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Humpback whales in Tonga - August 2018

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#1 paolobl65

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 08:38 AM

I was in Tonga last August  with Naia liveabord   and  I'd like to share my experience . 

 

Naia is a well known  liveaboard   cruising Tonga  during  July , August and September and  Fiji during the  other months .

All on board  is  great  : cabin , food , service , professional cruise director , wonderful fijian  staff  !

 

The  trip  was  10  days - 9 nights  -  8 full day in water with  humpback whales .  A lot of  time  with only one  target : .... whales !! 

Seeing whales above water   and  underwater as well  ( snorkeling only allowed )

I must confess  at the beginning  I was afraid to get bored  , but  day by day  I  understood  that all that  time is  necessary to  " get in touch " with the whales .  This  means  not only take a snapshot  but  let the  whales  accept me  in water  !

 

 

 

As per  tecnical  details  ,  I ask many friends had  done  same experience as  well as  internet research  and  I finally  understood that is  useful :

-use fisheye  on  Dslr  ( or  mirrorless )  :  I used Canon 8-15  on Canon 80D

-use mid  dome  or  minidome :  I  used  ZEN 170  dome  :  a big dome  is not really necessary because  not possible  many half-half  and  no worry about soften corner , and  the  cons  is  you have sto swimm a  lot !

-use manual exposure with center  weight metering and  -2/3  compensation  -  F8 -  1/125 to 1/200  ( I used usually 1/160 ) - auto ISO  

-use autofocus  ( with all points  active )  , water  was very clear  so no really problem with autofocus 

 

I balanced  (  neutral buoyancy  and  perfect  trim )  my housing  with  some  close  cell foam  all  around it   and   it was  very useful  during  the  long hours  in water  .

 

 

Last  important points :

-try to have  the sun behind my back ,  because  the  only light is  the natural light  ( no  flash  allowed ) .

-go close !! ... or  better , let the  whales  came close to me  ...  and  the  first days  I made the  mistake  to use  fishyey at 15 mm  .. at the end I used  only 10 mm  ( on crop sensor )  and  try to fill the frame   to have  to less  water as possible  from whales  and  my lens .

-be prepared  to swimm  a  lot  and a lot ,  so I trained  myself intensive  before this  trip .

 

 

 

here some  shots  , hope you like :

 

 

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some   great  moment  of  interaction  ...... :

 

 

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Edited by paolobl65, 11 November 2018 - 10:13 AM.


#2 paolobl65

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 08:57 AM

And  we were  lucky  the  baby   wanted to play  with us  :

 
 
 
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... but no problem  baby ....  big mama  is  always watching at you !!!

 

 

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 and  always  take  care of you !!

 

 

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finally my favourite  image .... just  another  point of  view  !!

 

 

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If  you like to see more Tonga photos   you can   see  my Flickr album  :   https://www.flickr.c...157701111669905

 

 

all my best

Paolo Isgro


Edited by paolobl65, 11 November 2018 - 11:50 AM.


#3 simon bomholt

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 12:17 AM

WOW... just WOW. This is so much on the bucket list



#4 TimG

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 03:11 AM

Lovely pics, Paolo. What a great experience  :dancing:


Tim
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#5 echo2600

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 05:43 AM

Looks absolutely amazing!

#6 RobertoHurko

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 11:43 AM

Amazing !!!!



#7 logzz

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 11:16 AM

Wow awesome shots went there quite sometime ago nice place to go



#8 Daniel M. Brown

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 01:48 PM

Stunning! Great job!



#9 Westcoaster

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Posted Yesterday, 04:00 PM

WOW amazing shots !!!

Was there no worry about being crushed by accident by the Wales?







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