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paolobl65

Humpback whales in Tonga - August 2018

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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
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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.com/photos/paolobl65/albums/72157701111669905

 

 

all my best

Paolo Isgro

Edited by paolobl65
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Lovely pics, Paolo. What a great experience :dancing:

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Great shots. I was in Moorea last year for humpbacks and we didn't have visibility like that! amazing shots!

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Gorgeous images. I’m heading to Moorea soon so hopefully these tips will help!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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very nice shots, really like them!

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