Scuba diving with sharks in Palawan: Underwater Photo Gallery

Swimming with Sharks in Tubbataha: Underwater Photo Gallery



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A gallery of highlights from swimming with sharks at Palawan’s Tubbataha UNESCO World Heritage Reef.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Contrary to the maneater stereotype, every shark that I've ever met has tried to swim away from me as fast as it possibly could.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Except in this case - when you're diving one of the deep coral walls in Tubbataha and come across a pair of sharks (like these two) there's really nowhere for them to go except straight at you...

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Which actually makes for a pretty good photo op. I would have never gotten this close to these two white tip sharks had the wall not forced them to swim right past me. The big regret on this shot was that part of the first shark's head was cut out of the frame by the delay in the shutter. I love the Canon G12 that I used to shoot this shot, but not that happy with how slow it is to trip the shutter.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    You'll usually find white tip sharks in the deeper water so lighting is usually an issue. Somehow the light caught the sheen of this shark's skin and makes it glow against the indigo blue of the deep water.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    When we found sharks closer to the surface usually they would be resting on a patch of coral like this one. Once we got within about five or ten meters they would swim off. Here you can see Ed in the background.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    White tip sharks are generally pretty small (about 1-2 meters) and seem really scared of divers. It's really tough to get close enough to one to get a decent photo.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Here's a shark that's just hanging out on a nice patch of sand beside this coral head. One of Tubbataha's most famous dive sites is called the 'Shark Airport' because there's so many of them parked on the bottom like airplanes on a tarmac.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Here's another view of Ed with the white tip swimming by.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Got a bit of backscatter from the flash when I tried to light up these two sharks swimming beneath me.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Sometimes when the sharks were on the bottom they didn't mind of you swam up a bit closer, but the key was to approach slowly and not make any sudden movements.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    The other fish on the reef didn't seem to scared of the sharks when they approached, and I never actually saw them go after anything. I think they must feed primarily at night?

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    We would also occasionally glimpse sharks out in the blue water when we did dives deeper than about 20 meters.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    They'd often be seen prowling the edges of the coral dropoff, probably looking for injured or sick prey.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    This one was in about fifteen meters of water and just swimming by slowly.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Again, none of the other fish seemed to give this shark much notice.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Difficult lighting conditions caused this photo to be a bit dark. This shark appeared pretty suddenly so I didn't have enough time to increase the power of my underwater flash. With a bit more fill light this shot would have been a lot better.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    I've only done one night dive in Tubbataha and it was pretty scary thanks to the sharks. The main problem was that they were attracted to our flashlights, but wouldn't come in close enough so that you could see how big they actually were--all you'd see was that unblinking eye gleaming back at you against the background of inky black sea.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    A particularly sharky spot at Tubbataha.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    If you squint and look carefully at this photo you'll see why they're called 'white tip sharks'.

  • Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery

    Sharks in Tubbataha: An Underwater Photography Gallery
    Until next time, Mr. or Mrs. Sharkness!


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