One of the most rewarding things that I find has to be the feeling I get when shooting Rays. Venomous, cartilaginous, elegant and characterful creatures, Rays have a special place in my life as they glide over reef, sand and seagrass beds. It’s always a pleasure being able to approach these timid but potentially lethal creatures.
Rays are closely related to sharks, not so much in their shapes and sizes but because they both have a skeleton made entirely of cartilage instead of bone. Ray’s jaws are dissimilar to most sharks however, because they are built as two plates which grind together crustaceans and small fish after they have been vacuumed up into the predator’s mouth. Rarely have I seen them hunting, but when I have it’s usually been on night dives when rays are most active, sifting through the sand detecting the small pulses given off by fish hiding in the dark.
Whilst shooting stingrays, and like shooting most things, buoyancy control is key. I simply cannot stress this enough especially when it comes to stingray, simply because of their potentially lethal barb. Keep an eye on the subject as often as possible, try not to corner it, and remember not to hover over the ray as it could raise it’s tail with surprising speed. Taking the shot from side on works best for me, especially if the ray is on the move as its possible to capture a very nice shot of the creature in full motion.