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Basking Shark Scotland

sharks scotland hebrides basking sharks

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#1 A.A.Ron

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:39 AM

Hi, I'll be on a 3-day basking shark trip in August and am looking for tips on photography. I'm planning to utilize the 8mm fisheye on my Olympus setup for majority of the UW work, as it's the widest lens I've got. I assume the 14-42 zoom would not be sufficient in capturing these big beauties. However, would it be advantageous to acquire a wide-angle zoom like the 9-18?

 

Also, I've never done a tour like this. I am considering bringing two cameras, one at the ready, loaded in housing, to go overboard with when something awesome swims by the boat, and a second body with a long telephoto to capture breaching animals and such while in the boat. Does that make sense or will I not be frantically switching between topside and underwater subjects? Packing light is a goal as this is part of a larger Scotland/England trip, so if I can get by with one camera to use that would be a big plus. 

 



#2 TimG

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:35 AM

Hi AA

 

Sounds a very cool trip.

 

Baggage allowances willing, I always take two camera bodies wth me on trips: one in the housing and one, as you suggest, for those topside shots. Happily the two bodies are the same so its - in theory - one set of lenses and, if disaster strikes, I have a second available body to go in the housing.

 

"Packing light"? LOL, yeah, good luck with that.....  :lol2:


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#3 A.A.Ron

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for the response. I don't have two of the same body, but I do now have two of the same system: Olympus EPL-1 with Oly UW housing and a recently acquired E-M1. They plan all along was to bring two cameras on the trip, partially for the above-mentioned basking shark scenario, but also because the ol' E-PL1, while still competent for UW work (with strobes), is lousy for topside photography (no VF, noisy older sensor, lack of dials and direct controls). The E-M1, on the other hand is a complete joy to shoot. 

 

However, that plan is now unsettled as I just snagged an inescapably good deal on an Olympus PT-EP11 housing for the E-M1 ($700 new cond!). So, now I have the potential to take one camera, and it would be an upgrade for UW shooting. I was just hoping to get some insight from other shooters who have been on tours like this. 



#4 Cerianthus

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:38 AM

Ive been on the day tour, using the tokina 10-17mm and my canon 70d for the underwater bit. I used my wife's 50d for topside. https://flickr.com/p...157657954221343

You had to share water time as only six were allowed in the water at one time but at least 3 days will give you more chance.


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#5 TimG

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:43 AM

Sounds like a good snag. But you describing it an "inescapably good deal" really had me chuckling. Yeah, we've all been there ("honey, it was such a good deal, I'd have been mad not to have grabbed it....")

 

Well two different bodies but at least one set of lenses to go with them. Take both bodies! You know you want to! And you will kick yourself if you don't.


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#6 A.A.Ron

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:10 AM

Thanks for the responses. I also heard back from the tour company and they also recommended two cameras:

 

 

It’s tricky and an issue for our photographers.

 
You can get great footage of the sharks from the boat as well as underwater. You might be sitting on the side of the boat ready to go and then see a shark near to the boat or dolphins, porpoises nearby etc. You can be in and out of the water quite a lot and if you are wet from your swim and planning on going back in then it’s tricky to get you camera out of the housing in time to get the shot you want then put it back in for your next swim.
 
My advice would be to bring both.


#7 Cerianthus

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:23 PM

And another tip. Use a wetsuit. I took my dry suit but would have been more mobile in a wetsuit.


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#8 kkfok

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:05 PM

I think you don't really need a zoom underwater, water should be very green and full of plankton at that time, you can't get a clear photo if they are not close enough.

Two cameras may be a good idea, there were quite a lot of seals for you to shoot in the boat and the scenery was gorgeous.

Will you also go to Lunga Island for birds such as puffins? The island was really lovely.