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Action Photography Contest Winners: Round III
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WINNER: Diving With Sharks in Palau
Presenting the final round of our Action Photography Contest, judged by
National Geographic photographer Bill Hatcher.
Photo: Diver with shark
  1 of 3 » 

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I took this photo while diving one of the world's premier dive sites: Blue Corner is on the outer reef of the Republic of Palau and offers epic visibility and access to marine life especially gray reef sharks. After drifting down the side of a 3,000 feet [914 meters] deep wall that was saturated with vibrant soft corals and huge sea fans, we settled in on the top of the wall at 60 feet [18 meters]. Here the current is amplified as it rushes over the lip of the wall. Watching enormous schools of barracuda, jacks, and sharks ride the current makes for truly awesome encounters. It's common for upwards of 40 sharks to be surfing the current within arm's reach. 
—Jeff Kuehn, 31
Dive Instructor
Bluffton, South Carolina

Judge's Remarks:
This is a great shot that's both well lit and composed. What makes the photo for me is that the shark is looking right at the diver as it passes overhead.
—Bill Hatcher, photographer and author of the National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Action & Adventure

DIY: Comprised of over 250 limestone islands, Palau is a truly one of the worlds premier dive destinations. The Republic of Palau is located 813 miles [1,308 kilometers] southwest of Guam. From the U.S. mainland, you must fly through Guam. Palau uses the U.S. dollar, and English is widely spoken. To maximize your diving, try a live aboard such as the Palau Aggressor II ( Local dive operators such as Sam's Tours ( also provide excellent day trips to all of Palau's dive sites. 

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