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The Seychelles is an ideal place for diving safaris on a comfortable yacht. Liveaboard is the best choice if you want to dive a lot and an awesome opportunity for taking plenty of stunning photos as an underwater photographer.
Alexey Zaytsev • TG-6 • 1/250s • F4.9 • ISO 100
The Seychelles are divided into two groups of islands - Inner and Outer. The inner islands archipelago rests on a plateau that broke off from the super-continent Gondwana millions of years ago. It is the remnants of a submerged granite mountain range. This unique geological phenomenon resulted in incredible flora and fauna both above and below the surface.
Alexey Zaytsev • TG-6 • PT-059 • UFL-3 • Wide angle lens WFL-02 • 1/250s • F8 • ISO 250
Most of the dive sites feature large granite rock formations that create different passages and caves. These are home to a rich population of tropical fish, large numbers of pelagic species such as sharks, barracudas, jacks, and tunas as well as rays and turtles. Most dives in the inner islands are between the depths of 8-20 meters to a maximum of 30 meters. The best diving periods are the months from March to May, and also October, November & early December. During this time, the sea is typically calm, offering visibility of up to 30 meters. The water temperatures could reach up to 30 degrees Celsius.
Alexey Zaytsev • TG-6 • PT-059 • UFL-3 • Wide angle lens WFL-02 •1/125s • F8 • ISO 400
Last November I traveled around the inner islands on a sailing catamaran. We had a couple of dives to get a first impression of the underwater world near Silhouette Island.My impression of the Seychelles underwater world is the abundance and variety of fish. The schools of fish surround you everywhere. This fun Brazilian fish carnival besieges you underwater. Changing of colors and costumes, a round dance of colorful participants in the majestic scenery of massive granite rocks.
We have dived around the islands of Praslin, La Digue, and Silhouette. Here you find an immense diversity of marine life for photography such as schools of fish, huge stingrays, manta rays, turtles, sharks and also tiny examples represented by sea gobies nudibranchs.
Alexey Zaytsev • TG-6 • PT-059 • Video torch "Orcatorch" D910V • 1/250s • F8 • ISO 320
I always use two cameras for underwater shooting. The Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II with an underwater housing and Olympus Tough TG-6 in the PT-059 housing with two UFL-3 flashes. For me the TG-6 is perfect for macro shooting, but also I like to use it for wide-angle shooting. The external wide-angle lens can be easily removed even underwater and enables you to take macro and wide-angle shots during the same dive. This provides various opportunities. I can happily shoot sea turtles with a wide viewing angle, and after that, if I see a nudibranch and can take a macro photo. To improve stabilization for Macro shots I often use a simple Gorilla Pod.
Alexey Zaytsev • O-MD E-M5 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 14‑42mm F3.5‑5.6 EZ • 1/250s • F8 • ISO 200
I often go snorkeling between the dives. Such orientation dives provide me an opportunity to find perfect places for my next dives.In this case, I do not take the flashes with the TG-6 camera, but prefer to use a video light source. My favorite LED light has a power of at least 5000 lumens and a beam angle of 100 degrees. Video lights cannot yet successfully compete against strobe for wide-angle shooting, but for macro photography, it is quite suitable. Apart from photos, the TG-6 even allows for the capture of excellent high-quality videos with preset white balance settings. For video shooting in my opinion, the video lights are highly recommended.
My conclusion: although the TG-6 is small and does not appear as professional UW-equipment, it is amazing to get really outstanding photo and video results with such a compact camera.
Author and photographer: Alexey Zaytsev