Following the success of our underwater photo workshop in Lembeh this past April, we have decided to host another event in Bali during the best season of the year, October 25-30. This event will be another 5 day event with a maximum of 12 participants, everyone will get a chance to dive with each of the two photo instructors during this course. We will be discussing f-stops, shutter speeds, strobe angles, playing with light, composition, and of course workflow using Lightroom. This is going to be a really fun event with incredible photo opportunities so don’t miss out!
This class is filling up fast so please send us an email at email@example.com for more information or check the Underwater Tribe website for more details: http://underwatertribe.com/Bali_workshop_2013.html
One of my favourite inhabitants of the underwater world is the octopus. Non divers may think of octopus as just “octopus?!?!” an item they see photos of from time to time or else as some sort of culinary item (not recommended!) However, to the well informed people (by this I mean those of us who scuba dive 😉 ) octopus are one of the most sought after encounters to be had. These long legged mollusks are one of the most intelligent “non mammals” on the planet and an encounter with one is always a treat to any diver. Having the opportunity to sit and watch one of these wily critters is always fun, especially if the octopus in question is up to something (hunting, house building, general tomfoolery such as attacking cameras)
In Bali, one of the best places to encounter octopus is the dive site Puri Jati (also known as PJs) which is located on the north side of the island, not to too far from Lovina. The species which can be found here are some of the most sought after for underwater photographers: mimic, long arm, and coconut octopus, I won’t bother with the scientific names! Last week, I was in north Bali teaching an underwater photography class with a student who was learning both wide angle and macro photography techniques. However, as part of his class he wanted to have a day in between so he could practice techniques without me, no problem I thought, I will go diving! So I did, and am I ever happy I did that. I took a wander down to Puri Jati and jumped in for two dives, a total of close to 200 minutes with a max depth of about 10 metres (30 feet) in nice warm water. It turned out to be a very octopussy sort of day, with 7 different individuals of 3 different species with half of them being “players”. The best two encounters were with a small mimic octopus and a large coconut octopus who were dueling for my attention. The coconut had a great home that he was transporting around (coconut shell and clam shell) while the mimic was out for a jaunt and poking his tentacles into every crevice looking for a meal. I spent over an hour just watching and photographing these two individuals and came back with some fantastic photos. I have posted one here, but the others are a part of another project so can’t be posted quite yet.
I have been back in Indonesia now for 2 months since a prolonged 4 months in Canada (over winter even!) and wow, what a two months it has been!
Luca and Niko looking for Pygmy Seahorses
In March, I taught two private photo classes in Bali as well as a fun road trip around the island with the Underwater Tribe. In April the fun really began! After another trip around Bali with Simon and Sofie Pridmore for a magazine article, I made my way to the old haunts at NAD Lembeh Resort. Along with Matt Oldfield, we conducted a photo workshop for 12 students and had an amazing but busy week. I believe that everyone learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed their time with us, we will be conducting another workshop in Tulamben, Bali in late October. Of course we spent a few days of diving for ourselves before and after the class in order to get some photos to fill out our portfolios. I decided to dive only with the 10.5mm + 2X TC combination as it’s a great set up for octopus, my main target for the week, and it did prove challenging. I had to pass up a lot of great subjects that others with more “macro” setups got to shoot but that’s ok, I got the octopus photos I wanted in the end (no sneak peaks yet)! I am very much looking forward to heading up to NAD Lembeh again soon for more photo opps in Lembeh. It really is a great resort and is proving to be the resort of choice for serious photographers in Lembeh Strait. I was blown away by all of the changes in the last 3 years.
Shrimp on a Snake Eel
Photo Workshop Participants
Matt and I also spent a day at the Tasik Oki animal rehabilitation centre just outside of Bitung. The folks at Tasik Oki work with local officials and the police to rescue illegally held animals that are kept as pets throughout the North Sulawesi area, animals such as cassowary birds, orangutans, macaques, and gibbons just to name a few. Of course don’t forget the Sun Bears who are kept for their gall bladder production, what a horrible thing that is! The centre has two sun bears on location, adorable little bears who are now enjoying a much better life than previously but unfortunately won’t be able to go back to the wild. They have successfully seized many of these unique and endangered animals from very poor conditions and are able to care for them much better than those keeping them as pets. I know its tough to see photos of these animals behind bars but its better than what they had before, the staff at Tasik Oki truly do keep good care of their animals. If you have the chance to visit Tasik Oki then please do, also, if you have some spare income to offer as a donation then it’s always appreciated as it goes to the benefit of these animals.
Sun Bear! I had no idea they were so small
Not 36 hours after arriving back in Bali, I was off on another private photo class in Tulamben before having a few days in Sanur to finish a couple of deadlines. Now it’s the first of May and I started the day out with a 2.5 hour bike ride with my friend Graham, a great way to start the day! I will be heading out to north Bali in a couple of days for more photo instruction and then then who knows?! 2013 has started out as a busy year and also a good and bad one (for reasons I won’t get into here) but the rest of the year certainly looks like it will be busy and fruitful with a lot of exciting adventures coming up! Looking forward to it.