By Shannon Lane @Shannonroselane

THE infamous great white shark has been stigmatised as a bloodthirsty killer for decades but many enthusiasts are trying to finally rid of this misconception

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An adult great white shark can weight as much as 1,100 kg

As the largest predatory fish on Earth, great white sharks can grow to an average of 15 ft in length, though individuals exceeding 20 ft have been recorded.

Great white sharks have approximately 300 teeth, arranged in many rows

With abilities to detect one drop of blood in 100 litres, it’s clear to see why film directors have used this enormous fish as a vicious predator in Hollywood blockbusters.

The photographer was surprised by how graceful and majestic these predators are under water

Wildlife and nature photographer, Brad Leue, was undeterred by the great white’s false reputation, and jumped at the chance to dive with them off The Neptune Islands, South Australia.

The safest way to view a great white shark is within a strong metal diving cage

He said: “Great whites are often associated with fear and negativity, but for me having been lucky enough to spend some time under the surface with these creatures, they are something to be truly respected and cherished."

As great white sharks lack eyelids, they roll their pupils back into their heads for protection when feeding

Despite its large size, the great white is surprisingly majestic deep underneath the water - using its powerful tail to smoothly direct its swimming, and it’s recognisable fin for balance.

Brad Leue thought the great white sharks swam with 'grace and elegance' deep under the water

The Australian photographer said: “At the surface, the sharks seem to be a lot more sporadic, almost in hunt mode, whilst on the bottom they appear to be a lot more relaxed and coast through the water with grace and elegance.”

Great white sharks are hunted by man, especially for their large teeth

With a conservation status of ‘vulnerable’, the great white’s main threat is man. These breathtaking animals are decreasing in numbers due to trophy fishing, and being caught as bycatch by large commercial fisheries.

A recent study found great white sharks can live up to 70 years old

This is the reason why many shark devotees, including Brad Leue, want to raise awareness of the truth behind these powerful, and mesmerising, fish.

The photographer said: "I constantly found myself moaning into my regulator in awe as they came coasting from the deep"

He said: “Seeing the beauty of this apex predator thriving in its natural environment is an experience like no other.

“When you are in their waters were they gather, interact and hunt, you get to see how majestic and special these creatures truly are.”