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)

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


The Fish Butt Photo

One of the things we hear the most when talking to underwater photographers is “I have a whole hard drive full of fish butts!”  I believe everyone knows the feeling of sneaking up on an underwater subject to get just that much closer when “boom” the subject you have just spent endless time stalking suddenly turns and speeds off just as you pull the trigger!  The resulting photo is what is lovingly called a “fish butt” shot and I know I have a hard drive full of them myself!  In fact, I have often thought about publishing a book called “Butts of the Pacific” but then I figured it may get banned for censorship reasons so unfortunately I have yet to do so!  However, not all “butt shots” are created equal, in fact, I think this small hawksbill turtle has a lovely butt, he sure did spend a lot of time with his beak in a hole eating sponges and showing me nothing but butt until I ran out of air, therefore, before heading up I had to snap off at least one photo of this turtle and I believe the result wasn’t too bad, for a butt shot!

This was taken at Whale Rock in the incredible Misool area of Raja Ampat where we will be heading again in 2017!


Hawksbill Turtle Butt

Manta Snorkeling Encounter

I recently arrived back from a short trip to the Komodo National Park in Indonesia and it was another great trip to this wonderful location.  The highlight of the trip for myself was that we were able to swim with dozens of manta rays in the south at a site called Manta Alley.  The mantas themselves were all at the surface feeding for the entire morning, so even though we tried jumping in the water to dive with them, we weren’t having much success with encounters.  Therefore, we did the smart thing and surfaced from our dive in order to snorkel with them instead!  These beautiful animals did not feel any threat from our presence and willingly swam alongside us for minutes at a time.  We enjoyed the encounter so much we even came back and jumped in a second time!  Although the water was cold and somewhat green, that doesn’t really matter when you are surrounded by mantas does it?!?  Interested in a trip to Komodo, join the Underwater Tribe on an adventure there in September 2015!

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


Grey Reef and Diver – Story Behind the Shot

Grey reef shark

Meet Seb, he is the French diveguide that I used to work with back in French Polynesia 10 years ago or so.  Seb lived on the island of Rangiroa and joined the Tahiti Aggressor when I worked on that boat from 2002 to 2004.  Seb was a special kind of person, he loved sharks and loved feeding them even more!  No mesh glove, no special equipment, no fear!  It was always a great adventure diving with Seb as you could always find a stray tuna head in his BCD, the photo opportunities for shark shots was always incredible.   On this particular dive Seb was feeding sharks at the bottom and I positioned myself right beside him in order to get some great photos.  This particular grey reef shark came in for a quick pass to see what was in store and I was able to take the shot as it shot between Seb and I.

Tuamotu Island Group, French Polynesia, Settings unrecorded, Nikonos V and Provia 100 film, 15mm lens, Sea and Sea YS 120 Strobes