Shark feeding frenzy

One committed photographer spent a grand total of 3,000 dive hours trying to get the perfect shots, capturing beautiful images of a rare shark feeding frenzy. Laurent Ballesta’s images show the glimmering gray reef sharks hunting in swift packs, flying through the water and feasting on the likes of helpless grouper.

The challenge Laurent, 44, faced to get these images in Fakarava Atoll, French Polynesia, cannot be overstated: The grouper there spawn only once a year under a full moon, sometime in June or July, and only for around 30 minutes. In total, capturing the set of feeding frenzy images required 21 weeks of diving, day and night, spanning four years and 85,000 images. (Caters News)

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<p>One committed photographer spent a grand total of 3,000 dive hours trying to get the perfect shots, capturing beautiful images of a rare shark feeding frenzy. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

One committed photographer spent a grand total of 3,000 dive hours trying to get the perfect shots, capturing beautiful images of a rare shark feeding frenzy. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>Laurent Ballesta’s images show the glimmering gray reef sharks hunting in swift packs, flying through the water and feasting on the likes of helpless grouper. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

Laurent Ballesta’s images show the glimmering gray reef sharks hunting in swift packs, flying through the water and feasting on the likes of helpless grouper. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>The challenge Laurent, 44, faced to get these images, in Fakarava Atoll, French Polynesia, cannot be overstated. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

The challenge Laurent, 44, faced to get these images, in Fakarava Atoll, French Polynesia, cannot be overstated. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>The grouper there spawn only once a year under a full moon, sometime in June or July, and only for around 30 minutes. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

The grouper there spawn only once a year under a full moon, sometime in June or July, and only for around 30 minutes. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>In total, this set of images required 21 weeks of diving, day and night, spanning four years and taking 85,000 images. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

In total, this set of images required 21 weeks of diving, day and night, spanning four years and taking 85,000 images. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>Having begun devising a plan in 2014, Laurent and his friend, Jean-Marc Belin, created a method that would allow the diver to spend 24 hours 65 feet underwater. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

Having begun devising a plan in 2014, Laurent and his friend, Jean-Marc Belin, created a method that would allow the diver to spend 24 hours 65 feet underwater. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>The men also decreased the time for Laurent to decompress from 20 hours to six. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

The men also decreased the time for Laurent to decompress from 20 hours to six. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>With a committed team, a strategy and a mix of oxygen and other gases, Laurent began his work in 2014, returning for the next four years. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

With a committed team, a strategy and a mix of oxygen and other gases, Laurent began his work in 2014, returning for the next four years. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>Shooting the sharks was a tough challenge, Laurent said, as their swiftness and the darkness caused ever-changing errors. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

Shooting the sharks was a tough challenge, Laurent said, as their swiftness and the darkness caused ever-changing errors. (Photo: Caters News)

<p>There was also the matter of not getting bitten, as the diver was not in a shark cage or using a protective suit. (Photo: Caters News) </p>
Shark feeding frenzy

There was also the matter of not getting bitten, as the diver was not in a shark cage or using a protective suit. (Photo: Caters News)

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