UPDATE: This photograph was taken by Mark Marache at Isla de Guadalupe in 2003. Thanks to Shark Diving International and Mark Marache for the info. Below is a comment directly from Mark.
I just came across this, pretty fun. Yes its my photo and I have the other pictures in the sequence to prove it. But thats for another time. The photo has gotten alot of miles, and by the way, the white is named “Patches”. I let Shark Driver Mag use the image but I never gave it to Creative Commons. I always wondered how it got around. Glad everybody was able to enjoy it.
The photo of above has been popping up on a lot of blogs, websites, and online news articles, due to the fact that it was posted on Flickr under a Creative Commons license that allows free copying, transmission, and distribution of the image. I have seen it appear in multiple news articles just today, under the Creative Commons link from Flickr. The problem here is that it has been brought into question whether the person who posted the image is the actual photographer/owner of the image.
The photo is part of Hermanus Backpackers’ Shark Diving photo set on Flickr, which features multiple surface shots of a great white shark cage dive in Gansbaai (South Africa). The great white shark image above is the only underwater shot in the photo set, but that’s not what really makes the presence of the photo suspicious. The color of the water in this photo certainly is not consistent with the water color of the other Gansbaai photos. The photo of above has telltale signs of being taken at Isla de Guadalupe and was previously featured on the homepage of a commercial great white shark dive operation that operates at Isla de Guadalupe, if memory serves me correctly. Additionally, this photo has been around since before the photos from the Gansbaai set were reportedly taken.
Based on some of the comments under the photo on Flickr, it seems that some of the other photographers in the Flickr community are doubting the ownership of this image. While the owner of the photo might not care that his/her photo is popping up around the web potentially with a photo credit attached to someone else, I was just curious as to whether he/she was aware that it’s listed under Creative Commons by someone who might not be the actual photographer.