For five days, Jean had been trying to photograph the feeding frenzy that develops when sardines and herrings migrate off South Africa’s Wild Coast. His luck finally changed in clear water a few miles off Port St Johns. ‘Activity was intense, with dolphins herding the fish into a ball from below, while Cape gannets rained down from above. I couldn’t wait to get in the water.’ Gannets were plunging down several metres at great speed, catching and swallowing several fish in a dive. In contrast, Cape cormorants diving from the surface were much less successful. But what they lacked in fishing skill they made up for with thievery. ‘In this picture,’ says Jean, ‘the gannet is desperately trying to swallow a herring as a gang of cormorants gives chase.’
Nikon D300 + 12-24mm lens; 1/250 sec at f7.1; ISO 400; Subal housing; 2 Sea&Sea YS250 strobes.
Port St. Johns, South Africa
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