Photo & video gallery

Most mantas do not mind a photographer's strobes, and even like looking at themselves in a camera dome, but the increased diver traffic at German Channel with hundreds of people in the water every day definitely affects the mantas and their behavior. Nowadays, you often see mantas approaching a cleaning station, but if they see dozens of divers, they turn around and swim away without getting cleaned and with photographers chasing after them.

Available light works fine when mantas are feeding close to the surface. Mantas come much closer to snorkelers than to divers as long as you stay flat on the surface, but again, large groups of snorkelers duck-diving down will disturb the mantas, it's all in the numbers and the way people behave around the animals…

Mantas are often blocked from feeding by bubble curtains created by groups of divers watching them from below, and their normal feeding route becomes an obstacle course. Of course the increased number of divers today makes it much more difficult to get good photographs without getting bubbles or divers in it, so the key is to get away from the crowds and let the animals come to you without chasing them.

Mantas - MANTA - PALAU
Cleaning station - MANTA - PALAU


For those of you interested, I used a Canon 5D MarkII camera for most of the shots on this website, with a Seacam housing and strobe. Manta lenses I use are my EF15mm fisheye and 17-40mm. The majority of the photos on this website except for those at the cleaning stations, were taken with available light.

Photo Gallery


Video Gallery

Palau Black Manta

Palau Manta Rays Feeding


Mantas Feeding on Surface

Tiger Shark Eating Dead Manta