Homosassa Springs, Florida
Canon Camera with wide angle lens, nature a light
1 meter (3 feet deep at depth) when taking the shot
When shooting manatees, you have to use the sun to your advantage because you are not allowed to use strobes. As a general rule have the sun back to you and subject in front of you. This principle never changes but the sun moves as the day moves along so you have to reposition where you are. So, when taking pictures of manatees, you have to factor not only the positioning of the manatee but how the light is hitting the subject. The manatees can very friendly and want to play and spend all kinds of time with you. Other times they will just swim away fast. It was a day where it was difficult to find a cooperative manatee. My boat guide was able to spot one near a boat dock. She was sitting under a dock and needed to come up for some air eventually. Most of time you can only snorkel with manatees. So, I patiently waited until she started to dart to the surface. This manatee was almost ten feet long and a thousand pounds. I knew in my mind that the manatee was harmless but an animal that size coming right at you is intimidating. With a wide angle lens a lot of times, people don’t realize how close you have to get to fill the frame. If you don’t get 6 inches from your subject, the image could look like it is ten feet away. Needless to say, my heart was beating fast when this manatee came rushing up to the surface. The bubbles from the nose showed a nice touch of personality. I was fortunate, to be in the right position at the right time.
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