Film and Photography

First Frame

heading border
Apex has been and continues to be the first choice of any serious natural history documentary production. Our speciality has been to share our knowledge and passion we have for the sharks with documentary crews to help develop the most visually stimulating yet environmentally sensitive and factually correct documentary’s possible.

Apex Shark Expeditions have facilitated many well-known shark documentaries over the years. Some of these include:

The famous Air Jaws series that has been seen on Discovery Channel, Shark After Dark, Celebrity Shark week, Animal Planet, BBC Channel’s – Planet Earth, Life, Africa, Smart Shark, Perfect Killer and National Geographic.

Nearly 30 years of Experience

In 1993, Chris Fallows worked on his first major film shoot, BBC’s Great White Shark, shot at Dyer Island and soon thereafter, The Farallon Islands, narrated by David Attenborough.
However it was not before 1997 that he started facilitating documentaries in False Bay. In 1999, Chris and Rob were commissioned to guide and facilitate the National Geographic Special Jaws- 25th Year Anniversary with the author of JAWS, Peter Benchley. The crew also included legendary photographer, David Doubilet and the world’s most famous shark attack survivor, Rodney Fox.
Shark Week

Hosting & Presenting

Apart from facilitating film crews, we very often personally feature in the documentaries as presenters or hosts due to our knowledge of the area. Chris Fallows is well recognized as the host in the Air Jaws documentary series aired on Shark Week. He is also regularly involved with interviews in other documentaries and on screen appearances due to his passion and experiences with wildlife.

The Vessel

Our vessel is a custom built film and photographic vessel allowing film crews and photographers a 360 degree walk around, fly bridge, and a dive board for alternate angles.

Special Effects

During the making of the shows Chris has been down in a submarine, walked along the ocean floor in a self- propelled shark cage, towed behind a boat on a seal sled, hung out of helicopters, leopard crawled through sleeping seals, hand fed Great white sharks through 1/8 inch Lexan cages, filmed salmon under glacier fed waterfalls, paddle-boarded through ice bergs and next to orca. In addition to this Chris has free dived, stand up paddle boarded and kayaked with Great white sharks in location worldwide, and been lucky enough to work with them at virtually every known site where they occur globally.
During shark documentaries we have worked with all sorts of amazing contraptions and camera technologies. These have included cameras being towed in and next to decoys to view an attack on the decoy, cameras being towed behind our boat, pneumatic seals with cameras, cameras been flown in real and remote controlled helicopters to film a breach from above a decoy, huge cranes being built on our boat to film a breach from close up, night cameras and thermal imaging for after dark work, gyro stabilised Cineplex cameras, multidirectional cameras being placed on the sea floor, paddle boards, kayaks and Chris being fitted with cameras from every angle to film what he sees when he is working with the sharks.
Apex has been and continues to be the first choice of any serious natural history documentary production. Our speciality has been to share our knowledge and passion we have for the sharks with documentary crews to help develop the most visually stimulating yet environmentally sensitive and factually correct documentary’s possible.
To do these things we had to amongst other things, build a landing platform for a large 6 Ft + remote controlled helicopter on our boat, design our boat to accommodate cranes and load submarines, have very skilled skippers to get us close to the action and apply for permits and permission to do all these wonderful things.

Marine Cameramen

We have worked with many of the world’s top marine cameramen, incl+uding Jeff Kurr, Tony Sacco, the late Wes Skyles, Simon King, Ted Gifford, Andy Brandy Cassagrande, Charles Maxwell, Didier Noirot, the late Richard Matthews, Tom Cambell, Johan Horjus, Ezra Epwell, Chris Everson and many other excellent and passionate film makers.

It has been amazing for Chris, Monique, and the Apex Team to be part of the production of many of the worlds most watched and celebrated wildlife documentaries and to see and interact with so many incredibly talented and passionate individuals. Hopefully at the end of the day the attention that the sharks received will in some way go to help people understand them better and hopefully conserve them. It is also hoped that the incredible exposure these shows have given False Bay and South Africa have in some way helped attract thousands of tourists to our shores to see the Great white sharks, the stars of the shows!

Shark Documentaries shot

BBC logo color
Planet Earth: Great White Sharksegment
  • Shark
  • Life
  • Africa
Robo Shark
  • Smart Shark
  • Sharks of the South African Coast
  • Perfect Killers
  • Terry Nutkins
  • Steve Leonard

Inside the Perfect Predator

  • Myth-busters
  • Wild Boys
  • Mad Mike & Mark

Nigel Marvin-Celebrity Shark Week

  • Shark After Dark

The Air Jaws Series

national geo logo color
Shark Invasion
  • JAWS 25 Year Anniversary
  • Perfect Killers – The Kratt Brothers
  • The Kill Zone
  • The Jeff Corwin Show
Colossus - Breaching for Jeff Kurr
Through our work with these top film crews, we have the edge on understanding the needs of television and film professionals and we are equipped to guide and direct production crews to get the best footage possible for their specific requirements.


False Bay truly is an incredible place to see amazing marine wildlife and for photographers an opportunity almost without equal.
Chris Fallows is a professional wildlife photographer and he was the first photographer to capture the breaching behaviour of the Great White Shark in False Bay. These breaching Great white shark images have been seen in newspapers, magazines and television documentaries, worldwide. Through this imagery, the positive awareness of sharks is promoted.
Given our photographic expertise and that of our crew, we assist all photographers, amateur and professional alike to be in the best possible position for light and the action without compromising the wildlife. This is why Apex is the first choice for many of the world’s top wildlife photographers and film crews.

Photographic Guide for False Bay and Cape Waters

Great White Shark

For spectacular Great White Shark photography Seal Island has no match.
The legendary breaching and hunting Great white sharks give the ever alert photographer a chance to capture truly inspiring topside water images of these super predators in action. As with any wildlife photography, light, position of the vessel and proximity to feeding events are carefully considered to give photographers the best, but also most respectful chance, at ethically capturing these events.
Whilst Great whites can breach at any time it is most typical to see this behaviour in the early mornings in late June and July. On many days several active feeding events may be seen and on others few or none at all. During the peak season at least five or more hunting events of varying durations are typically seen each morning.
During the months of February to early May, scavenging events on sick, dead or dying seals are commonly seen, and whilst sharks seldom breach during scavenges it still allows photographers the chance to see a surface borne natural feeding event.
If you are really serious about getting a chance to shoot great images, then give yourself time to allow for weather, variable lighting, and of course the variations in sightings that each day may bring.
Typically a camera body with a high frame rate and fast lenses are recommended, but certainly not essential for shooting breaches. Chris shoots 90% of his above water shark and marine wildlife photography with a Canon 70-200 F 2.8 lens.
Shark Week's Air Jaws
Follow one of the dolphin schools to witness them feed on bait fish as well as have the dolphins interact with our vessel on it’s way to Seal Island whilst bow riding or breaching during hunting. These schools can get to be as large as 3000 + so this is an amazing spectacle. If we are lucky, we might see them joined by a Brydes whale on a bait ball feeding event. This certainly does not happen everyday.
Throughout False Bay during March to May, 100’s and sometimes 1000’s of gannets follow the bait fish and often engage in spectacular aerial assaults on these schools of fish allowing us to get up close amongst this action.
There is a very small chance to see orca hunting dolphin in False Bay.
We find all these species offshore of Cape Point. The underwater imagery of the sharks are usually shot from the cage. There is also a very good chance to see four species of Albatross from very close distances as well as a mass of other bird life. This is an incredible opportunity to get close to these birds as well as shooting spectacular scenery off Cape Point from the water.
We find these prehistoric sharks close in shore in approx. 12 metres of water and they are easy subjects to photograph.

We can get within a few meters of Seal Island’s 64 000 seals and photographers can get great up close topside shots of this spectacle.
There is an opportunity to shoot underwater images by snorkelling or scuba diving with Cape fur seals.

The African Penguin colony is land based. Photographers can get close to the penguins and shoot images of these birds amongst beautifully rounded Boulders at the Boulders beach penguin colony.

A scenic tour to Cape Point Nature Reserve offers an opportunity to shoot fauna and flora, baboons and other wildlife.

The First Choice Shark Cage Diving Operator For:

national geo logo color
discovery logo color
animal planet logo color
BBC logo color



27 June 2023

Next trip 28 June

*Trip status updated daily at 16h00 SAST