Picture perfect: Photographer gets amazing shot of THREE dolphins jumping from the waves at once

"It takes lots of guessing and many attempts to be able to catch one leaping clear of the water"

It's rare enough to see one flying dolphin, but capturing three in a split second makes for an unforgettable photo.

Lucky photographer Grant Atkinson managed to capture this rare sighting of three dolphins emerging out of the water, leaping and seemingly suspended in mid-air.

The professional wildlife photographer captured the moment while the friendly animals played in the surf off the western cape of South Africa.

But he couldn't believe his luck when three dolphins jumped simultaneously out of the water looking as though they're about to take off, especially as capturing leaping dolphins is so difficult to achieve.

Mr Atkinson, from Cape Town, said: "I was on an outing with an ecotourism boat operator out of Simonstown looking for dolphins to take photos of when we saw a group of them.

"At times, the dolphins move very fast, and race along just below the water's surface, breaking clear in graceful leaps every few seconds.

"Some days the dolphins actually approach the boat, and then swim alongside.  In such situations I have to photograph whilst the boat is moving along at the same speed as the dolphins.

"I always find it challenging to capture leaping dolphins. This is mainly because they go under the surface before leaping clear, and I lose sight of them.

"It takes lots of guessing and many attempts to be able to catch one leaping clear of the water, and upwards, before they splash back down into the water."