Whale shark of a time

• The best selfie ever, Leith Holtzman and a whale shark. Photo by Leith Holtzman

• The best selfie ever, Leith Holtzman and a whale shark. Photo by Leith Holtzman

JOURNALIST-turned-photographer Leith Holtzman reckons he has the best job in the world, spending WA’s cold winter months swimming with whale sharks off Exmouth.

“I have photographed more whale sharks than anyone else in the world,” he says, confidently.

His day job is snapping tourists as they swim with the magnificent fish, and 2015 marks 10 years behind the lens along Ningaloo Reef: “Photographing and filming all its amazing creatures in their natural environment.”

Manta rays, humpback whales and orcas have all been grist to the mill of his camera, and come together in a spectacular underwater photographic exhibition.

With whales hunted to the edge of extinction in the ‘60s, orcas disappeared from Ningaloo, Holtzman says.

“We’ve recently noticed them coming back—attacking a large pod of spinner dolphins.”

Not good news for the Flippers but good for the food chain, Holtzman says.

“Ningaloo is nutrient-poor…orcas killing these babies contributes a lot of food into the system…which filters down to the bottom feeders.”

In summer Holtzman captures the huge surf around Margaret River and travels the world filming extreme sports, especially freestyle motocross.

He’s made 10 action sport films, and written produced, directed, filmed, edited and, at times starred in, the successful series Homegrown Maniacs on Foxtel.

The exhibition launch is September 25 at Kidogo, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, or wander in, Sept 26 to October 1, 10am–4pm.


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