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Canon Ambassador and Wildlife Photographer Chris Fallow

When Canon Ambassador and renowned wildlife photographer Chris Fallows fired the shutter on his camera over two decades ago, he had no idea the image he had just shot would go on to become world famous.

Canon Ambassador and wildlife photographer Chris Fallows took his world-famous 'Air Jaws' image on a Canon EOS-1V. "I still have that camera in a safe at home. Every time I open the safe, I think of that moment when the camera and I worked so well together," he says. The image won STARTnet's 2020 Global Eye Award, a contemporary art prize that Chris believes is an important step forward in terms of getting wildlife photography recognised as an art form. Taken on a Canon EOS-1V (now succeeded by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III) with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens at 160mm, 1/1250 and f/5.6. © Chris Fallows

His iconic picture of a great white shark breaching at South Africa's Seal Island was featured on the front pages of some of the biggest publications across the globe, catapulting Chris into the spotlight.

"I'd never seen anything like that before," he explains. "We knew we'd stumbled on something incredible. When the photo got out, it was a media sensation all around the world."

Born and raised in South Africa, where he still lives today, Chris went on his first safari when he was just two years old. "The first thing in life that I remember is a big herd of elephants in Botswana," he says. "My passion for wildlife goes as far back as I can remember. My father was also a very keen amateur photographer, so from my earliest of days I used to watch him taking photos of wildlife."

Chris began taking underwater images of great whites when he was a teenager, and went on to work on a tag and release programme with local fishermen. It was while volunteering with a group working with great whites in 1996 that he took his career-defining 'Air Jaws' image. "I was privileged to discover the flying great white, along with another colleague, and that was the beginning of an incredible journey."

Chris went on to learn from some of the biggest names in the industry. "I was very lucky; my passion for wildlife taught me a huge amount about my subjects, so that gave me a big advantage," he says. "I was blessed to have exposure to some of the best marine and wildlife photographers in the world, who became not only mentors but friends."

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