The Cleaning Station – A Sub2o Blogpost

Grouper Being CleanedMike has 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!  Mike’s 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.

 

Excerpt:

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

Coral Reefs of Indonesia

Coral reef Indonesia

the coral reef on the reef top of Dead Man’s Rock, Komodo National Park

Indonesia is home of some of the most diverse and healthy coral reef in the world. While diving Komodo National Park it is possible to visit several site with abundant fish and coral life.

Photo of the Day – Monkey!

White Faced Monkey in a Palm Tree

We don’t just take photos underwater, sometimes we even break the camera out of the housing.  On a trip to Costa Rica back in the day Mike took this photo of a beautiful White Faced Monkey at the Manuel Antonio National Park

Taken with  Nikon F90 and Film along with 80-200mm lens, settings not recorded

Story Behind the Shot – 70 Islands Palau

70 Islands Palau Micronesia

I lived in Palau from 1999-2002 but never took advantage of heading up on the local plane in order to see it from the air while I lived there. It was not until I visited again as a tourist in early 2005 when I decided to take advantage of this incredible flight opportunity on my birthday! My friend Matt was the pilot (and he is still working there as a heli pilot doing charter flights if anyone is interested) of a small plane that I chartered for a one hour flight around the islands. As there were only 2 of us on the plane (plus Matt) we were able to take the door off the plane and shoot directly out into the air. For those who have never seen photos of Palau, it’s an incredibly beautiful country with hundreds of small karst islands surrounded by bright white sand. Perhaps the most picturesque area is the protected “70 Islands” preserve which is off limits to any and all visitors other than rangers and conservation teams due to the presence of nesting turtles. On this shot I simply had to lean out the window and snap away and allow nature to take care of the rest. I will let you decide if there are 70 islands or not…

Nikon D70, 12-24mm lens at 24mm, f10, 1/400

Mike Veitch

Story Behind the Shot – Yap Caverns

Story Behind the Shot - Yap Caverns

One of my all time favourite dive sites in the world is “Yap Caverns” in Yap, Micronesia. This site is located on the far southern tip of the main islands of Yap and is a series of ravines and gullies cut into the reef structure with many open caverns creating a maze like dive. The best way to dive this site is to jump in the shallows and follow the twisting caverns before emerging onto a steep wall with crystal blue water. The caverns themselves are in constant flux as they undergo a series of changes over a 3 to 4 year cycle with periods of bare rock showing at the bottom interchanged with periods of bright white sand filling the channels. Photographically, the periods of bright white sand is superior to the rocky periods for obvious reasons. I took this photo during a period of time when the bright white sand had settled back in to the caverns after several years of nothing but rocky bottom. To create this photo the conditions had to be perfect with the sun shining brightly overhead but still early enough in the morning that it was not overpowering. The key was to position myself so that the rock wall blocked the main portion of the sun in order to allow the sharp sunrays to filter through the water column. The other key ingredient to make this photo stand out was the fact that a bit of swell was running which stirred up the sand and created a “sand filter” that allowed the sunrays to shine through.

Yap Caverns, Yap, Micronesia, Aquatica housing and Nikon D70 with 12-24mm lens at 12mm, f8m, 1/500 (no strobes) ISO 200

Mike Veitch

Story Behind the Shot – The Peeking Orangutan

Peeking Orangutan

This was taken at an Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok in Sabah Province, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The Centre has a “feeding platform” where recently released orangutans often come to get a free meal in the morning, as they may not yet be fully adapted to life in the wild. This particular orangutan was a very shy individual and allowed the other primates to have first crack at the bananas that the handlers were handing out. However, she did keep a keen eye from afar on the goings on at the platform; I believe this photo really captures her look of curiosity and patience while awaiting her mid morning snack.

Nikon D70s, 400mm lens, f5.6, 1/80