After my losing the charger for my Panasonic TS3, then having my Olympus TG2 flooded (the door suddenly opened) and the TS3 suddenly stopped working (after buying an alternate charger), I bought an Olympus TG4. The biggest thing about this underwater compact is its ability to record raw files.
One of the coolest thing I found about this compact is its super macro mode. I guess the TG2 also have this but I never explored this. Anyway, here are some pictures of my body parts. In order to achieve these pictures, the camera have to be really really close to the subject. The pictures are not very clear (especially when ISO is bumped up), however, because of the pictures are shot in raw, it can be sharpened and edited much better than a jpeg shot.
And as I said, this post is not for everyone, especially those who feel iffy about body hair.
My friend, Felix, and I went to Baguio City last month just to tour this city. I’ve been there before and though I don’t find it particularly to my taste (I like beaches and sea more), he’s never gone around the city (and he’s not a water person).
Baguio is a city situated in the mountainous part of Luzon and due to its high altitude, climate is much cooler than the other towns and cities. It is also for this reason that it is a favorite haunt of those who want to escape the heat of Metro Manila. It is also famous for its flowers (celebrated annually with the Flower Festival).
We arrived early and after breakfast, we went around Burnham Park. This park is designed to have lots of flowers and since we were early, I was able to capture dew drops on the flowers.
Freediving is all about relaxing your mind and body. Things I could not do when in the water. And in that state, I joined my first (introductory) freedive with ISDAxMUNI dive in Vistamar Resort, Anilao, Mabini, Batangas.
I didn’t know how to swim and I still don’t. Before, I couldn’t go on the deepend of the water without a lifevest, even with flippers, mask and snorkel. The weekend in Vistamar is the first time I’ve done without the lifevest so in a way it was a success. However, I am still not calm and when it comes to diving down, I always panic and as a result, gulped a lot of seawater. And I mean a lot!
Some of my fellow newbies fared better, getting to the seafloor (about 15 feet down), some fared worse, always attached to the lifebuoy.
After a while of trying to go down, I just gave up that day and went to the shallow end of the sea. Fortunately, it wasn’t devoid of anything to see. There were fishes, sea urchins and a whole lot of sea creatures. I got to see lionfish/scorpionfish. Two of them in fact, hiding inside the hollows of an algae-covered rock.
Though I wasn’t able to dive down at all, I still consider that day a success, even just because I could on the water without a lifevest. Though I gave up diving down that day, I tried on other occasions and eventually succeeded. Though I still need a lot of practice and a lot of breathholding to do. This truly opened up a whole new world for me. Seeing fishes in their natural habitat, creatures I’ve only seen in fishtanks, pictures and movies.
There is one documentary I downloaded about creatures under the sea. The copy was so clear you can check the details of each creature. This is so much better than that!
Our trip to Hundred Islands was motivated by our desire to go underwater. Luckily, Hundred Islands has a place for snorkeling and with giant clams as bonus!
I didn’t even think I’d even see giant clams. I once read a book about a boy whose leg was caught by a taklobo (giant clam). That was my first “encounter” with a giant clam and that was about 15 to 20 years ago. It was quite unreal seeing these magnificent (who are slow to close and the adult of which cannot fully close). They are of different colors, some blue, some purple and some green. Their lips are peppered with luminiscent spots. Good thing that there are many (probably hundreds) of them in the national park and that they are protected by the local government.
It seems that everytime I dive now, I can see Moorish Idols (so-called because Moors of Africa once considered them good luck). They are beautiful and graceful creatures that are very conspicuous in reefs.
Triggerfish are notorious for being very protective of their territory. In fact, another species of triggerfish bit my neck as I was diving down to look at some fish. It was a black triggerfish that hides under a rock/coral and went out to bite me. Fortunately, there was no skin break. Also, it is not this guy.
This one, I had trouble finding the identification on the internet. I first thought it was either an angelfish or a butterfly fish (based on its body). After combing through several sites, I found out that butterfly fishes generally have small mouth (such as this guy) and the color palette is limited to white, black, yellow and orange. This made it easier to narrow down the search to butterflyfishes and found the species name.
This fish I still couldn’t identify. From the body type, I assume it is a type of goby. The thing with gobies is that it is a very large family (or some other classification) of fishes that narrowing it down is difficult. So for now, I’ll just let this fish be unidentified.
Clownfish! Made very popular by Finding Nemo. I guess almost all people know this fish as Nemo. They are easy to spot due to their bright colors (though some are darker than the others). Once you find their anemone home, they are quite easy to photography as they will guard it very well. They will resort to intimidation tactics to try and scare you off. If you do not go, they may go inside their home and just peak and then go out to try and scare you again. Such bravado!
Other than fishes, snorkeling sites are often full of corals. Braincorals are the easiest to identify since they look like… brains.
Snorkeling and freediving for fishes is a fun activity. Another fun thing to do is trying to identify the fish species at home. For sure there’ll be more dives for me (just wish there is a better underwater camera for me though).
This is my very first time to post a video here!
This was taken last weekend on our trip to Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan. There is a sanctuary for giant clams (known in Tagalog as taklobo) there are probably hundreds of them.
Please forgive the jerky motion and lack of resolution, clarity, etc. of the video. This was taken using Olympus TG2, with correction in exposure, contrast and vibrance in Lightroom and then spliced together using Windows Movie Maker.
Another photo I took on our photowalk in UP.
A picture of sunflower which I took in UP. This was taken with an Olympus EM5 with the 12-50mm kit lens and processed with Lightroom 5 and Color Efex (photo stylizer).
This is a red hibiscus shot with infrared then color shifted to provide that all purple color.
This is a black and white picture taken when we were leaving Tumalog Falls.
This is the same picture in infrared color (590nm with channels inverted and red set to pinkish).