Manta Rays at Donkalo, Maldives: My Best Photo Of 2010

The best sequence of photos I managed to take this year was at Donkalo in the Maldives, a reknowned manta ray hotspot that provided some amazing manta encounters.

One of the tongue-in-cheek rules of thumb about professional and amateur photographers is that pros show you the one great shot they took and amateurs show you everything. I am wavering somewhere inbetween, and as such I couldn’t choose one photo from this sequence as my favourite.

The final shot – number 4 as you scroll down – is certainly the best image, but I love the effect of seeing all four frames and the feeling of the mantas come palpably closer, especially as they take on that breathtaking formation as they get nearer. The mantas following one another is known as a train, and you can see just close they are to one another – and to me, as I was shooting these shots with a fisheye lens. It happened so fast, I wasn’t really sure what I’d got until afterwards – and still count these shots as sheer luck rather than photographic cleverness and forethought on my part.

I certainly hope I get some more chances like this in 2011…

Maldives Manta Rays Donkalo 1

Maldives Manta Rays Donkalo 2

Maldives Manta Rays Donkalo 3

Maldives Manta Rays Donkalo 4

Make Sure You Have Diving And Travel Insurance

World Nomads is one of the leading travel insurance providers and their coverage also includes scuba diving to 40 metres too if you select the relevant options. Make sure you're covered insurance-wise both above and below water.


  1. The 4th photo is definitely the best and would be even nicer with some color correction. Great spot and animals!

  2. http://Kevin says

    “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson\n\nAnd I still think it’s a conga line. Come on Ride the Train is so 90s.