(CNN) — To illustrate you are able to ditch your ho-hum job and swap it out for a not-so-typical, all the time harmful, adrenaline-pumping sort of profession.
If that is the case, shark cinematography could be a great match for you. That’s, if you’re OK with the potential for an 1,400-pound tiger shark often stealing your digital camera gear. Or a mako shark sneaking up on you throughout an evening dive.
All in a day’s work for Joe Romeiro, shark cinematographer extraordinaire. For the previous decade, his fundamental focus has been filming a number of the largest predatory marine animals on this planet.
You title it, he is filmed it. From huge nice whites in Cuba to tiger sharks within the Bahamas and hammerheads within the Galapagos Islands, which might develop as much as 20 ft lengthy.
Joe Romeiro giving the thumbs up, saying he acquired the shot of a tiger shark.
Mike Dornellas/Discovery Channel
This begs the query: Why does he swim towards sharks when most people do the other?
Easy: By way of years of cautious analysis and firsthand data, he is aware of that the chances of being fatally attacked are extraordinarily slim. Sharks are merely not the man-eating machines that “Jaws” made them out to be.
For Romeiro, the obsession started at four years previous when his household moved from the Azores, an autonomous area of Portugal, to the US. He could not converse English, so he gravitated primarily to monster motion pictures and pure historical past movies that required no translation. Anytime sharks have been on the display screen, he was enthralled.
“By way of that I discovered my first heroes,” he remembers.
‘I try to change the best way individuals see sharks’
In maturity, the fascination continued to construct. Launching this pastime right into a profession simply made sense.
“I used to be taking pictures and diving on a regular basis, and I made the aware resolution in the future to simply go for it,” he says.
Romeiro acquired licensed by PADI, NAUI and SSI, scuba colleges that educate diving abilities, in his 20s.
He started filming sharks immediately with a small digital camera, and after about 15 years, he had labored his method as much as spectacular cinema methods used to movie Hollywood motion pictures. Though he has adopted the recommendation of mentors alongside the best way, he’s a self-taught filmmaker.
Romeiro and crew noticed greater than 10 mako sharks the day he acquired this picture.
Quick ahead a decade and his gear now prices greater than the value of a starter dwelling and Discovery Channel, BBC and Nationwide Geographic fly him world wide to movie all the things from makos, the quickest shark on this planet, to mild whale sharks, which might develop as much as the size of a faculty bus.
“I try to change the best way individuals see sharks by way of the pictures and movies I create,” he says. “It permits individuals to see how these sharks work together with me and the way they behave of their pure surroundings.”
One factor’s for sure: It is not your typical 9-to-5 job. Whereas most individuals solely take into consideration sharks for a number of weeks every summer time, Romeiro has sharks on the mind every single day of the week all yr lengthy.
When he is not jet setting across the globe to movie the toothy creatures, he is at dwelling accumulating footage in Rhode Island, brainstorming concepts for upcoming reveals, sketching sharks and serving as CEO of the Atlantic Shark Institute. All within the title of shark conservation.
An ideal hammerhead at evening
Wriggling out of harmful encounters
For sure, Romeiro’s profession path retains him on his toes.
“I’ve had many shut calls,” he says. “All of them have been both mine or another person’s fault, however by no means the shark’s.”
Whereas diving at Tiger Seashore within the Bahamas, for instance, there was one curious feminine who had him spinning. Whereas he was distracted with a number of different tiger sharks that curious feminine went to clamp down on Romeiro’s head from above.
“Fortunately I seen the reactions on my fellow divers’ faces, and I knew that she was above me. I used to be capable of push her off gently.”
On one other shoot he was inside a shark cage that fell over and was being dragged behind a ship with him nonetheless inside.
Guadalupe Island is without doubt one of the greatest locations to view nice white sharks, Romeiro stated.
That stated, his job is certainly not routine. And that is precisely its attraction.
Peaceable encounters, imagine it or not, although, are the norm. Take for instance the time he eliminated a hook from a shark’s mouth and it hovered at eye stage as if to say thanks.
Or the primary time he met Emma, a well-known feminine tiger shark who frequents the Bahamas, for the primary time. She’s what Romeiro calls a supermodel shark as a result of she’s prepared to allow you to take closeups.
“When you see them lengthy sufficient, you possibly can inform that totally different people have totally different personalities,” he explains. “You’ll be able to see one, and it is like seeing a good friend.”
With regards to this extraordinary profession he is conjured up, Romeiro says it is a dream come true — and to have the ability to educate individuals about his favourite marine animal is an added bonus.
The gear is critical
On any given shark-filming tour, Romeiro’s go-to gear contains: his RED Weapon 8K digital digital camera, PhantomVEO, Canon 1DXII, Mavic Professional and GoPro.
“We use the identical cameras you see utilized in Hollywood motion pictures,” he says. “Simply inside a metallic, waterproof field.”
Security precautions embody his spouse, Lauren Benoit, who can also be a digital camera operator. They maintain an eye fixed out for one another. Plus, there are all the time three trauma kits on board with each security merchandise conceivable from bandages to tourniquets.
With regards to mastering the artwork of filming these apex predators, Romeiro says it is necessary to maintain your head on a swivel. These are wild animals in spite of everything and due to this fact unpredictable.
Jamin Martinelli retains a tiger shark at bay whereas Joe Romeiro shoots the encounter.
Michael Dornellas/Discovery Channel
Past that, ensuring your white stability is on level is essential. And, after all, double verify to verify your digital camera is turned on and rolling.
“Ten % is being there and 90 % is being prepared,” he says. “There are such a lot of pictures which are missed by not having a digital camera in straightforward attain or one not turned on and rolling.”
It doesn’t matter what position you need to play — whether or not it is an underwater videographer, topside cameraman, sound tech, lighting tech, author, producer, narrator or editor — it is undoubtedly a aggressive subject.
However for individuals who are persistent sufficient to make it a profession, it will possibly actually be a rewarding one. Romeiro’s greatest recommendation is to by no means hand over.
“You solely fail at stuff you ultimately hand over at,” he says. “I’ve all the time believed it, and no less than for me it has been a reality.”
Do you will have what it takes?
The picture topics: blue and mako sharks. The backdrop: Emerald and blue water about 20 to 40 miles off the coast.
Do not be shocked for those who additionally come throughout duskies, clean hammerheads, tigers and basking sharks. When you’re fortunate, possibly even a thresher, porbeagle or nice white shark. They’ve even come throughout the occasional whale shark.
Expeditions are $500 an individual a day for a 12-hour day.