Doug Sloss Joining Us in Lembeh

We are excited to announce that world famous photographer and Post Processing wizard Doug Sloss will be joining us for our Lembeh Strait Photo Funweek at NAD Lembeh Resort for 2016.  As an update, we have also changed dates for this exciting event from May to July/August, the new dates for our Lembeh Photo Week are 30 July – 6 August 2016.  Doug is a long time friend of the Underwater Tribe and NAD Lembeh Resort and he and his wife Lorenza are one of the top underwater photography and post processing teams on the planet.  Like any Underwater Tribe photo fun week (click to read about our 2015 Lembeh Photo week), Doug will be joining the guests underwater with a slate in hand, as opposed to a camera, in order to help the participants get their best possible images.  Throughout the week Doug will be presenting tips and tricks about Lightroom and Photoshop as well as being on hand to give individual help to everyone.

Here is a brief bio about Doug:

Doug Sloss Bio Pic“Doug Sloss is an underwater and landscape photographer, photography educator, and digital image developing enthusiast based in the Rockies just outside Denver Colorado. Once a long time photo pro and dive instructor in Palau, Micronesia, his award winning photography has appeared in numerous diving magazines and books worldwide. His passion for teaching photography led to a successful series of DVD tutorials he’s created that help underwater and topside shooters of all levels professionally post-process their images with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. He is the principal photographer at Studio Sloss and is an expedition leader and photo pro for Beyond The Capture Photo Tours, a company he owns with his wife Lorenza. When not shooting client work for his Colorado based photo studio, he offers a select calendar of field workshops, photo tours and image developing classes throughout the year and spends time teaching his little man Sam how to scuba dive.”


To find out more about Doug please visit his website

For more information about our UWT/NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week 2016 please visit our Lembeh 2016 web page or email us at info (at)

I Am Now on Instagram

Well, it took many years but I have finally signed up to Instagram.  I have always kind of looked at Instagram as something for iphone people only, as you can’t sign up from a laptop!  Why would a company not want people to sign up from a computer?  That just seems weird and annoying in my opinion!  However, obviously it’s working because Instagram sure has taken off, so here I finally am signing up.   Why now?  Well I  finally have a phone running on Android (I refuse to pay $1000 for an iphone!) which has allowed me to sign up and post.  I do find the square crop to be somewhat limiting but have found a way around that by framing each photo with a border in order to keep the natural ratio of the photos in tact.  So if you are a follower of Instagram then please do give my new portfolio a follow @MikeVeitch and while you are at it, follow the Underwater Tribe on Instagram as well @Underwater_Tribe

Here are a few square shots to get you started…

Batfish Coral Reef Cuttle Ayau Lagoon


Story Behind the Shot – Hawksbill Turtle Eating the Dome Port

Hawksbill Turtle


One of my favourite underwater photo subjects are turtles, it doesn’t matter if it’s a “relatively” common hawksbill turtle or green turtle or any of the other more endangered turtles, I am always happy to encounter any turtle when diving. On this particular encounter on the island of Layang Layang in Sabah, Malaysia, I ran into this friendly hawksbill turtle who was happily munching away on sponge embedded in the hard coral.  As with any turtle encounter, I stopped and watched it for a few moments to see if it would be spooked by my presence or if it would allow me to get closer.  After watching it for a while I decided that it wasn’t bothered by my presence and so I slowly moved closer in order to take a few photos.  After snapping a couple of shots from the side I then decided to see if the turtle would allow me to approach from the front, as this photo can attest, it sure did!  As I moved from the side toward the front I realized that the turtle was allowing me to get quite close, but as I started to maneuver my strobes closer to the port the young hawksbill turtle decided that it was a lot more interested in my dome port than the sponges!  Abandoning the idea of moving my strobes, instead I started backpedaling away from the hungry hawksbill while snapping off a few photos and trying to avoid “turtle bites” on my port!  My guess is he/she reacted to the reflection of another turtle in the port and the attempted biting was in order to scare off a potential competitor.  After I backed off again the happy hawksbill went right back to munching on sponge and ignoring my ungainly presence.  Although I didn’t necessarily get the lighting correct on this shot, it is a photo that stands out as it was really a funny situation with a personable turtle who was intent on showing me who’s the boss!

Layang Layang, Sabah, Malaysia – Nikon D90, Aquatica Housing, 10-17mm lens, f10, 1/100, Sea and Sea Strobes


Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week Wrap Up

Group photo of workshop

Another Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Resort Photo Fun Week has come to an end and we have arrived home back in Bali already missing the great atmosphere and wonderful food at NAD. We aren’t sad though because we are happily reminiscing over what a wonderful week we have just had with a great group of people. It all started on the 18th of July with all of our guests arriving by the mid afternoon. After having the chance to set up equipment in NAD’s spacious camera room, we all gathered together after dinner to discuss the plans for the upcoming week and listen to a quick strobe primer by Mike before enjoying a wonderful slideshow about the cool critters we could expect to see throughout the week presented by NAD manager Serge.

Serge Presents


The following morning, and for each of the next 5 days, our schedule consisted of heading out after breakfast for 2 dives in the diverse Lembeh Strait. Our bottom times were set to 75 minutes max with between dives snacks and hot drinks served on the roomy and fast boats. With 1 dive guide for every 2 guests, plus 2 photo instructors in the water with slates in hand, everyone was well looked after in the water and there were critters a plenty every day. After lunch back at the resort, we gathered in the upstairs area for a daily presentation before heading out on an afternoon dive. After the afternoon dive we would gather in the restaurant for our daily critiquing and Lightroom sessions before dinner. After dinner each night we would then meet once again upstairs for another presentation as well as a primer on the next days dives and a suggestion of what to work on in the way of photographic technique.

Guide Rokles gives a briefing

Topics throughout the week consisted of the following: Strobe Positioning, Shooting Wide in Lembeh, The Basics of Lighting (fstops, shutter speeds and how they work together), Lightroom, Shooting with a Constant Light Source, Blue and Black Macro Backgrounds, Snooting, and How to Win a Photo Competition. In the water, Mike and Luca spent every dive with a slate in hand working one to one with our students helping them with new techniques in order for them to improve their photography with practical underwater hands on help. One of the big successes this year was the effectiveness of the evening Lightroom and critiquing sessions as everyone gathered in the restaurant each day for image review and Lightroom technique tutorials in a relaxed atmosphere.

Luca Presenting


On the last day our schedule consisted of just 2 morning dives with the afternoon scheduled for final image review and the preparation of images for the final night slideshow! The big event at the end of all of our photo workshops is a slideshow of everyone’s favourite images taken throughout the week which are shown in random order on the big screen in order to show the highlights of diving in Lembeh. We don’t create a competitive atmosphere during our workshops and we don’t offer prizes because we believe this creates too much competitiveness amongst participants and takes away from the fun vibe of our “Fun Weeks”. Our NAD 2015 final slideshow showcased some of the best images we have seen from all of our workshops over the years and we are very happy to showcase some of the images from the participants below!  The list of critters that we encountered throughout the week is too long to mention but some of the memorable ones include multiple blue ring octopus, hairy frogfish, loads of different frogfish from tiny to giant, ghost pipefish, wonderpus, harlequin shrimp, and even an eagle ray!

Group shot on Boat


Thanks to all of this year’s participants from Australia, the Netherlands, and the USA, we had a few familiar faces this week as well as a great group of new participants, we look forward to seeing you all again soon on a future Underwater Tribe event. Enough with the chit-chat, lets get on with the presentation of some great images from the gang for a very well deserved round of applause.



mating mandarin (1 of 1)





Lembeh 15-729 Lembeh 15-187 IMG_0111-143 fish eating (1 of 1) -279

On the Road Again – Destination Lembeh

Manta Rays

It’s been a bit of whirl-wind over the past few months!  I returned yesterday from my third trip to Komodo in May and June and will be here in Bali for an entire 3 days before shipping out to Lembeh!  I will of course be heading to NAD Lembeh Resort for almost 3 weeks of fun in the critter capital of the world.  The main reason I am heading to Lembeh is of course to conduct our annual Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh photo workshop which starts on the 18th and ends on the 25th.  However, I am going early in order to take some of my own photographs in the wonderful world of muck as I won’t be taking any photos during the workshop itself.  I am certainly looking forward to it as I haven’t done any serious shooting in Lembeh for quite some time.  It will be quite a transition from the wide angle photo and videos I have been shooting in Komodo lately to the behaviour and macro photo and video I hope to be shooting in Lembeh!  I will be the special guest blogger on the NAD Blog so please have a look over the coming weeks.

And here is what I will be shooting next week, it will be a challenge on my eyes I think!

Crinoid Cuttlefish


How To?? Take Better Coral Reef Images

Over on our Bali Academy of Underwater Photography website we often post short “Photo Tips” in a section called “How To??“.  This page is dedicated to very short tutorials with quick tips on helping you improve your photography; for those interested in longer tutorials we reserve those for our “Articles” page instead.  So head on over to the site when you have time and check them out!  Here is the latest “How To??” article below

How To?  Shoot Stunning Coral Reef Garden Photos

Coral Reef


Nothing shows the reality of a healthy coral reef better than a wide angle photography of a beautiful hard coral garden. To shoot a coral garden effectively there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help to achieve the best results.

1.  Stay shallow! The best results will be in less than 10 metres of water

2.  Turn off your strobes and use the sun at your back, the sun will illuminate the coral and bring the colour in

3.  Shoot at a slightly downward angle, this will allow you to frame as much of the interesting coral reef as possible

4.  Use a fisheye lens or a higher f-stop (such as f11) in order to avoid bad corners from a rectilinear lens. Bad corners will show very obviously with intricate corals filling the frame

5.  If possible utilize a red filter or magic filter and manual white balance settings. Using a filter will help filter out the blues and greens from the image and create a more even colour tone. Also, shoot in RAW so you can experiment with WB in post processing.

6.  If time of day and conditions allow, try to include sunrays at the edges of the photo in order to add a second element in the composition. Including a distant diver or freediver is another excellent choice of a secondary subject.

Manta Rays Mating Frenzy Video

This is probably the single most frustrating clip I have ever shot when I look back at it.  IE: I screwed it up big time!  Not only had I scratched the port of my video camera two days prior, I also got greedy and tried to take still photos with my right hand on one camera while recording video with this video camera in my left!  Wouldn’t you know it, neither the stills nor the video came out all that great which is a darn shame as it could have been amazing footage of 30 or more Manta Rays mating in a frenzy right in front of me!  Mi’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia