The second of my three shots that we will release from my trip to the Sea of Cortez earlier this month. I have always wanted to find an excuse to call a photograph Rocket Man and I doubt I will ever find a better opportunity.
I prefer to photograph with the sun between 9 am and 3 pm to my 6pm, but to shoot directly into the lowering sun is too much. The boat captain had that directive when considering his constant repositioning. In brief moments of time like this, it would be disingenuous to suggest I had much say in the matter. It is more a case of winging it and hoping for the best. We just got lucky.
Camera autofocus has improved so much over the years and the Nikon flagship - the D6 - is ideal for capturing this sort of sudden explosion from below, but the mobula ray behaviour tests it to the full. It remains the most challenging of technical tests and for every hit, I had many misses. The quiet serenity of the Sea of Cortez was punctuated by splats from the rays and expletives from me.
This was the angle I was looking for - head on and high. The ray needed to be pin sharp and this time I got him. Rocket Man indeed.