Saturday, October 27, 2018


As taught by Jacky, Olympus Malaysia's underwater photography instructor. 

Malaysia is truly a blessed country. We have so many beautiful beaches and islands, surrounded by lively corals I've never seen before up to this point of my life. And just at the beginning of this month, I've been to this island that's possibly the most beautiful island in Malaysia's east coast - Lang Tengah Island.

Open season from March till end of October, Lang Tengah Island has only 2 resorts so far, and we're staying at this luxury resort called Summer Bay Resort. October consider low season because of the unpredictable weather, hence we get to enjoy the place mostly by ourselves. 

Isn't this scenery something that we usually see on a postcard?

One of the famous activities to do at Lang Tengah Island will be snorkelling. I love snorkelling a lot! I've snorkelled at Phuket, Krabi, Tioman and Christmas Island and it's really fun seeing fishes swimming around me but I always feel sad when I saw corals bleaching. It was when during my first snorkelling experience at Krabi that I tell myself I should not apply any sunblock whenever I go into the sea, I rather get tanned than brings unwanted pollution to all those precious corals. 

So this trip is mainly a photography workshops trip, thanks to the generosity of Olympus Malaysia and Summer Bay Resort Island, we get to experience and record our precious memories using various Olympus camera around this beautiful island and resort. I've heard how my friends uses disposable cameras to take underwater photos and I still can recall how blurry and blue they are. It's really unpleasing to look at and I was wondering is there anything I can use to capture underwater moments without worrying the device gone haywire. 

Underwater photography gears of Olympus, owned by Jacky
He's a scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast
check out his instagram HERE

Olympus TOUGH series cameras

I guess underwater photographers with small budget are loving these babies. The Olympus TOUGH series cameras are one of the best underwater cameras that cater to every needs of underwater shots, even for a newbie like me! These cameras are waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, freezeproof and dustproof you can use them in any conditions!

TG-5 is the latest addition to TOUGH camera series and its high image quality has won hearts of many. In order to familiarise ourselves with these cameras, our workshop instructor - Jacky teaches us all the modes available in these cameras since most of us were first time using TOUGH series camera, getting know the devices before we go into the water is crucial for taking good shots. 

insufficient lighting around the object/backlighting

flash on if the subject/surrounding is too dark

Here are some advices given by Jacky for taking a good underwater photos:

  • flash on if it's gloomy
  • always take photos of fishes from the side or 45 angle from its head (like the blue green fish from the photo above)
  • photos directly from the top of the fishes are less interesting (snorkelers should know lol)
  • be patient and wait for your shots/hit the shutter as much as you could for not missing a moment
  • know what modes to use (wide angle for big pictures of corals or macro modes to focus on certain fishes, sea slugs and sea objects)
  • relax and enjoy! 

I love using macro mode because it's so easy to focus on fishes who are swimming far from me when I'm floating on top

While most of them are trying to figure out the cameras, my heart literally has wandered off to the sea. So when Jacky announce it's time for us to depart to the snorkelling spot, I'm the first one rushing to our speedboat because practical is always the best practice. Sorry for my impatience. lol.

Here we go! Water as blue and clear like sapphire, can't wait to dive into you!

Finally reach our snorkelling spot, which is literally just beside our resort, like 5mins away
That's how clear the water is for any sort of underwater activities

Being the first few to jump into the sea, I can't wait to see the fishes and corals and once again experience the total freedom and relaxation of body, heart and soul. Of course, this time with a mission: to try out the TOUGH series camera and hopefully I can get some good shots. 

Selfie with TG-5's Underwater Wide mode
Selfie taken to another level hahahaha

This time selfie with my cat
I'm so glad he could come along with me this trip and dare to snorkel even though he don't know how to swim
It really takes a lot of courage for non-swimmers to participate in underwater activities

Here some of the first few shots that failed hahahahah:

Didn't know fishes moves so fast

Fish photobomb or rather I have no clue what I'm aiming at lol

Okay finally fish in frame but too close to the camera and it's out of focus lol

Slowly I'm starting to get the hang of underwater photography. Underwater currents that day were quite strong hence the waves are pretty rough, pushes us back and forth I just can't really aim and point my camera towards the fishes I wanna snap photos of without swaying left and right.

By the way, did I told you about lively corals? This is like the very FIRST TIME I saw corals with colours, which is alive! I felt so touched seeing these corals that aren't bleaching and white. All thanks to the resorts and divers who protects and replant the corals around this island so travellers get to witness the beauty of it.

Such a pretty sight of these beautiful corals and fishes, I keep on snapping photos of them and chose a few that's not blurry (sky getting gloomy and I'm not a fan of flash)

After trying some shots with the corals, I start aiming at fishes (ambitious hahahaha). And these are some among those beautiful fishes I saw during that snorkelling experience:

Are these anchovies lol

Saw this vibrant coloured fish that looks like it's painted with rainbow!
It's called Rainbow Parrot Fish
I have to take more shots of this fish!

Failed shot due to I shot its back but I think this photo delivers a nice composition of corals and subject lololol

more anchovies hahahaha

can you imagine how happy I was swimming among these fishes?

Here's a clear shot of the rainbow parrot fish! Did I nailed it? 

After tons of fish photos, I decided to change my subject to human:

Free diving is my dream!!!

Here's nice frontal shot of my cat

And what my cat took of me
LOL! Where's my head!

Okay this is better lol
I had to swim out far just to position myself for a good shot from a good angle
Imagine how tired I was that day 

Our instructor of the day - Jacky
He took some nice photos of us 

Hahahah still trying to get used to snorkelling, it's been awhile 

Wahhhhh my cat posing for photos wor
Not afraid of water already eh? lol

My favourite photo so far!!!
Jacky literally have to dive down so near to the bottom just to get this shot
Appreciate the effort! Thank you!!!

And this is the best shot I get!
Clear fish subject with beautiful corals as background
Love this photo to bits!

One of the reason underwater photographers like the TG-5 camera is because the red captured using this camera is so vibrant and contrast that outcome of the photos is so lively and you might only need minimal editing such as cropping or brightness adjustment. I'm really satisfied with the underwater photos I took with TG-5 and decided to try take some artistic shot without a dome port attached.

Can you believe that my cat took this photo with just a TG-5?
Of course it requires a lot of patience, luck and sea water drinking hahahaha

This kinda sums up my snorkelling and first underwater photography experience. It's really a magical one and I hope I can do it more often. I've yet disclose the underwater footages I took with the Olympus Tough Tracker (video editing needs a lot of time and effort, thank you for waiting sobs) I hope I can show you the wonderful videos I took soon!

So in the meanwhile, don't forget to follow my other social media platforms to get the latest updates and infos of my traveller life:



For more information:

Photos taken with:
Olympus TG-5
Olympus OMD EM1MK2

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