Honorable Mention Mirrorless Wide-Angle Ocean Art 2016 Rhiana Roque
Honorable Mention Mirrorless Wide-Angle
The Story: I love big animal diving and really wanted to see the Manta Rays of Kona in their signature night dive. I was determined to see them so I booked 3 nights of diving to maximize my chances. I was lucky and saw them on all dives. It felt like we were watching a rock concert or Las Vegas show, with front row seats on the ocean floor. Our bright dive lights illuminated their silhouettes like spotlights on an underwater stage. The light attracted the plankton, which in turn attracted the mantas. They were the most beautiful and most graceful creatures I had ever seen, and they did love the bubbles. Their underwater somersaults and acrobatics made for an unforgettable experience. Every night was about 40 minutes of pure bliss that I never wanted to end, and neither did the mantas. They followed us to the boat until we surfaced, and they seemed disappointed that we were taking away the lights away.
The lights and plankton posed some issues in exposure and clarity, but I came home satisfied with my shots. The conservation and education efforts attached to the dive operators were also commendable. You felt how passionate the local dive community was about the mantas. It was an awesome experience and I will return for sure.
Location: Kona, Hawaii, USA
Camera: Olympus EM5 Mark II and Olympus 8mm Fisheye Lens (F1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600)