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Inspiration

Man Gets Really Up Close And Personal With Great White Sharks

By Hanssie on August 2nd 2014

George-Probst-1When I think of Great White Sharks, almost instantly images of dangerous predators with large teeth lurking just beneath the surface waiting to consume some unsuspecting human for its next snack pops into my head. Oh and the theme music to the 1975 movie, Jaws is also playing in the background.

And I am not the only one conditioned to think that way about sharks. Web designer and developer George Probst also had the “Jaws mentality,” up until his first dive. In 2006, George’s girlfriend broke up with him, so he took the money he was saving for an engagement ring and went off to check an item off his bucket list: Diving with Great White Sharks. After buying a point and shoot camera with underwater housing, George and his brother set off for an adventure of a lifetime – swimming with sharks in Isla Guadalupe. Once underwater, George fell in love again.

When they come by looking you in the eye, there’s this connection,” George explains in his interview with Yahoo Screen. “You just get this completely different understanding, and there’s a level of respect and awe of this huge animal.”

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[REWIND: ‘TEXTURES OF TIME’ EXAMINES THE EFFECTS ON THE PASSING OF TIME IN THE NATURAL WORLD]

After that dive, George upgraded to a DSLR and began planning more dives. Now 8 years, numerous dives and hundreds of photos later, George is hoping to educate the public about these magnificent animals, and perhaps remove some of the stigma associated with sharks. “You’ve got tens of millions of these animals being taken from the oceans each year through indiscriminate killing and I’d like them to be around for generations to come so that other people can appreciate these beautiful animals.

This goes to show that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

George-Probst-2 George-Probst-3 George-Probst-4 George-Probst-5 George-Probst-7The following interview with George gives us more insight behind his photos and his inspiration behind it. You can also see more of George Probst’s work on his Flickr page.

CREDITS: All photographs shared by George Probst are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Austin Swenson

    Nothing says “closure” like a heart pounding shark encounter and some great photos.

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  2. James Matthews

    Beautiful photos George! As an avid diver I would love to read a bit more about the gear you use. I’m hopefully purchasing an underwater housing soon for my 5D2.

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    • George Probst

      I used an old Rebel XT housed in an Ikelite housing with the EF-S 17-85 IS. Last year, I used my 5D II housed in an Ikelite housing with the 17-40L. Unfortunately, last year conditions were really off, and I didn’t get hardly any shots.

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    • James Matthews

      Awesome. Thanks George!

      I have an old 500d kicking around as my backup camera so I was thinking about trying to find an old secondhand housing so I can at least start getting into the water with it. If I happen to make a mistake and flood the housing then I’ve only ruined an old camera and not my 5D2.

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  3. MARTIN MIANO

    woooow really awesome work…

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  4. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for providing us with such an amazing story and explaining that there is a great respect with the eye contact in understanding theses magnificent fish.

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  5. Andy O’Dowd

    I really want to do this.such powerful, graceful creatures.

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  6. Greg Faulkner

    That first picture, wow that’s a beat up looking shark it’s covered in scars I’ve never seen anything like that before

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    • George Probst

      Greg,

      A majority of adult white sharks are scarred up pretty bad. Many of the major scars are caused by other white sharks. The most widely accepted theory is that they are the result of bites that occur during the mating process.

      Something else that often goes unnoticed about white sharks that you can faintly see in the first shot is that they actually have a blue iris as opposed to a solid black eye. This is generally not noticeable outside of close-up shots.

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    • Greg Faulkner

      Hi George

      Thanks for the reply. Yea I hadn’t noticed the eye colour until you mentioned it :)

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    • George Probst

      Here’s one of the most scarred up sharks that I’ve seen at Guadalupe.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/sharkpix/8807347822/

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  7. James VanderWeide

    I so want to do this!!

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  8. Black Z Eddie

    So, he jumped from one man eater to another. :D ;P

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  9. Paul Blacklock

    Great Story , Great Photos

    guess kudos to the ex girlfriend to help you launch a fantastic new career :)

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    • George Probst

      Thanks. And, yes, I guess I do owe the ex some gratitude for the motivation behind my first dive.

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