Galapagos Sharks, Bassas da India, Scattered Islands, 2010

These young Galapagos sharks were already super abundant during the day, but I had a hunch they would be even more prolific after dark. Sliding into the inky depths of Bassas da India’s lagoon in the middle of the night was a surreal experience. A cinematic movie light, hung off a long aluminum pole (formerly the handle of a swimming pool strainer) and now imaginatively rigged to a sputtering generator on our small rubber boat, provided the only illumination. For hours I photographed countless of these sharks waltz in and out of the light. This is a published photograph from my National Geographic magazine story A Tale of Two Atolls.

Location: Bassas da India, Scattered Islands
Photograph Date: 2010
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200

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About the Photographer

Thomas Peschak

Thomas P. Peschak is an assignment photographer for National Geographic Magazine. He is a Founding/Associate Director of the Manta Trust, and a senior fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He has been named as one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world.

Originally trained as a marine biologist specializing in human–wildlife conflict, he retired from science fieldwork in 2004. He became an wildlife photojournalist after realizing that he could have a greater conservation impact through photographs than statistics. His work focuses on some of the most critical marine conservation issues of our time.

Thomas has written and photographed five books: Currents of Contrast, Great White Shark, Wild Seas Secret Shores and Lost World. His latest book Sharks and People was released in 2013 and chronicles the relationship between people and sharks around the world.

He is a multiple winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards and received World Press Photo Awards for his work in2011 and 2013. In 2015, he gave a TED talk, Dive into an ocean photographer’s world, aboard Mission Blue II, hosted by TED Prize winner Sylvia Earle.

Thomas is a speaker for the National Geographic Live! Series and presented his talk, Wild Seas, Secret Shores in Australia and Singapore.

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