Well it’s the year end, so i thought i would post my favourite 12 photos of the year.
The problem is I dont have any from before 25 September 2012, which was when i (finally) started diving in 2012!
Hopefully for 2013, i will be able to post a favourite photo from each month.
A special thanks to Bent for making me get back in the water again, and to Mood and Serge for keeping me going, and of course Bill for selling me a whole load of equipment for my 5Dmk3!
Happy New Year to you all.
Simon, Zee, and Bella and the team at NAD
Over Christmas we were lucky to have so many cool guests, and we had a great time.
On Christmas Eve we went Santa-ing to our village, Mawali.
As we went around the village with bags of candies, we found all the kids ran away, sometimes screaming.
What we didnt know is that Santa out here is used as a threat… ‘if you are a naughty boy then Santa will come and get you’
So the sight of 3 Bule’s running around the village scared the crap out of a lot of the kids until they realised where we were from, then things warmed up a little.
We did, however get to go any visit / annoy all our staff from the village, and of course anyone who has stayed with us will know how much we enjoy to annoy Rockles!
By the end we had a bunch of kids with us looking for the candy, so Simon became serious Santa and told them to make sure the wrappers went in the bin not the sea!
We hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year.
My new purchase in November was some special equipment for shooting underwater fluorescence. We have lights, visors and filter sets for you and your camera so that you can capture images of corals and some other critters, fluorescing.
The science behind it is that this light is a wavelength that we cant normally see, so by looking at night with these filters we can make it visible to the human eye.
The experience is very cool and worth giving a try on the housereef or out any of the nightdives.
We have filters available for both wide angle and macro lenses as well as the new SOLA Nightsea divelights (Inon Z240’s and Sea and Sea YS250’s are the best strobes for this application – also available for rent).
For a more extensive gallery, go to:
As Phyllodensium Nudibranchs are uncommon, bizarre and attractive at the same time, they always make a good Blog post. Specially when they are found in numbers. Having blogged some weeks ago already about the Solar powered Nudibranch, it’s today the turn of the Kabira Phyllodensium (Phyllodensium kabiranum). As they are very well camouflaged when feeding on Soft Corals, they are very hard to spot – but once you found them, they make a very attractive subject. Specially, when they are isolated from the soft coral, like this one in the picture. At the moment we are finding 5 of them at Nudi Retreat – but we are also seeing them at some other Dive Sites here in Lembeh Strait.
The blue highlights in its brown tentacles make it already very attractive – but when you pass the right moment of the surge moving all it’s cerata to one side, you can see its beautiful orange base. Keep looking within Heteroxenia and Xenia corals and you might find one.
Blue Ring Octopus have been everywhere form months now, which is unusual to have them around for so long. The guests have seen them mating, feeding, fighting and now we saw a beautiful specimen with eggs. Blue Rings doing normal behaviour are a Top 10 Critter for Lembeh, where would you place one with eggs?!
Blue Ringed Octopus have a life cycle of 2 years, however, for this female her time is nearly up as once the eggs hatch she will die. She will not have eaten for the entire pregnancy (which lasts around a week to 2 weeks). This beautiful girl has moved away from where we found her, hopefully to live out the rest of her days in peace without any photographers! Hopefully in a few months we will start to see her offspring out feeding.
This was a first for me and as such the video is probably not as clinical as it normally would be. I also left the clip in of the Octopus leaving the bottle without being abused.. Although to be honest I am sure he would not have left the bottle if there were no divers around.
Our first Lembeh Shootout in association with Underwater.kr has just finished, and it was a blast.
We made our rules very strict, specifically in relation to trying to limit our environmental impact, as one contestant put it… ‘It was refreshing to shoot with the discipline we sometimes forget.’
We laid out the categories in the following way:
- Compact Camera
Then we had additional prizes for the following:
- Environmentally Friendly Diver
- Best Of Show
We did not want to promote the misuse of pointing sticks, or having animals in an unnatural environment, so the guides would not move critters to unusual, more favourable positions – and the judges and the guides were also checking to see if the critter was in the same condition when a diver finished shooting as when he started. We’re pretty sure this is unique and it did make it very cool. For the judging, we based our criteria on the usual areas of image quality, composition, technique and subject, and we also considered the amount of tweaking the image had been subjected to. This may explain why the order of images may seem odd if you have not seen the raw files.
So, here we go with the results:
Winner: Balqesh Abdullah
Winner: Christine Foo
Best of Show
Winners: Patrick Rebai & Christian Jansen (Joint Winners).
A special thanks to all of the sponsors, the new friends we made and the old friends we saw again.
We are now more than half way through the Underwater.kr Shoot Out and the contestants will have their last day of diving tomorrow, before they have to submit their shots for judging. All cameras are still dry and all equipment is fully functional – thank you again to our sponsors from Nauticam for their on-site support.
Besides the four contest dives a day we also had a bit of evening programm including a Lembeh photo slideshow by Serge, a Video Showcase by EunJae and Simon will do a little lecture this evening. Other than that, all contestants are busy selecting and editing their photos. We are looking forward to the results!