When spending a lot of time with teleconverters and diopters doing Super Macro Photography in Lembeh Strait, you tend to pay less attention to “big” critters like Frogfish, Octopus and Scorpionfishes and start to open your eyes for the rather microscopic types of critters. Like Hairy Shrimp, tiny nudibranchs and more. And for exemple also for tiny flatworms. Like their bigger brothers, these flatworms have a very simple body but can still be attractive photo subjects. They are maximum the size of hole that a hole puncher makes in paper and they can be found in different habitats: On Hard Corals, leather corals, on mushroom corals, on bubble corals and on ascidians (sea squirts). Here is a little selection of 3 mini flatworms, that we commonly see in Lembeh.
I remember periods, when it was really hard to find Harlequin Shrimps in Lembeh Strait. Sometimes there were none, sometimes only very small ones sometimes they were only in places with a lot of surge. They have often been well kept secrets, that would not be shared with other dive centers. But since 2-3 months we are finding a unusual high number of them in a shallow coral rubble area (that everyone seems to know by now). In water only 1-3 meters deep, we are spotting in between 2 to 10 (yes, ten!) on a single dive. So come to Lembeh now, if you are still missing Harlequin Shrimps on your bucket list.
Lembeh Strait is famous for rare Critters, Black Sand Muck dives, and the Mekka for divers that want to see rare creatures. But it is also a place that often has very limited visibility. Like for example the last week: After a long period of reasonably good visibility (for Lembeh that means 10+ meters) we started getting water with 5 meters vis and totally green water. But as you are looking at tiny creatures it does not really matter. Actually it even opens new photographic possibilities! This little Frogfish we found on a dive at “Bianca” last week, when visibility was really bad … even though it was a PM dive with good weather, at 15 meters we had the impression, that it was dusk. And the water looked really, really green. So i decided to try something new and do a “Green Water Anbient Light Macro”. With an Aperture of f8 and a shutter speed of 1/6th of a second i achieved this green background – and i must say it fits really well with the red of the Frogfish and the yellow of the sponge. So even if visibility is not always supergood on your Lembeh trip – don’t worry, try to use the water colour for your UW Photography!
Below is a movie shot by one of our repeater guests EunJae here in the Lembeh Strait, he shot the movie using a Canon 7D in a Nauticam housing with tripod and L&M Sola 1200 Video Lights. As you can see he has a thing for Hairy Shrimps.
To see more of EJ’s work visit www.ejlabs.net
Here is a Gallery from Javi:
As you can see, Javi and Aida had a successful trip to Paradise Pier. 🙂
In this exceptionally good winter season in Lembeh Strait there are not only a lot of critters around, but also a lot of unusual ones. For example Nudibranchs: besides the – more commonly seen – Chromodoris, Hypselodoris, Glossodoris, Flabellinas and so on, we are also seeing many other, more uncommon, nudibranchs. Specially in habitats like Ascidians, Hydroids and Soft Corals we are finding a lot of very attractive Nudibranchs and Slugs. I specially like the crypticly shaped ones with lots of filaments – the ones where you have to look twice to figure out, what it is. The above gallery shows a small selection of the last days …
A few week ago i posted about a white Ghost Pipefish, which i believed was a Halimeda Ghost Pipefish. I was already not sure at the time, but when revisiting the spot yesterday, i saw that i was wrong. It turned out, that it is a Velvet Ghost Pipefish – which is also a very rare fish. But even cooler is, that there are now two of them. The bigger one – the one that we have seen previously –was a male before. But when coming back this time it already turned into a female. Probably the arrival of the smaller male made it change sex. Ghost Pipefishes can change sex and turn into females. They can be recognizes by the pouch shaped pectoral fins in which they then keep their eggs. Unlike Seahorses and Pipefishes, where the male incubates the eggs, it is always the female Ghost Pipefish, that takes care of the unhatched eggs.