1st Place Novice DSLR Ocean Art 2018 Alvin Cheung

1st Place Novice DSLR

Alvin Cheung

Hong Kong

"Special Encounter"


Alvin won 7 night dive package with Atlantis Dive Resorts in Atlantis Puerto Galera or Atlantis Dumaguete


The Story: 'Background first!’ was an important tip given by prominent underwater photographer Mark Strickland during an underwater photo workshop organised by Bluewater Travel in a trip to Socorro in 2017.  I was new to underwater photography.     

So during a dive in the famous El Boiler when this giant oceanic manta ray suddenly showed up from the blue, I realised that the chance of getting a decent shot of it was slim due to the distance and the presence of too many divers around it. I remembered 'Background first!'. 

I then quickly looked around and found that another diver, Marissa, was a few meters away from me and behind her was the landmark pinnacle of El Boiler.  Visibility was crystal.  I thought Marissa, together with the structure of the pinnacle, might be able to create an interesting background showing both the location of the dive site and the scale of the giant manta.  I swam away from the group towards the direction of Marissa, hoping the manta would follow. With luck, the manta left the group later and approached Marissa for an investigation.  Hence this photo.  

I must thank Mark and Marissa, because without them this photo would not be successful.   

Location:  Socorro, Mexico   

Equipment Used:  Nikon D810 Camera, Nauticam Housing,  Tokina 10-17mm Lens, Dual Inon Z-240  Strobe

Settings: F11, 1/125  sec, ISO 250


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