Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Tingloy Underwater Pics

This was my second time in Masasa Beach, Tingloy, Batangas.  This is also Oyet’s second time there and here birthday celebration.  First timers were Eman, Tiny and Ellidel.  We rented a boat to bring us from Talaga Port to Masasa Beach and then from Tingloy Port back to Talaga.

From Talaga Port to Tingloy Port is only 45 minutes to an hour but the travel to Masasa Beach is much longer at twice or more than twice that long because the boat have to go to the other side of the island and circle half of Tingloy.

During our first time there, the weather was hot and nice but I slept most of the time.  My impression then was Masasa Beach is a really good place for swimming (water’s so clear it looks like we are just on the pool.  Look at the pics!) but the beach is dirty.  The beach has rocks and corals and garbage from visitors and some brought by the tides.  Still, the shore is wonderful for swimming, very very clear water and white sand underneath.

On this trip, I brought my Olympus OM-D and Tough TG2.  On our first day there, it was hot until mid-afternoon then it rained and rain continued till night.  The rain was not that strong but enough to spoil the day for shooting.  As a result, I only used the TG2.

We swam on our first day but it was not very nice due to the rain.  On the second day, we had a grand time in the waters due to the sun shining brightly.  Perfect for underwater pics.

Olympus TG2 performed nicely underwater.  Though there are two things that make it perfect:  focus underwater is a hit-and-miss, and pictures taken underwater darker than what I’d like.  Good thing the camera has an option for exposure compensation (which I set to +.7 to +1.7).

I was satisfied then with the “over-exposed” images after setting exposure compensation (focus accuracy underwater though is another matter).  Close up pics (such as underwater selfies) are very very nice.  I was amazed that the camera used ISO 100 and there is little to no motion blur.  The large aperture definitely helps.  The pictures are also sharp (as far as compacts go) and I could even see the individual stubbles in my chain.

To be fair to other underwater cams, the sun was bright, the water was clear so I think this helped with achieving ISO 100 under a few feet of water.

On photographing fishes (yes there are some in Masasa Beach), it was more difficult as I could not dive deep enough and keep steady due to the waves. These shots were made by Eman. Here, the slightly deeper depth and longer focal length required resulted in less sharp, more blurry pictures.

Enough about the camera (above-water pics are to follow in another post). We had a nice time in Tingloy. The second day, we barely wanted to leave the sea and even after we packed our things, we took another dip just before we left the beach. Wonderful place for swimming but again, the beach could use some cleanup.


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