Mike Veitch Show Reel

I have finally gotten around to creating a short Show Reel of some of my more memorable video encounters from over the years. This showcase features imagery from Yap, Lembeh Strait, Bali, Komodo, and Raja Ampat among others. This film is edited to show just a few highlights of interesting behaviour but no long or intensive coverage of any one animal.

Enjoy the video and feel free to share with your friends but please don’t edit or use the footage in any commercial venture without prior permission.

The Cleaning Station – A Sub2o Blog Post

Manta Ray and Cleaning StationI have written another short article over on the Dive Advisor website called “A Guide to Cleaning Stations” via their Sub2o platform.  If you are not following the Sub2o blog then you are missing out on some great articles!  My latest article is all about the magic of exploring and experiencing cleaning stations, whether the creatures being cleaned are large or small!  Have a look at it at the following link and spend some time on the site while you are there to read other posts by a great set of authors.



Although the ocean is in a constant swirl of prey and predator interactions, it’s difficult for divers to observe natural behaviour, as animals often flee from our large and intruding presence. However, as any seasoned photographer or naturalist knows, there is one place that is always home to a buzz of activity on the reef: the cleaning station!  Read More… A Guide to Cleaning Stations Full Article

Story Behind the Shot – The Batfish

Schooling batfish in Raja Ampat

This shot is from my first ever trip to Raja Ampat and was taken at the iconic site of Citrus Ridge. Although this site would quickly become my favourite site in the northern R4 area after working on liveaboards there for several seasons, my first experience was certainly a memorable one. We jumped into the blue at the mouth of this channel dive and started descending toward the wonderful coral cover when I spotted this large school of batfish in the water column. Being a fan of big schools of fish, I never did actually make it to the reef on this hour plus long dive! With very minimal current, I was able to stay in the same area throughout and spent the full 70 minutes photographing this curious school of batfish as well as the thousands of fusiliers and baitfish that were swarming in the water column. Not to be outdone by the batfish, I was also visited by a large school of horse eye jacks and buzzed by a school of chevron barracuda. This image is my personal favourite of this memorable dive as the single batfish in the foreground seems to be curiously looking straight at me while the rest of the school swims away into the blue.

Nikon D90, Aquatica Housing, 10-17mm lens at 17mm, f10, 1/200 ISO 200

View more Raja Ampat images at my Raja Ampat Gallery

The Art of the Black Background

Its about time for me to write a new newsletter, I try to write them 4 times per year but sometimes I am not that consistent!  If you have never received my newsletter, one of the things that I always put in there is a short “UW Photography Tip”, for example, the following is the photo tip from my November 2012 newsletter about black backgrounds.  If you don’t receive my newsletter, please sign up here on any of my web pages and you will automatically receive it.  Its a great way to keep updated with news, new trips, last minute trips, and of course photo tips!

Anthias with parasitic copepods

One of the most effective macro photography techniques is the use of a black background to make that special critter shine!  A lot of folks believe that a black background can only be achieved by Photoshop manipulation, however, this is far from the truth.  The art of the black background is quite easy actually, and it comes down to just a few simple steps.  First, the subject must be perched upon something that allows the camera to get under it and shoot up; seagrass, a rock, a sponge or a bit of coral or in the water column itself (like the anthias photo above).   A second key ingredient is the depth and available ambient light: the ambient light needs to be relatively low and the photographer should be relatively deep in order to avoid the bright surface water.  Trying to shoot up into bright sun in shallow water will not work as the sunlight will give too bright of a background.  Next, the camera should be on f-11 or higher and set on the highest shutter speed that it can successfully synchronize with. Try using these tips and black backgrounds should be a breeze!  Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work at first, simply pull back, think about what went wrong, make a few adjustments and try again!

Lizardfish Pair