Great whites can’t keep me from the ocean

Sacha Specker doesn’t work for anyone. But a recent encounter with a great white shark reminded the underwater ocean photographer that he’s still not the boss. Specker held his nerve in that bloodcurdling moment and made it out unharmed, proving again that in the deep, respect offered will be returned.

His relationship with the sea goes back to childhood, when he was first intrigued by the magical rhythm of its waves. That feeling of awe remained as Specker grew up. He completed his studies in Nature Conservation at CPUT and afterwards chose to pursue adventure instead of a conventional career, travelling around the world to compete in body-boarding competitions. It was on the road that he honed his skill as a photographer of the underwater world.

The ocean is vast and full of hidden wonders, yet Specker sees it as a single entity. His relationship with the sea is intimate, most strikingly illustrated in the pictures that he captures. Waves turn into ice-sculptures in Specker’s photographs, creating moments of crystallised beauty and serendipitous clarity. He looks to show off the dynamic features of his lifelong fascination, rolling through all its moods and magic. But the constant barrage of human negligence threatens the ocean Specker loves. And no longer can we claim ignorance. The future of the waters that shape South Africa’s coast is in our hands. As a custodian of the ocean, Specker is doing his part.