Daram, Raja Ampat


I think the best way to show you the different beautiful areas of our Raja Ampat trip is to split it up somewhat based on my little route map, first stop Daram. Here we visited Andiamo and The Candy Store divesites. Please click on the images to see them larger on phase.

The image above shows the silversides racing back and forth just under the surface of the water (chased by the jacks pictured here).

We dropped down on our first dive (on the Candy Store) and I found this little chap sitting in a fan at about 18m. For those who don’t know, He’s a Bargibant pygmy seahorse (this one was about 2cm tall).

The image below is of a scorpion fish blending himself in with the reef.

This area has some of the biggest sea fans I’ve ever scene, much bigger than a person (and impossible for me to light), here are two biggish ones.. these are at the limit of the lighting I have with the tiny strobe arms on my camera.

for more images of the divesites at Daram see the full Raja Gallery here. I hope you enjoyed those and will tune in tomorrow for the next stop on our tour.

PhotoFriday – ‘Dad’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Dad’

Here in the UK its fathers day on Sunday. While we’re all thinking about our dear old dads, spare a thought for the tiny fathers in the sea who actually give birth to their offspring such as this very pregnant pygmy seahorse above!

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Dad’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Little things’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Little things’

I’ve very recently did two large posts on underwater macro photography (see here for with a 60mm – the set-up still for sale and here for 105mm). I love to take photographs of little things – this weeks photofriday theme, so I thought I’d focus (no pun intended ;)) on newer photos. The photo above is of a tiny pygmy squid I saw on my recent trip to Raja Ampat. Another little creature is the now famous pygmy seahorse. If you are thinking of photographing these adorable little creatures be sure to check out the Pygmy Pledge – the code of conduct for photoing these little guys. They get stressed by the light of the flashguns incredibly easily and can die as a result so to limiting your shots (to four or five) means you spend a long time waiting at depth for them to turn their little heads towards you. It doesn’t aways result in you getting the shot as these photos show but you get to spend quality time observing them safe in the knowledge you arn’t harming or upsetting them.

There are a couple of different types, above is a photo of a bargibanti pygmy seahorse (the knobbly-looking chubby ones) and below a photo of a Denise pygmy seahorse (the slightly less knobbly and skinner ones). There are also other types but I didnt see those on that trip.

They are masters of camouflage – can you spot the one in the photo below? Sometimes on the dive its hard to see them even when they are pointed out to you.

You can see more Raja Ampat photos here.

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Little things’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

Misool, first stop in Raja Ampat

The area of Raja Ampat boasts the highest level of marine biodiversity on the planet. Our first stop as we headed out from Sorong was to the south, the area of Misool. Here we spent several days diving the following spectacular dive sites:

Kalig Wall, Nudi Rock, Boo East, Boo Windows, Barracuda Rock, Wedding Cake, Wayil Island, Yilliet Kecil, Magic Mountain, Boo West, Baby Rock.
Here we saw many amazing critters from Skeleton Shrimp and Pygmy Sea horses, to sea snakes, to sea fans that grow bigger than a person.

This tiny pygmy squid we saw on a night dive was particularly adorable!

Each morning and evening we were treated to beautiful skies. I tried to capture them with my iPhone in panorama mode:

At the Boo Windows dive site there was a school of very friendly Batfish. I happened to have a macro lens on so I took this portrait

The camouflage of the critters is amazing sometimes, see if you can spot the pygmy seahorse in the photo below:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. There will be more to come from Raja Ampat in the following days…

PhotoFriday – ‘Mother Nature’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Mother Nature’

Click image to go to see alternate sizes (they look better larger).

Mother Nature can be kind and she can be fierce! We’ve all recently seen on the news the devastating effects of mother nature when she gets angry so here I wanted to show her gentle side with a photo of a tiny creature called a weedy pygmy seahorse. This delicate little one was so small I could hardly see him with my naked eye!

Speaking of world-wide disasters, if you love great photos and want to help out the Doctors Without Borders with their humanitarian efforts across the globe stop by the Images Without Borders site and purchase an image…
http://www.imageswithoutborders.org/ All the proceeds go to the Doctors Without Borders charity.

My little seahorse comes from Indonesia, if you want to see more photos from where he lives then check out other photos in my Raja Ampat Gallery.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Mother Nature’ here.

Photo Friday – ‘Difficult Shot’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ‘Difficult Shot’

This pregnant pygmy seahorse was the first one I’d ever seen. It was tricky for me because he (yes he, the fathers have the babies!) was only 1 cm high and at 18 meters down his camouflage was so good I could hardly see where he was on the red fan. Also sea horses have a tendency of turning away their heads. I had to have perfect buoyancy because I could not lay on the reef (obviously). Oh, and I was using someone else’s camera (since I’d flooded mine earlier in the week). All in all I was pleased with the result :)

Click image to go to see alternate sizes.. and the rest of the gallery.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Difficult Shot’ here.