We are so lucky to have the opportunity to swim with humpback whales in Tonga.
The weather is warm and the water clarity is amazing!
Surprisingly sometimes we don't even have to go into very deep to see the whales.
On many whale swims you will be able to see the sand and reef below!
I have guests join me who bring anything from a iPhone waterproof case to a full underwater housing system - and I’ve seen great shots from both!
If you know your way around a DSLR and are interested in underwater photography then it’s a great investment.
But please make sure to have plenty of practice before the trip....the last thing you want is to be fiddling with all those buttons and missing out on your whale swim encounters.
I'll be there to guide you and give advice but if you have some basic knowledge that will help greatly.
You don't have to be a great swimmer but it's most definitely beneficial to get in the water with your fins before the trip.
We don't always have to swim far at all to see the whales. On other occasions, the faster you swim, the more time you'll have with the whales.
If you are also holding a big water housing that adds to the weight/drag, so the more confident and fitter in the water you are the better.
Ikelite Housing, 15mm Sigma Fisheye, F8 1/250 ISO 800
I use the Ikelite housing system along with a dome port and fisheye lens.
Buying your first underwater housing requires quite alot of research.
I am more than happy to give advice on buying your first underwater photography rig and guiding you in the water throughout the trip.
Go Pro’s are a favourite and are extremely easy to use...I’d recommend a handlebar system so that your footage is nice and smooth. Dome ports are also great for under/over shots!
For surface photos make sure your shutter speed is nice and fast- anything above 500 will be great. This will help freeze any actions shots and keep them sharp. Zoom lenses are best -anything from 200mm.
Also change your camera setting to continuous focussing - this helps keep focus when the whale is breaching or moving on the surface.
For underwater photos you’ll need a fisheye or wide angle lens along with a wide angle dome port to attach to your housing.
You'll be surface snorkelling so you won’t need to worry about flash lights/they actually aren’t allowed as they may disturb the whales.
Underwater photography has opened my eyes to a completely different world of photography. It's pushed me technically and physically!