CLEANING STATION

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Manta Point, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

THE STORY

Manta Point is a gravel bottom area, 12 m deep, with some scattered rocks where mantas gather to be cleansed from parasites. They come and circle around the rocks as the small wrasses to their cleaning job. It’s a drift dive, where you occasionally hook yourself to the ground to see the action. It’s still easy to see over a dozen mantas on one dive.

THE TECHNIQUE

It’s pure wide angle shot, at 10mm, meaning the manta sometimes is less than a palm from your dome. Flashes have long arms, fully extended, on the extension of the line that goes from the centre towards the top corners of the frame, and pulled a bit backwards. Full power, manual, to squeeze the most out of them. Stopped down for depth of field and corner sharpness and set the speed to balance the background light. At this time, the guide was holding me from the tank, to prevent me from going with the current. This is when good arms and clamps make de difference, as the tension on the fully stretched cables and the current put them under a lot of stress.

DIVE MADE WITH BAJO DIVE CLUB

NIKON D7100, TOKINA FISHEYE 10-17 F/3.5-4.5 DX, 1/250, F/11, ISO 100

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