The seas looked calm this morning and after signing up for a tour to some islands, we took off around 9am in a small motorboat (bangka). We stopped at various lagoons, beaches and islands. The highlight of the day was finally figuring out how to shoot underwater with the DicaPac case. The coral and fish were stunning, and with a decent mask and snorkel, I was ready to go. Based on my first trial run on the Merced River in California in July, I had difficulty working the auto focus. During the first few stops on the "Island Hopping" tour I was struggling to focus the image with a 50mm Olympus lens from the 80s. I was also assuming I needed to look "through the lens" which was quite hard due to the mask, water, etc. Also the 50mm lens was very loose in the case. The last stop of the day was at Seven Commandos beach, which the guide Brian said had lousy snorkeling. About to call it a day, but frustrated that I had excellent subjects and no knowledge how to make the image I wanted... I gave the auto focus/live view a test run with a Canon 17-40L. The lens fit a lot better in the case (almost flush with the DicaPac housing) and I could see the live view properly under the water by holding the camera out in front of me. The following results are the fruits of the process! These images have been altered with Lightroom to bring out some of the lost contrast from shooting underwater. 

P.S. As an amusing side note we saw our boat driver Fransis later that night at a town-wide basketball shoot-off competition of the members of the "Pump boat Drivers Association". The shoot-off consisted of shooting up to 15 basketballs from three locations near the 3 point line in a total of about 30 seconds. Fransis tied with one of the other team captains by getting three out of 15 balls. In the ensuing tie-breaker he shot 4 out of 7 balls until the crowd ended the shoot-off by rushing onto the court to congratulate him. 
 

Looking out from Simizu Island, Bacuit Archipelago

Plants growing on the reef near Seven Commandos beach

Coral at the reef near Seven Commandos beach

Coral at the reef near Seven Commandos beach

Ternate Puller at the reef near Seven Commandos beach

Reef and fish near Seven Commandos beach

Purple Corals near Seven Commandos beach

Comment