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…