What You Lookin’ At?

Red Sea, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

'Who You Lookin' At? -- Underwater photograph of a Blue-spotted stingray during a night dive at Paradise, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Click here to share or send a greeting with this image.

“Touring Egypt” series, number 2: The “Paradise” dive site is a favorite for night dives in Sharm el-Sheikh. The site is very compact and offers a rich abundance of life, ranging from spanish dancers to sleeping parrotfish and groupers, crinoids, lionfish, and all manner of other undersea life. I imagine it is not at all uncommon to see blue-spotted stingrays here; they are common in the Red Sea around Sharm (though this is the most remarkable and unmarked youngster I have have seen).

This small blue-spotted stingray seemed not at all happy to see me. Avoiding the unexpected bright lights of my group on this night dive, it gradually glided down the reef, staying just beyond the many spotlights. The reef here is nearly vertical, descending sharply from near a floating dock at the surface to level out at about 100 feet below. Exploring with my light at about 60 feet, I noticed something relatively lighter than the surrounding dark wall, fluttering away from another diver and down the reef from above me. Noting the direction of travel, I covered my light with my hand, shifted over a bit, and waited just a second. There was plenty of ambient light being reflected from my dive buddies, so I was able to see that this seemed to be a small stingray. I uncovered my light and quickly snapped this shot, capturing this remarkable and nearly perfect small stingray as it turned to avoid me. It is really easy to imagine an emotion: Doesn’t he look angry at being disturbed?

(Canon Powershot G9 in an Ikelite underwater case with twin TTL Ikelite DS-125 strobes, ISO 200, integrated lens at 9.9mm, f/5.6 at 1/60 sec.)