Story Behind The Shot: Shark Constellation

The 4th place photo for the Black & White category in the Ocean Art 2023 Competition was taken at the Raja Ampat, Indonesia. See all Ocean Art 2023 Winners Here


Camera System

The camera that was used to take the photo is the Canon EOS R5 is an excellent mirrorless camera for both topside and underwater shooting. The camera was encased inside the Nauticam Canon R5 Housing. As for the lens, a Canon EF 8-15mm F/4 L Fisheye Lens was used with two (2) Inon Z330 Underwater Strobes.


The Shot

The picture was taken during a diving trip in Raja Ampat on board of Coralia Liveaboard in erly 2020. Due to Covid restrictions only few liveaboard were operating in Raja Ampat. We had the privilege to dive in one of the last paradises on heart in complete privacy enjoying an incredible experience.

Whale sharks are not usual sight in Raja Ampat, but we were lucky enough to find this juvenile (approx 3-4 m lenght) on our way back from Misool to Dampier Strait area. I  was so excited (it was the first Whale shark of my life) that i just jumped in the water with only the camera, so all the pictures have been taken in freediving.

In juvenile whale sharks the white dots of their livery are very evident and they shine under the solar and flash light. Reviewing the photos at home i noticed that in the last shot, taken just before he disappeared in the blue, the livery was depicting a the silohuette of the shark like a constellation in the dark water, the "Platonic idea" of a Shark..


What Does Winning Ocean Art 2023 Mean to You?

This placement in Ocean Art 2023 it a great honor, not only for the amount and the level of photographers entering the competition but also because my picture was selected by world famous photographer as Tony Wu, Mark Strickland and Marty Snyderman. This experience push me to pursue my passion for diving and undewater photograpy hoping to further improve my skills and be back in Ocean art 2024 with better images.

I would also take the opportunity to thank all UWPG team and the Judges for the organization and their effort.


Photos Taken During the Trip




Further Reading


Born in Sardinia, Italy, His love with the sea was born snorkeling and freediving since the age of 8. He started  scuba diving in 2018 (due to aging) and Underwater Photography in 2019. 


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