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!
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.
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.
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.