I have to admit that this picture, like yesterday's, falls into the "happy accident" category. It was taken on a night snorkeling trip off the Big Island of Hawaii. I took my Canon G9 and waterproof housing along but quickly discovered it was too dark to get a clean image with the camera so I gave up and went back to watching the manta rays feeding. On my return, I fully expected to delete everything I had shot but this image caught my eye.

I'm usually a sharpness junkie but this image works for me since the blur adds to the ghostly feel. There's enough detail that you can definitely recognise the subject, but enough blur to introduce some ambiguity and add to a feeling of mystery.

Our night snorkeling trip to see the mantas was definitely the highlight of the vacation for me. Until you see them, you have no idea how majestic these enormous creatures (up to 16ft from wingtip to wingtip) are as they cartwheel through the water filtering krill that has been attracted by all the swimmers' lights. Couple that with the amazing shapes made by all the lights, the bubbles from the divers 30 feet below and the schools of smaller fish hanging in the water and you are left with one of those experiences that is almost unbelievable, too amazing to be anything other than a movie special effect scene!

Exif Information

  • ApertureValue: f/2.8
  • ShutterSpeedValue: 1/4 sec
  • ISOSpeedRatings: 400
  • ExposureBiasValue: 0 EV
  • Flash: No Flash
  • FocalLength: 7.4 mm
  • Model: Canon PowerShot G9
  • Make: Canon
  • MaxApertureValue: f/2.8
  • Copyright: Copyright (c) Dave Wilson, 2012
  • MeteringMode: Multi-Segment

Comments (2)

You are welcome to comment on this photo.

  • John F

    That’s a great shot. Feels like it could be something out of an alien movie. I did that snorkeling trip a few years ago and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve seen. But I did not have the waterproof housing to even try a shot.

  • Alida Thorpe

    Great capture. You can definitely see what it is.
    I saw one scuba diving once in Grand Turk. It came out of the dark blue water, and I was stunned. It was huge and looked like an alien space ship traveling to me and then over my head. Amazing creature! Good entry for photo friday’s ‘lucky shot’.

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