Hawaii: TURTLES!

I love animals – usually fuzzy ones …. but thought it would be cool to see aquatic ones on this vacation. The first turtle I saw was actually while I was snorkeling for the first time and saw it in the water, at a reef, feeding on the rocks and it was amazing! Here was an animal so different than anything else I had ever seen; so close that I had to work NOT to touch it and completely not caring that I was right there.  Despite the ungainliness of the turtle on land and let’s face it, this animal is not known for agility and grace, but it is very agile and graceful in the water.

To photograph the turtle in the water…well, I have no idea what to tell you. The  underwater cameras that we tried are too slow and the turtles tend to come to feed later in the afternoon when the tide is coming in and the water is not calm. Additionally, the water tended to be murkier at these times and then you throw in all the sand that people were kicking up watching the turtles and the amateur cameras could not handle the low light. So, if anyone knows of some underwater photography tips in less than ideal conditions, let me know! What I did is take a lot of pictures out of the water.

Out of Water experience #1

What I did notice is that in the rougher water, when the waves got big enough to BE a wave at the shore and not just rough water, the front of the wave creates a looking glass effect and if the turtle is there, you can get a shot from out of the water. I showed one such shot in this post and here’s another one. (I absolutely promise you that there is a turtle there and not something else)

Through the looking glassOut of Water of experience #2:

Photo tip #5: know your animal. Turtles need to breathe air and so they pop up every once and awhile and you can see their little heads above the water. Sounds easy, right? Well, even though turtles need to breathe, they don’t need to breathe as much as we do so you may be waiting a loooonnnggg time and then SNAP! be ready to take the photo quickly. If you can do that, you end up with cute periscope photos.

It's a nose!Periscope!


Out of Water experience #3

OR, you could just take the easy way out and catch ’em on the beach!! Please respect the rules though – stay well away from the animals (they may not look upset, but they may be just hiding their ninja personalities, remember?) and be mindful about letting them do what they do (even if they are just sunbathing, that’s their relaxation time, no?)

Different angle Yup, definitely done. Ahhhh, sunshine Wave chasing turtle ok, I think this one is done!

oh, and it looks like my uncle did capture ONE photo underwater!  (trust me it really is just one out of hundreds and hundreds!)

One of a thousand shots


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