whale shark diving koh tao

Gentle Giant!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my underwater photography blog

This week with Sairee Cottage Diving is a proud one for me. It was a year and a half ago that I completed my underwater videography course and at last got to capture some beautiful images and videos of a whale shark. We were on the way out to a dive at chumphon pinnacle, Koh Tao, Thailand when the captain told us there was already a whale shark at the dive site. We all had our fingers crossed that it would still be there when we arrived and thankfully he was. I was first in the water and could see snorkelers above me all heading in one direction. I swam ahead and saw him coming around barracuda rock. I started taking as many pictures as I could as I didn’t know how long I would be lucky enough to have him swimming around with us. It took me a moment to realize that I was actually diving with a whale shark and not just working. Its important to remember to not just concentrate on taking photos. You don’t want to spend the whole dive staring at everything through a lens or else you feel like you didn’t really enjoy it and weren’t there in that moment. I took a while to just watch it swim by me and just take in how beautiful this huge shark really is.

After a while the whale shark started swimming off with other photographers trying to get the best angles. I decided to swim off in the other direction as whale sharks are a bit predictable when they swim around Chumphon pinnacle. They like to swim out wide at the north and south ends before reappearing just the other side of you. Its pointless trying to keep up with them so its better to just wait and let them come back to you. I was right with my prediction and luckily no one else followed my lead so I managed to get shots of him swimming towards me, right past me then turn around and swim right over me without any of the other divers around. It was when I was alone with him that I got this shot of the whale shark swimming away. I like the smooth lines and effortless way he is swimming away framed by the cobia and ramoras.

We were lucky enough to have the whole dive with the whale shark and even luckier to have most the second dive with him as well. For the second dive I tried to get a few video clips but it proved difficult with the current and the whale shark changing depth but I managed a few clips. To see those clips plus a few more from the rest of our week at Chumphon Pinnacle go to our YouTube Channel and subscribe here

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