How to get the perfect shot of a Manta Ray?
This week in Nusa Lembongan our main goal was to show our guests Rita, John and Chris from the USA some Mola-Mola and Manta Ray sightings around Nusa Penida. They are all really experienced divers, Rita even celebrated her 1500th dive with us this week – huge congratulations! All of them were eager to shoot some awesome pictures or videos of these amazing pelagics. We are really lucky that we have access to two dive sites where we often get to meet our resident manta ray population: Manta Bay and Manta Point. Today we went to Manta Point and…everybody came back with a smile, they all got to see some of these gentle giants cruising around them… but how to take the perfect picture?
Manta rays are usually curious creatures and will often come very close to divers. In order to get up close to these magnificent rays, we brief our divers to never swim towards the manta ray at full speed, this will likely startle them and you will lose the opportunity to spend time taking photos. Approaching carefully, never swimming fast or making jerky movements will improve your chances of the manta to coming close – they are naturally curious and will want to come and check you out if not alarmed. Once the manta is approaching, it comes down to timing and positioning yourself in order to take the perfect shot. Of course, opinions of what the perfect underwater photo looks like are personal, however, mantas can be identified by their unique pattern on their belly (much like a human fingerprint). It is therefore important that the belly is fully visible and in focus if you want to use your photo’s to help with manta identification. By hovering close to the bottom, it is more likely that the manta passes overhead, creating the opportunity to get an awesome belly shot.
If you can manage to get the picture from the front including the head and eye of the Manta with a blue background, and without any bubbles or other divers, you might just capture an award-winning underwater image! Have a look at the picture our guest and amazing underwater photographer Don Silkock took a few weeks ago, what an awesome picture!!
How can we help you with underwater photography in Nusa Lembongan?
Our amazing dive team can not only take you to a manta ray dive site, but they are also experts at spotting these rays underwater! Both manta sites are also packed with a host of other marine species including Bamboo Sharks, Octopus, Stonefish and a lot of Nudibranches. Our team will point out the mantas and help to guide you to the best underwater photography opportunities possible – but the pictures you have to do yourself..:-)
If you would like to find out more about diving with manta and mola around Nusa Lembongan, or if you’d like to join us on Nusa Lembongan for your next level of PADI course, fill in the contact form below and we will get right back to you.
We look forward to diving with you soon in Nusa Lembongan!