Space Odyssey

Innerspace and sweating the small stuff.
The moment I saw the submerged dunes rolling endlessly into the blue, I wanted to capture the epic essence of this subterranean scene. It looked like a moonscape with tiny craters pockmarking its sandy surface. I had meandered away from the main reef wall, looking for something unexpected, when I noticed this blue-spotted ray foraging for shrimps and worms along the ocean floor.

I had been tinkering with various exposure settings, trying to keep the effects of the mid-morning sun from diluting the deep cobalt blue in the distance. I wanted to photograph the ray in flight, but each time I caught up with it, the ray would disappear in the direction of a better looking dune, leaving me exasperated and bemused - yet determined to paint the picture.

There’s only a finite amount of time you have when you’re breathing down a tank of air, and that time was beginning to run out. But then the magic happened and most of the elements came together. Not quite how I had visualised, since my mind's eye had the ray flying towards me. But you don't always get what you want!

In a diminishing underwater world, the sense of freedom that once existed so abundantly is becoming an increasingly rare commodity, and that was the inspiration behind this image. The story I wanted to tell.

Photographed at Banana Reef, Lahami Bay, Hamata, Egypt