Hello and welcome back for another installment of my under water photography blog with Sairee Cottage Diving Koh Tao. This time we will be talking about a subject that every diver loves to see, sea turtles. With their graceful smooth movements, peaceful nature and constant confused sleepy look on their face they always make a fun subject for any underwater photographer.
Dive Koh Tao with sea turtles
Koh Tao in Thai language means Turtle Island and got this name from before tourism began on Koh Tao as many turtles used to lay their eggs on the then deserted beaches. Some people say it got its name due to the shape of the island; however, you might need to sink a few buckets from the beach bars before you see the resemblance. Despite the reason how Koh Tao was named, its not so common to spot a turtle while diving these days so, if you are lucky enough and you wish to make the most of it, here are a couple tips for a shoot with a turtle for next time you dive Koh Tao.
Each turtle has their own personality, if you recognise them by the details on their shell and their size from previous dives, you should be able to remember how comfortable they were with you getting close to them. Some of them are very inquisitive and will look at their reflection in your dome lens or get attracted by the flash of your strobes.
You can make a decent enough shot of a turtle from most angles but no one really wants to see a turtles stumpy little tail so don’t chase them. As well as getting some not so good shots you will also stress the turtle out and it will be gone before you know it. A better way to shoot them is to wait for them to approach you or swim off ahead of it and turn around so it will swim straight at you giving you a good action shot of it swimming, just remember to time your shots when their fins are positioned in the best way to compliment the overall composition of the image. The easiest way to get a good angle is to wait till they stop for a rest or eat something. This will give you time to calmly position yourself without bothering it. Another good angle is to get a silhouette as they swim to the surface for air.
In general they are a great subject to work with as long as you move calmly and slowly around them. To ensure future generations can also enjoy to dive Koh Tao, it is imperative that we preserve our little paradise. Think about how you act around our turtles before next time you dive Koh Tao. The best shots will be achieved with a wide angle dome lens but if you only have a point and shoot don’t give up as they are a pretty easy subject to get a pleasing shot of.
So come dive Koh Tao and with a bit of luck you can see one of our amazing sea turtles!