During my week long visit to Crystal River, I spent close to 36 hours in the water with the mantees. In that amount of time, I was only able to photograph this one moment where a manatee playfully rolled upside down asking me to rub its belly. If I spend enough time with wild animals, eventually I am able to photograph a unique moment or behavior. This beautiful portrait shows how blissful the manatees can be when they are not being pursued by tons of tourists in the water. We should all aspire to exhibit such joy and trust. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkII and 17-40mm f4 lens with a +3 diopter in my Ikelite 5DmkII housing with 8″ dome port. This image is a single exposure which was mostly processed using Aperture 3.0. I also cloned out particles floating in the water using Photoshop CS5.
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