Would you ever dream to leave your lucrative job for a passion? Sounds risky right? But renowned photographer and National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2016, Greg Lecoeur sold his business only to follow his passion. A photographer and diver who lives a nomadic life. Greg is a business graduate and started his own company. Yet he sold his profitable company, left behind his luxurious life to explore the marine world.
He attained his Diving Instructor Certificate and traveled around the world with his underwater camera. From Galapagos, Florida to British Columbia, Greg Leoceur explored America and started sharing his spectacular underwater photos with the popular French magazines. But it was the out-of-the-world photography of migrating sardines that bagged him the popular National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year in 2016!
This iconic photo was shot when Greg Lecoeur was in South Africa. During the month of June, millions of sardines migrate from Cape Agulhas towards the Wild Coast of South Africa. Leoceur wanted to capture the sardine migration and thus was searching for the perfect day and moment to dive. It was the dolphins and the increasing noise of Gannet birds that led Greg to the perfect spot in the sea.
Greg Lecoeur shares with Nat Geo- “Before jumping into the water, I could not have imagined the incredible spectacle that would unfold beneath the surface.”
What looked calm from above the sea, was equally chaotic from beneath.
This is the bait ball where the sardines swim in large schools and when they sense a threat they dive in the ocean. Greg swam to the bait ball and witnessed an enthralling survival of the fittest! Where the Dolphins prevented the sardines from an escape and the Gannet birds looked out for their prey.
Within the spur of the moment, the Gannet birds dived 30 feet deep into the sea and dolphins attacked their hunt- creating an awestruck moment. At a lightning speed, Greg used continuous exposure and captured several images per second.
Do you know it was dolphins that helped Greg capture this extraordinary photo? Sounds odd right?
Dolphins use their sonal skills, bubble streams to hunt the bait balls and then send out signals in the water to other dolphins and even birds! Yes, when dolphins communicate in the water, human being and birds can actually hear them.
And once the dolphins come near the bait ball they make sure the large school of sardines is near the surface of the water, preventing the sardines from an escape.
Following the dolphins, Gannets reach the bait ball and then using their exceptional eye sight, dive deep into the sea at a speed of 50 miles per hour and catch their prey like a pro. Isn’t the marine world fascinating?
Greg Lecouer also shares with National Geographic that- “The marine world is full of life, and it is difficult to access for most of the world. It is very important to me to share my world with these people. It is very important to me to share what I see with my lens.”
The best thing about Greg photography is that through his photography, he wants to urge the mankind to preserve the biodiversity and fragile ecosystem. His amazing work has made him the ambassador for brands like Nauticam and Aqualung who support his work on the Blue Planet.
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You can check his remarkable work here