MantaFest is an annual event organized by Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers where underwater photographers come together to dive among the island’s resident population of manta rays, abundant marine life and study with professional underwater photographers.
The event brings divers from around the world together for two weeks of photo workshops, special dives, evening media presentations, one-on-one training by top professionals, a photo contest, dive party and tours of the island. During the event, professional photographers work closely with the divers who use their choice of digital SLRs, compact cameras or video. Lessons focus on Lightroom work flow, brushes and filters, film editing, drone flying, histograms and shooting wide angle.
At the end of each day, everyone meets in the Crow’s Nest bar atop the Mnuw, an Indonesian schooner anchored next to the hotel that is popular with guests and locals alike, for a pint or two of Manta Ray’s own brewed-on-the-premises beer. There they watch videos by well-known underwater photographers that are projected on the schooner’s large outdoor screen, review their day’s work, get one-on-one critiques from the pros, and begin to decide which shots they’ll enter in the final competition.
A total of over $25,000 worth of prizes are awarded for the categories of Big Animals, Behavior, Land/Culture, Macro and Reef Scenic.
Next year’s MantaFest is scheduled for August 24 – September 8, 2019. Packages for 4, 7, 10 or 14 nights stays range from $1,039 to $3,239 exclusive of airfare. For more information, go to www.mantafest.com