerhead glides from the darkness into view.


Head on at night.


A great hammerhead prepares for liftoff as it raises it cephalofoil and ascends.



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