NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week 2016 Summary

Lembeh Group Photo

We have just finished our 4th Annual Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Resort Photo Fun Week and it was a resounding success! Along with the Underwater Tribe’s Mike and Luca as instructors, we also welcomed Doug and Lorenza Sloss of UW Lightroom to the teaching team to add a vast knowledge of Lightroom and Photoshop to this year’s event.

InstructorsThe event started on the 30th of July with a few people arriving in the afternoon joining those who arrived early with a relaxed day of diving and gear prep before the evening “Welcome Session” and introduction after dinner. We welcomed 15 folks from around the world on the first day with another 3 joining a few days late for a total of 18 participants along with our 3 underwater instructors. Joining us this year was a great mix of participants from Singapore, Belgium, Australia, the USA, the UK, and Italy. During this session the instructors were able to give a run down of what to expect throughout the week as well as an opportunity for the participants to introduce themselves and give a short statement about what they were hoping to learn during the week. As many people traveled a long distance to get to Lembeh, we had a short night so that everyone could get their rest for the first day of diving on the 31st.

Our daily schedule consisted of an early breakfast before heading out on NAD’s large, fast, and comfortable boats for two dives before heading back to the resort for a tasty buffet style lunch. After lunch each day, one of the instructional team presented a short discussion about photography followed by an afternoon dive and then an open discussion forum at 5pm which focused on Lightroom as well as an opportunity to spend time 1:1 with the instructors for photo critiquing and general discussion about photography tips. For most evenings, we followed dinner with another Instructional presentation, however, this year we organized the opportunity for our participants to join a Black Water Night Dive for a truly extraordinary photo opportunity.

One of the hallmarks of an Underwater Tribe Photography Event is that the instructors do not bring cameras during the dives, this allows the participants to maximize their learning time not just in the classroom but also underwater. Armed with slates in hand, Mike, Doug, and Luca accompanied the guests on 17 dives throughout the week offering immediate suggestions on strobe positioning and exposure as well as helping with snooting and backlighting options. This technique proved to be of paramount importance during the critiquing and personal sessions in the afternoons as it allowed the instructors to personally suggest improvements and ideas to further everyone’s development.

workshop2016 (8 of 11)As is the case with most of our workshops, the participants ranged from brand new photographers to experienced ones with 100s of dives with a camera. To be sure that everyone was on the same page, we started the week off with the basics of Exposure and Lighting along with what we term “normal” strobe positioning. Also during the first day of presentations, Doug delved into the Lightroom workflow to get everyone on the right track with image management. Throughout the week we then discussed other underwater photography topics such as: Blue and Black Macro Backgrounds, Creative Strobe Positioning, Composition, Shooting Wide in Lembeh, Constant Light, Limited Depth of Field, Snooting, and Backlighting. We also presented Lightroom tips and tricks during the Developing stage with examples of the Radial Overlay and Adjustment Brush tools to get everyone’s images popping.

workshop2016 (3 of 11)Of course our report wouldn’t be complete without mention of the amazing critters that we encountered in Lembeh. Hairy octopus, mating blue ring octopus, mimic octopus, coconut octopus, rhinopias, oodles of nudibranchs, shaun the sheep nudibranch, bumblebee shrimp, harlequin shrimp, frogfish galore, three different species of pygmy seahorse, and everything else that a trip to the Lembeh Strait can offer. With the fantastic 2:1 dive guide to guest ratio that NAD offers their guests, it seemed that we were finding a new and exotic critter every few minutes. One of the best advantages of being able to dive with an operator offering such a low guide to guest ratio is the fact that photographers don’t feel rushed by others and can take their time to set up a photograph correctly. (except in the case of pygmy seahorses where photographers are limited to the number of photos they can take)

During the last night of our event we collected everyone’s best photos of the week and presented a beautiful 20 minute slideshow which showcased some amazing images from everyone. We can say that everyone was very impressed by the fantastic photographs that everyone presented and it was very exciting to see photographs which were inspired by many of the tips and tricks presented during the week. Sooner than expected the final dives were made and the computers and cameras were packed up to signal the end of this years event. All in all, it was another fantastic experience at NAD Lembeh Resort this year and we are busy making plans for 2017. The entire week ran very smoothly due to the hard work of the friendly staff and a fun atmosphere on the boats and at the resort from morning and often late into the night. We would like to thank Simon, Zee, Serge and the entire staff of NAD Lembeh Resort for helping us host this years Photo Fun Week. We would also like to thank Doug and Lorenza Sloss for joining us this year to help expand the event and create a fun atmosphere for everyone. Last but not least, a special thank you for all of this year’s participants, we hope you had as much fun as we did and also learned some exciting new tricks to improve your photography!

Until next year

The Underwater Tribe and UW Lightroom

 

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Komodo July 2016 with the Underwater Tribe

We have been keeping this one a little close to the chest, but now it’s time to announce it to the masses!

We are excited to publicly announce two very special trips to Komodo National Park this coming July with the Underwater Tribe.  We have reserved back to back sailings with the exclusive live aboard “Wellenreng” in the wonderful Komodo National Park, Indonesia.

The dates for these two trips are 5 – 14 July and 15 – 24 July 2016.  What makes these trips so special is that the boat hosts just 3 cabins, which means our group will have a maximum of only 6 guests!  With such a small group we will be able to pick and choose the best sites at the best times to avoid the crowds and dive the sites at the most opportune times, rather than sticking to a set schedule like larger boats do.  If we find a particular site is really hot for diving and photography, we will stay on the site all day if we want!  The Wellenreng prides itself on fantastic personal service which is one of the reasons we have chosen to work with the vessel, combined with their intimate knowledge of the area and flexibility of schedule.  Of course the Underwater Tribe also knows a lot about the Komodo area so we will personally discuss the diving plans each day with the crew to ensure we are at the right place at the right time.  Mike or Luca will be on the boat to host and lead the trip; we will not be conducting a formal photo workshop, however we will certainly be on hand to help everyone with their photography needs and conduct evening presentations about underwater photography and Indonesia in general.

July is a great time to dive the area with a very good chance of encountering mantas, turtles, and sharks.  Komodo is home to some of the most varied diving that Indonesia has to offer with a huge range of eco systems to visit such as beautiful hard coral reefs, manta ray cleaning stations, action packed pinnacle dives, and amazing black sand muck dives as well.  The sheer variety of dives in the Komodo area is a great attraction for underwater photographers who enjoy a mix of both wide angle and macro subjects and is one of the reasons we visit there every year.

There is only one full cabin available for each of our two sailings so please get in contact with us ASAP if you would like to confirm your place on one of these very special trips.  The cabin can be configured as either a twin or double so it’s perfect for either a couple or else two friends to share.  There is also the possibility to join us on back to back trips to spend almost one month of diving in Komodo!

In addition to this trip we will be also running a special underwater photography warm up session in Bali.

Send us an inquiry at info@underwatertribe.com

wellenreng boat photo komodo

Summarized:

Underwater Tribe/Wellenreng Liveaboard

Trip 1: 05-14 July 2016 – 9 nights with 4 dives a day for most days

Trip 2: 15-24 July 2016 – 9 nights with 4 dives a day for most days

Arrival and Departure from Labuan Bajo ( Komodo).

The trip costs 3800 Euro per person plus 200 Euro for Park/Harbour fees and 100 Euro for Nitrox.

(Park fees and nitrox to be paid on board)

The boat will depart and return to Labuan Bajo for each trip, therefore, guests will need to arrive into Indonesia from Bali and then connect to Labuan Bajo via domestic flight (approximately $200 USD return)  We recommend that guests arrive in Bali at least 1 day ahead of the domestic flight and plan their international departure one day after their domestic flight case of delays.

 

Included in the price:
Accommodation in cabins with air conditioning, private toilet with shower, bathrobe & towels
Full board with extensive breakfast and two hot meals per day
Fresh fruits and snacks at any time, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, free tea and coffee
Use of all onboard equipment, use of the fiberglass boats (6 m), Bauer compressors, tanks and weights
3-4 guided dives per day guided by an experienced Indonesian dive guide.
Transfer from the local airport to the dive boat Wellenreng and return to the local airport
Land excursions during the dive trip
Nitrox for day dives                  (Please note that we cannot guarantee availability because the oxygen suppliers are not always reliable in Indonesia)
Harbour & National Park Fees  (Please note: national park fees can be changed by the local government or the national park office without any advance notice)

 

Komodo Liveaboard Trip Does Not Include:

Not Included in the price :
Airfares (domestic and international)
Alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine
Nitrox during Night Dive  ( due to limited stock)
Single cabin surcharge
Crew Gratuities
Health, Travel and Dive insurance ( Strongly recommend)
Excess luggages fee
Airport tax and departure tax

Hotel, airport transfers in Bali prior or after the trip

 

Please email us at for more information

How To?? – Shoot Underwater With Filters

Filter PhotographyShoot Underwater with a Filter

Filter photography has really come into it’s own with the advent of digital photography and the ability to white balance underwater. Although it has been used for a long time with digital video underwater, red filters and white balancing did not really become popular with still photographers until the early to mid 2000s. The use of a filter underwater allows the photographer to filter out some of the nasty blues and greens that dominate the colour spectrum deeper than 10 feet and bring back a warm colour balance along with a lot of contrast and typically a beautiful blue. Shooting with a Filter of any sort is actually quite easy, here are a few tips to get you started:

 

  1. Don’t Use Strobes – to get the most from a filter it’s best to use with natural light only
  2. Stay Shallow – as the shot will be illuminated with natural light, the best results are typically from 15 m (50ft) or shallower
  3. Keep the Sun Behind You – the key to illuminating the subject properly and getting the best colour is to have the sun helping
  4. Shoot Slightly Down- although this sounds like the opposite of what is drilled into new photographers (Shoot UP!) in natural light or filter photography shooting on a slightly downward angle helps
  5. Use manual white balance and re set it prior to shooting each new subject
  6. Concentrate on using a wide angle lens, this will provide the best potential for filters. Macro is best shot with strobes

That’s it! Now it’s just a case of getting your hands on some filters and a nice shallow dive site. Our friends over at Magic Filters provide the best and largest range of filters for underwater photographers so head on over to their website to have a look at their products.

Doug Sloss Joins us in Lembeh in 2016

We are excited to announce that world famous photographer and Post Processing wizard Doug Sloss will be joining us for our Lembeh Strait Photo Funweek at NAD Lembeh Resort for 2016.  As an update, we have also changed dates for this exciting event from May to July/August, the new dates for our Lembeh Photo Week are 30 July – 6 August 2016.  Doug is a long time friend of the Underwater Tribe and NAD Lembeh Resort and he and his wife Lorenza are one of the top underwater photography and post processing teams on the planet.  Like any Underwater Tribe photo fun week (click to read about our 2015 Lembeh Photo week), Doug will be joining the guests underwater with a slate in hand, as opposed to a camera, in order to help the participants get their best possible images.  Throughout the week Doug will be presenting tips and tricks about Lightroom and Photoshop as well as being on hand to give individual help to everyone.

Here is a brief bio about Doug:

Doug Sloss Bio Pic“Doug Sloss is an underwater and landscape photographer, photography educator, and digital image developing enthusiast based in the Rockies just outside Denver Colorado. Once a long time photo pro and dive instructor in Palau, Micronesia, his award winning photography has appeared in numerous diving magazines and books worldwide. His passion for teaching photography led to a successful series of DVD tutorials he’s created that help underwater and topside shooters of all levels professionally post-process their images with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. He is the principal photographer at Studio Sloss and is an expedition leader and photo pro for Beyond The Capture Photo Tours, a company he owns with his wife Lorenza. When not shooting client work for his Colorado based photo studio, he offers a select calendar of field workshops, photo tours and image developing classes throughout the year and spends time teaching his little man Sam how to scuba dive.”

 

To find out more about Doug please visit his website www.underwaterlightroom.com

For more information about our UWT/NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week 2016 please visit our Lembeh 2016 web page or email us at info (at)underwatertribe.com

Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week Wrapup

Group photo of workshop

Another Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Resort Photo Fun Week has come to an end and we have arrived home back in Bali already missing the great atmosphere and wonderful food at NAD. We aren’t sad though because we are happily reminiscing over what a wonderful week we have just had with a great group of people. It all started on the 18th of July with all of our guests arriving by the mid afternoon. After having the chance to set up equipment in NAD’s spacious camera room, we all gathered together after dinner to discuss the plans for the upcoming week and listen to a quick strobe primer by Mike before enjoying a wonderful slideshow about the cool critters we could expect to see throughout the week presented by NAD manager Serge.

Serge Presents

 

The following morning, and for each of the next 5 days, our schedule consisted of heading out after breakfast for 2 dives in the diverse Lembeh Strait. Our bottom times were set to 75 minutes max with between dives snacks and hot drinks served on the roomy and fast boats. With 1 dive guide for every 2 guests, plus 2 photo instructors in the water with slates in hand, everyone was well looked after in the water and there were critters a plenty every day. After lunch back at the resort, we gathered in the upstairs area for a daily presentation before heading out on an afternoon dive. After the afternoon dive we would gather in the restaurant for our daily critiquing and Lightroom sessions before dinner. After dinner each night we would then meet once again upstairs for another presentation as well as a primer on the next days dives and a suggestion of what to work on in the way of photographic technique.

Guide Rokles gives a briefing

Topics throughout the week consisted of the following: Strobe Positioning, Shooting Wide in Lembeh, The Basics of Lighting (fstops, shutter speeds and how they work together), Lightroom, Shooting with a Constant Light Source, Blue and Black Macro Backgrounds, Snooting, and How to Win a Photo Competition. In the water, Mike and Luca spent every dive with a slate in hand working one to one with our students helping them with new techniques in order for them to improve their photography with practical underwater hands on help. One of the big successes this year was the effectiveness of the evening Lightroom and critiquing sessions as everyone gathered in the restaurant each day for image review and Lightroom technique tutorials in a relaxed atmosphere.

Luca Presenting

 

On the last day our schedule consisted of just 2 morning dives with the afternoon scheduled for final image review and the preparation of images for the final night slideshow! The big event at the end of all of our photo workshops is a slideshow of everyone’s favourite images taken throughout the week which are shown in random order on the big screen in order to show the highlights of diving in Lembeh. We don’t create a competitive atmosphere during our workshops and we don’t offer prizes because we believe this creates too much competitiveness amongst participants and takes away from the fun vibe of our “Fun Weeks”. Our NAD 2015 final slideshow showcased some of the best images we have seen from all of our workshops over the years and we are very happy to showcase some of the images from the participants below!  The list of critters that we encountered throughout the week is too long to mention but some of the memorable ones include multiple blue ring octopus, hairy frogfish, loads of different frogfish from tiny to giant, ghost pipefish, wonderpus, harlequin shrimp, and even an eagle ray!

Group shot on Boat

 

Thanks to all of this year’s participants from Australia, the Netherlands, and the USA, we had a few familiar faces this week as well as a great group of new participants, we look forward to seeing you all again soon on a future Underwater Tribe event. Enough with the chit-chat, lets get on with the presentation of some great images from the gang for a very well deserved round of applause.

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The Underwater Tribe / NAD Lembeh Workshop Final Day

The UWT/NAD Banner

It’s an emotional day here in Lembeh, we finished our last 2 dives this morning and are now sitting around the table prepping images for tonight’s exciting final night slideshow.  Why is it an emotional time? Because the diving has come to an end and we are all leaving tomorrow!  It has been a fun week with lots of laughs and some very cool critter encounters and we will be posting a full report soon including guest images.  We are happy to say that the final dive of the trip sure ended on a high note with a very patient blue ring octopus and a flambouyant cuttlefish. Thanks to all of our guests and we hope to see you all again soon for next years Lembeh photo fun week, please stay tuned for the upcoming report!

 

 

Building Camaraderie with Underwater Photography

Camaraderie with Underwater Photography

One of the most interesting things about our annual photo workshops is the new and interesting people that we meet each year.  For this years Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week, we have all new guests except for one guest who is now joining us for his third workshop with the Underwater Tribe!  Guests this year are joining us from the USA, Australia, and the Netherlands and everyone is getting along very well with a great feeling of camaraderie on the boat between dives.  One of the highlights of our photo classes is the late afternoon/evenings when we have an informal Lightroom and Photo Critiquing period before dinner.  This photo shows everyone chatting about the days dives and helping each other with different ideas for composition as well as showing everyone their best photos.  Join us next year for a fun event with a lot of new friends.

Underwater Tribe/ NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week

The UWT/NAD Banner

It’s on!  The Third Annual Underwater Tribe/NAD Lembeh Photo Workshop started today with a bang!  All of our guests arrived by the 18th and after a nice dinner we gathered upstairs in the NAD Lounge in order to present the schedule of the week, introduce ourselves, and enjoy a beautiful slideshow from Serge, the manager of NAD Lembeh Resort.  On the morning of the 19th, we headed out early with the gang to start the first of 17 scheduled dives in the always fruitful Lembeh Strait.  With a dive guide for every 2 divers we are very fortunate to be diving with NAD as they are one of the only dive centres in the world to offer such a great ratio.  With the weird and wonderful critters to be found in Lembeh, having lots of dive guides accompanying us is a great way for all of our participants to get the most of their experience here.  It didn’t take long for the full effect of this wonderful ratio to take effect as the critter list from our first day of diving is long!  Tozuma shrimp, harlequin shrimp, frogfish of every hue and colour, lemon gobies, spiny devilfish, melibe nudibranch, and a great encounter with a blue ring octopus.

 

Luca and Steve

On the educational side of things the first day of our workshops are always dedicated to working out proper strobe positioning and we spend a lot of time underwater working one on one with the students to perfect their techniques.  In the classroom, we broke down the basics of f-stops and shutter speeds and spent a few hours working one to one with everyone about Lightroom techniques.

Tomorrow we head out on an octopus hunt!  More updates from Lembeh soon

Serge

 

Mike

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