Photographer recreates 'Jaws' poster with great white shark in the wild

Euan Rannachan says photographing the apex predator in the wild has taught him just how "not aggressive" great white sharks can be.

The 1975 "Jaws" movie poster painting shows a great white shark nose first, headed for a human to snack on, but in reality, the apex predators are far less likely to target humans. 

California-based photographer, filmmaker and artist Euan Rannachan would know because he recently recreated that iconic "Jaws" moment in the wild and says people can learn a lot from observing shark behavior.

Rannachan spoke with FOX Weather's Nick Kosir about his stunning images of sharks and why they are his favorite subject.

"They are an apex predator that you can hang out with in the same area," Rannachan said. "You can't do that with tigers or lions … my initial draw was just how big and ferocious I've been told they were. And then the fact that you can go hang out with them intrigued me."

Guadalupe Island, about 120 miles off the coast of Bahia, California, is a popular spot for sea lions and seals to hang out. Rannachan regularly works with wildlife encounter company Be A Shark and was on a recent trip to the island when everything fell into place for the "Jaws" photo. 


"It's a great place for the sharks to go and do their kind of vertical surprise attacks. And if you spend enough time in the cage, you start noticing the way that they can position their body before going to investigate the bait or attack something," Rannachan said.

The photographer saw a shark moving in a way that told him he had a chance to capture the moment. He followed the shark's "attack" movement with his camera and hoped it would be in focus. The result was the fantastic photo below, seen with and without the "Jaws" logo. 

"It's the luck of the draw when you're out there. You get some days visibility is really, really good. Some days it's not so good at all. Kind of depends on what Mother Nature throws at us and how the sharks are feeling that day," Rannachan said. "It's a photo that a lot of people tried to get over the years. It wasn't one I necessarily set out to get, but it happened right in front of me."

Before finding a passion for photographing sharks, Rannachan was a professional hockey photographer for the NHL. He says there are a lot of similarities between action sports and sharks. 


"I think it was amazing practice for being able to keep things and focus," Rannachan said. "We all know how fast hockey can be and how everyone says it's hard to see that puck. We're trying to take photos of that puck."

Also a trained artist, Rannachan draws some of the sharks he photographs into beautiful artwork. 

And the best practice for getting ready for his next dive with the greatest predator in the sea? 

"Now I practice on hummingbirds and whatnot in my backyard," Rannachan said.

Rannachan said he hopes people can learn how sharks are not naturally aggressive toward humans through his work. 

"That's been my main goal with my work nowadays is to try and kind of rewire people's brains on exactly how these animals truly are instead of kind of what we're fed through Hollywood and all the rest," Rannachan said.

He says he has had a lot of "exciting" moments over the years but never experienced a shark being aggressive toward him in the water.