Photographing Sharks and Whales of the World

13 Sep Photographing Sharks and Whales of the World

Dr. Tom Burns has been photographing sharks and whales for more than 20 years. His pursuit of these encounters has taken him around the world.

Years of interactions with these highly intelligent creatures, often without the barrier of a cage, has allowed Burns to obtain a true perspective and stunning photographs.

He has worked with National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Studios, while his photographs have appeared in numerous magazines including Scuba Diver, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver, and Shark Diver. His images also have been used by conservation organizations such as the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, and they have been published in scientific journals with renowned shark scientists.

Dr. Burns also is creator and  project leader of the Cape Cod White Shark Predation Study, established three years ago to investigate his premise that white sharks hunt seals differently off Cape Cod than in other known areas  of pinniped predation.

According to his website, Cape Cod Shark Diver, great whites target prey off Cape Cod in much shallower environments than previously documented.

Until now, the North Atlantic white shark was considered extremely elusive and difficult to study, according to  Dr. Burns. For the first time, his site noted, predation tactics of the North Atlantic white shark could be studied using spotter aircraft and decoy targets.

Dr. Burns has spent 38 years studying sharks through formal and informal coursework and leadership of grant projects in veterinary medicine. He has been diving and photographing sharks for almost 25 years and has experienced hundreds of hours of interactions with the most iconic shark species. While his pursuit of shark encounters has taken him around the world, it is the sharks of New England that have become his focus.

A graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Burns has been in practic at Veterinary  Associates of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth since 2000. He became the hospital director in 2005 and has expanded the practice to three locations.

His work is currently appearing through the end of October at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s  Naturescape Gallery.

Here’s a small taste of Burns’ photography of sharks and whales.




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