Story Behind the Shot – Wayag Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat Wayag Behind the Shot

 

Although most of our “Story Behind the Shot” images are typically underwater photos, I have chosen this image from Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia as it’s such an iconic photo from this area. The island group of Wayag is a located in the far NW quadrant of Raja Ampat and it’s famous for it’s beautiful vistas. Measuring only a few miles from east to west and less than a mile from north to south, this incredible little archipelago consists of hundreds of small karst islets which have been carved into mushroom shapes over the millennia. Although this photo looks incredible, it’s quite an easy shot to take (other than the journey to get all the way to Wayag!) There is a rocky path that leads up one of the hills inside the lagoon that offers a fantastic 360 degree view all around the archipelago and beyond. Although the common perception would be to take this photo with the late afternoon “magic hour” lighting behind the photographer, it doesn’t actually work too well because the low light coming from behind tends to blow out the sky on the horizon. Instead, the best time to take photos here is between 10am – 2pm while utilising the magic of a circular polariser. Even better, is if the low tide coincides with the timing, as this allows the camera to capture the beautiful greens of the sand and reefs that offsets the royal blue of the deeper water. The high overhead light during this time really allows all of the colours to pop.

Nikon D7200, 12-24mm lens at 22, f8, 1/250, iso 320

Tangkoko National Park

Tarsier at Tangkoko

We took the opportunity while we are in North Sulawesi for two days of photography at the Tangkoko National Park before our Underwater Tribe Photo Fun Week begins.  Tangkoko is home to the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier, as well as endemic black macaque monkeys.  There are several homestays in the area for folks who are interested in spending a few days there or else it can be done as a day trip from Lembeh (a one hour drive from Bitung).  The photo opportunities with the black macaques are great, they are readily approachable and very patient with people.  However, a zoom lens is recommended as the monkeys do need their space.  Tarsiers are an incredibly cute little primate with giant bug eyes and large ears reminiscent of Gizmo the Gremlin.  A day in the park is a great day out when in North Sulawesi, simply ask the management at NAD Lembeh to organize the trip for you.

Black Macaque Tangkoko

Luca Tangkoko

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

Erupting Volcano – Photo of the Day

One of the coolest things to see when diving the Banda Sea or East Flores/Alor is the opportunity to visit the island of Komba near Maumere.  The island is actually a very active volcano which erupts every 15 minutes or so spreading ash and rocks all over.  The opportunity to watch the show is an incredible experience both at night or during the day.  Here is a shot of the volcano as seen during the day

Volcano Erupting

Photo of the Day – HDR Wayag

The lagoon of Wayag

The Wayag island group in northern Raja Ampat, Indonesia is an incredible feast on the eyes, with hundreds of karst islets scattered throughout a calm lagoon.  This picture perfect place is best seen from the top of Mt Pindito where one can observe the entire lagoon from above.  For this photo I have used HDR photography to stitch 3 photos together in order to bring out the best blues and greens possible.

Raja Ampat 2014

Mike just spent three weeks scouting Raja Ampat before our big trip out there in March 2015, here are a few samples of the stunning topside scenery that we will hopefully encounter while we are there.  The topside scenery of Raja was stunning as usual and Mike was even able to explore a few places he has not visited before such as Ayu Atoll.  Although he didn’t do a lot of diving and there are no underwater shots to be shown, the trip was incredible and we can’t wait for our big 2015 Underwater Tribe trip with the Mermaid II liveaboard coming soon!

Fishermen approaching their boats, Misool, Raja Ampat

Two fishermen approach their boats, Raja Ampat

Sand Spit, Ayu, Raja Ampat

Ayu Atoll sandy beach, Raja Ampat

Jetty and shallow reef, Raja Ampat

Local jetty in Ayu Atoll, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Ayu Atoll Village

Clean Streets in Ayu Atoll

Wayag Panoramic View

View from Wayag lookout

Split beach photo in Misool, Raja Ampat

Split beach photo, Misool, Raja Ampat

Kayak photo Waigeo Beach, Raja Ampat

POV photo while kayaking in Waigeo, Raja Ampat

Rocks and Beach, Raja Ampat

Black rocks surrounding a white beach, Raja Ampat

Fisherman and Storm, Raja Ampat

Fisherman seeking shelter from approaching storm, Raja Ampat

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