Great White Sharks Settings
If the lion is the king of the jungle, we think the great white must be king of the sea. These big beauties are mesmerizing with their massive size, graceful movement, and cold black eyes.
In the cage you'll generally be weighted heavily and breathing surface supply air from a suspended regulator. Dress warmly because most cage diving experiences are in cold water and you won't be moving a lot to stay warm.
Most famously Guadalupe, Africa and Australia since we are mostly talking about Cage experiences.
DSLR + Mirrorless
ISO: 160-400 typically on a sunny day; this assumes nice blue water and a bright sun. If the water and/or sky are dark be prepared to go higher. If you are shooting natural light on a cloudy day you may want to consider Auto ISO.
Mode: Manual mode, particularly with flash; for natural light with fast action choose Shutter priority or even Program mode
Point + Shoot
ISO: 200-800 depending on ambient light
You need to know if the Sharks will be baited into close proximity of the cage. In some places this is not allowed. If you know they are "wrangling" with bait, then a super wide lens and two big flashes will fill the frame with mouth, and stop all of the motion for impact.
Without bait, you aren't going to get very close, so consider turning your strobes off and shooting natural light.
When shooting natural light, you may consider shooting manual (custom) white balance. Use a dive slate or even the bars of the cage or the back of your buddy's tank. Keep in mind that the white balance setting may need to changed depending on the direction you're shooting and ambient light. If clouds are passing over the sun, this will affect your white balance setting. We always recommend shooting RAW, and this is a situation where adjusting white balance in post can be very effective.
The way to get "the shot" is to get a lot of cage time and to be alert. Great whites are recognizable for their big, bright white bellies but when they're coming up from beneath- as they usually are- they can be virtually invisible until they're right next to you.
When the sharks come in close you can actually shoot close focus wide angle (CFWA), with a stopped down lens and strong strobe power.
If they are far, you might find all your flash does is light up the backscatter (particles suspended in the water). Don't hesitate to turn them off in this situation.
If it's a little bit of both and your water is clear, set your camera to a slightly underexposed image (about 1/2 to 1 stop underexposed in the brighter parts of the water column) and have your strobes set to TTL. This way, if the shark drifts in close enough for the flash to hit then the TTL will quench it. If they are too far, you still have a decent natural light image to edit.