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Green Sea Turtle Posing For The Camera In The Philippines

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Green Sea Turtle



Apo Island, Dumaguete, Philippines



Canon Camera, with dual inon strobes, wide-angle lens



7 meters (23 feet at depth) during a day dive



This was my second time in Dumaguete so I had a better plan on what I wanted to accomplish.  I wanted to dive Apo Island in the shallows at least once, just to get close to sea turtles.  Circling the island for another dive, to approach the huge coral was also on the list.  When you are diving in these situations you really don’t know how it is going to play out.   You just want to feel confident that what you are doing, is going to put you in the best situation, to get the photos you want.


I was looking for turtles when my guide indicated a large one was right around the coral ahead.  He was resting on the ocean floor near a soft coral.  I wanted to get ahead of him so he would look up at me.  I swam further out and approached him from a conservative distance.  The cautious approach gave me confidence I could gain his trust.  As I got closer, he wasn’t sure what to do, and started to move around.  I was afraid I was going to miss my opportunity.


I slowed down and then made another longer pass towards him.  This time he didn’t move at all.  Finally, this turtle was comfortable with the space I gave him, and he gave me about 10-15 seconds to take several shots.  The seconds felt like minutes and when you look back on it, it feels much longer.  The turtle was several hundred pounds and was almost 4 feet in length.   I was able to spend a lot of time with several turtles that day.  It was a great experience and I think they enjoyed the opportunity to be with me, too.

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