It’s A Sharky Kinda Day with a Silvertip!

We don’t really need to make an excuse around here to take a photo of a shark, so why not have a beautiful juvenile silvertip as today’s Photo of the Day!  This incredible shark is not very big, maybe only 4 feet long but he sure did have a staggering amount of swagger, silvertip sharks have one of the most “shark” profiles of any requiem sharks and truly are one of the most graceful large ocean predators.  Mike Veitch

 

Juvenile Silvertip

Shrimp Cleaning a Moray Eel

One of the more interesting behaviours that divers can encounter underwater is the always entertaining relationship between a cleaner shrimp and the creature that is being cleaned.  It might look like the shrimp is an easy meal for a moray eel as it prances along the morays head but in fact the moray more than tolerates the shrimps presence as it picks parasites from its skin and gums.  I always enjoy watching the “fearsome” moray flinch when the shrimp grabs a particularly sensitive piece of skin from the eel.  The observant diver can witness all kinds of cleaning behaviour on the reef at all times of day.  Shrimp are one of the more active cleaners but many species of small fish such as wrasse and butterfly fish are also commonly found cleaning other denizens of the reef.  Although it is common to see most fish visit a cleaning station from time to time, perhaps the most common visitors to these “clinics” seem to be moray eels.  In this photo, a yellow margined moray eel is being cleaned by a scarlet lady cleaner shrimp beneath a small coral head at the Seraya Secrets dive site in NE Bali, Indonesia.  Interested in seeing more of this activity?  We frequently run trips to NE Bali where the diving and photography are easy and very rewarding!  Have a look at our Bali Safari page for more details.

cleaning shrimp

Abstract Photos

One of the more unique looking photos you can take are of fairly common subjects but shot in an abstract way.  A simple way to do this is with a macro lens and using your “artsy” eye to see outside of the box.  In this photo of a wrasse in Bali I go right up close and personal and only focused on its pectoral fin rather than shooting the entire fish.  This style of photograph works extremely well with varied colored tropical fish which have interesting and unique designs.  Try out shooting abstract photos the next time you are shooting macro.

Abstract patterns of fish

Wild Oceans

Mike has put together a video short from our recent trip to Raja Ampat for an online media company called Earth Touch News which specializes in wildlife and nature programming. The clip is about the dive site Andiamo which is in the Daram island group in the Misool region of Raja Ampat.  If you haven’t seen his other contributions, Mike has also uploaded videos about Citrus Ridge in Raja Ampat, Manta Alley in Komodo, and most recently Andiamo in Daram, Raja Ampat.  The gist of the video is to have the cameraman narrate what he sees over a dive so that the viewer has an idea of what he/she is seeing throughout the world.  It’s like having a back stage pass to all the world’s premiere dive sites in one handy location!

Here is Mike’s latest video on Andiamo

Komodo National Park

Mike is off to Komodo tomorrow for 10 days of what should be incredible diving and topside adventure!  Mike hasn’t been there for a while and it’s always exciting to head back to one of Indonesia’s most incredible locations.  Can’t wait to climb a few hills and jump into some incredible coral reefs and action packed dives!

Komodo Lookout

Looking down at a Phinisi style liveaboard boat at anchor in Matu Monco Bay in NW Komodo Island, Komodo National Park, Indonesia, Pacific Ocean

Photo of the Day – Batfish in Menjangan

Menjangan Island is an often overlooked destination in Bali as many folks love heading out to the famous Liberty Wreck or looking for mantas and molas in Nusa Penida.  However, the Menjangan area is one of our favourite destinations in Bali due to the beautiful coral gardens and plentiful schooling fish.

Here is a shot of 3 batfish cruising the coral garden of Menjangan.

Three spadefish in formation on coral reef, Platax orbicularis, Acropora sp., Menjangan Island National Park, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Pacific Ocean

Three spadefish in formation on coral reef, Platax orbicularis, Acropora sp., Menjangan Island National Park, Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia, Pacific Ocean

Photo of the Day – Jellyfish and Mangroves

Everyone seems to know about the Jellyfish Lake (actually lakes as there are quite a few) in the Republic of Palau, however, Indonesia is also home to numerous jellyfish lakes from Borneo to Papua and several places in between.  I have been lucky to have had the chance to visit several of them over the years and one that is very accessible as well as productive is the jellyfish lake in Kakaban island off the east coast of Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo.  Physically this lake is much larger than the other lakes I have visited including Misool and Palau but the jellyfish “mass” is not as thick as in Palau.  However, the variety of life in the Kakaban lake seems greater and the photo opportunities are endless, I would go back in a heartbeat!  Here is a shot near the edge of the lake with a fallen tree in the foreground and the mangroves in the background

Jellyfish at Kakaban Island

Schooling Barracuda

Schooling Barracuda

Indonesia suffers from a bit of a reputation of not having many large schools of fish.  However, that’s simply not true.  There are many different massive schools of barracuda throughout the country, from Kalimantan to Papua!  This photo is from one of several big schools that I know of in the Halmahera region, an area that is not visited by many diver and is highly under rated.

Shot with a Nikon D90 in Aquatica Housing, 10-17mm lens, f8, 1/60, Sea and Sea Strobes

Story Behind the Shot – Grey Reef Shark and Diver

Grey Reef

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.

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

Mike Veitch

Volcanic Bubbles in the Komodo area

I am heading out to the Komodo region soon, I must admit it has been quite some time since I have been there, in fact, I haven’t been since before the major Sangeang Volcano eruption last year!  Looking forward to diving the area to see what has changed since my last trip!  Here is a photo of one of the coolest features of diving in Sangeang looks like: volcanic bubbles always permeating through the sand at the dive site “Bubble Reef” aka “Hot Rocks”.

 

Bubble Reef