Indo-Pacific Images http://www.indopacificimages.com Underwater Photography in the Asia Pacific Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:15:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Diving Papua New Guinea: Kimbe Bay, the Coral Crucible – X-Ray Article http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/09/diving-papua-new-guinea-kimbe-bay-the-coral-crucible-x-ray-article/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/09/diving-papua-new-guinea-kimbe-bay-the-coral-crucible-x-ray-article/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 17:34:21 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=15298 Kimbe Bay, The Coral Crucible - X-Ray Article

Kimbe Bay, The Coral Crucible – X-Ray Article

There is a line of thought in the scientific community that this is where it all began and the first corals originated… a large sheltered bay, roughly one third along the north coast of the island now called New Britain.

The bay is called Kimbe and the country is Papua New Guinea — the wild and exciting nation crafted together in colonial times from the eastern half of the huge island of New Guinea and a string of other islands stretching out in to the Bismarck and Solomon Seas.

Depending on which survey results are used, Kimbe Bay is host to around 860 species of reef fish, 400 species of coral and at least 10 species of whales and dolphins. To put that in a global perspective — in an area roughly the same as California, PNG is home to about 5% of the world’s marine biodiversity.

Just under half of that fish fauna, and virtually all of the coral species can be found in Kimbe Bay, which means that the bay can be considered as a kind of fully stocked marine biological storehouse.

X-Ray dive magazine has just published a 10 page article of mine that documents the incredible diving in Kimbe Bay and the extensive efforts being made to protect and conserve it.

You can download it on this link to Papua New Guinea, Kimbe Bay – The Coral Crucible.

 

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Diving Indonesia – 2015 Raja Ampat Photo Workshops http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/04/diving-indonesia-2015-raja-ampat-photo-workshops/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/04/diving-indonesia-2015-raja-ampat-photo-workshops/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:15:29 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=14395 Raja Ampat Photo Workshops2015 is really shaping up to be a big year for me and I have been asked to lead two photo workshops in Raja Ampat for City Seahorse Charters!

City Seahorse is run from Dallas in the USA by Deb Fugitt, one of the real pioneers of diving in Raja Ampat and somebody who started out running group diving trips at dive camps on one of the islands of the Dampier Strait back when there was virtually no tourism infrastructure or liveaboards working the area.

I read about her exploits in various forums back in about 2001 and did my first trip to the area with her in 2005 on the SMY Ondina.

I followed that trip with four more over the next few years and was always impressed with the way Deb organized things and made sure that her guests got on the best sites at the right time.

So it was quite an honor when Deb contacted two years ago to see if I was interested in being her assistant and “photo-pro” on her 2012 charters – something that took me a matter of milliseconds to sign up for…

I did the same in 2013 and really enjoyed the assignments – particularly the photo tuition as being able to teach people how to get the most out of all their expensive photography equipment and practice their technique on some of the best dive sites in the world is really quite something!

The Passage at Waigeo

The Passage at Waigeo

The customer feedback received convinced Deb that the City Seahorse 2015 liveaboard program should be expanded to include two, fully dedicated, 13 day photo workshops.

We have worked hard on the agenda the photo workshops to develop a quite unique value proposition that brings together Deb’s extensive experience of Raja Ampat with my knowledge of underwater photography.

I believe that good underwater photography starts on dry land, where camera functions and techniques can be more readily absorbed.

So, rather than expecting workshop participants to grasp basic techniques below water, the tuition begins in Sorong and we spend a day learning and practicing core competencies in the vibrant local markets such as Pasar Jimbutan Puri - a unique experience in itself!

We will then progress through the best dive sites in the Dampier Strait, the large island of Batanta with its great critter sites and the quite unique Misool archipelago.

Each day will have a specific learning objective which will be based on the specific dive sites and the photo-opportunities they offer.

The day’s diving will be used to achieve those objectives with tuition available between dives and in-water if necessary, then each evening we will do a review session with a general discussion on lessons learned.

The trips are scheduled for the 4-17 April 2015 and the 16-29 November 2015 – I really do hope you can join Deb & I for one of them!

Details, prices, travel itinerary, inclusions, exclusions for both photo workshops are available on this link to City Seahorse:

http://www.cityseahorse.com/underwater-photo-indonesia-rajaampat-2015-1.php

If you would like to know more about the workshops themselves and what you will learn please contact me at don.silcock@gmail.com

Don

Raja Ampat Image Gallery

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Diving Indonesia – The Rich Currents of Raja Ampat http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/03/diving-indonesia-the-rich-currents-of-raja-ampat/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/03/diving-indonesia-the-rich-currents-of-raja-ampat/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 02:41:56 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=14177 Nuigini Blue magazine - Raja Ampat article

Nuigini Blue magazine – Raja Ampat article

Very high on most divers and underwater photographer’s “bucket list” is Raja Ampat, the remote archipelago of over 1500 island in the far east of Indonesia.

A long way from everywhere… it is Raja Ampat’s remoteness, and the rich currents that surge through the area, that has made the area so incredibly biodiverse and offer such tremendous diving!

In 2013 I completed my 6th trip in 8 years to Raja Ampat (or R4 as it often referred to) and my 3rd as the photo-guide with Deb Fugitt’s City Seahorse charters.

My first trip was back in 2005 and I went back again in 2006 and 2008. Then in 2012 Deb asked me to be her assistant and photo-guide on that year’s trips, which was a great way to learn more about the area from someone who was one of the early pioneers of diving in Raja Ampat and has probably led more trips there than anybody else.

I have since documented my experience on those trips, and the fantastic sites we dived, in various magazine articles and have just had another seven page article published in Nuigini Blue.

If you are interested in diving Raja Ampat you can download the full article on this LINK.

I have also added numerous new pages to my Raja Ampat location guide which has lots of information on the area plus detailed dive site descriptions and image galleries.

 

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Diving The Solomon Islands: Uepi Island and Munda in New Georgia – X-Ray Article http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/01/diving-the-solomon-islands-uepi-island-and-munda-in-new-georgia-x-ray-article/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2014/01/diving-the-solomon-islands-uepi-island-and-munda-in-new-georgia-x-ray-article/#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2014 14:22:02 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=13978 X-Ray Magazine Solomon Islands article

X-Ray Magazine Solomon Islands article

Like a series of random punctuation marks, the many islands of the Solomons archipelago lay along the southern section of the Pacific Ring of Fire, in between the countries of Papua New Guinea to the north, and Vanuatu to the south.

An independent country since 1976, the Solomon Islands are a quite special blend of Pacific Island Melanesian culture and phenomenal tectonic forces, which have created a chain of mountainous islands that are rich in native rainforest, spectacular volcanoes and incredible lagoons.

Underwater there are rich reef systems and an amazing variety of marine life together with one of the highest concentrations of WWII wrecks in the Pacific.

In mid 2013 I finally made it to the Solomons, having heard and read much about the diving there – but where to go in a country that consists of nearly 1000 islands?

I decided to start with Uepi Island and Munda in New Georgia and spent three weeks diving the great sites there. I documented the whole experience in a 12 page article that has just been published in X-Ray magazine, with one of the images from Su Su Hiti near Munda getting the highly-prized front cover!

You can download the complete article on this LINK – 9MB file…

 

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Underwater Photo Equipment: Mirrorless Cameras – Macro Photography Part 2 http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/12/underwater-photo-equipment-mirrorless-cameras-macro-photography-part-2/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/12/underwater-photo-equipment-mirrorless-cameras-macro-photography-part-2/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 15:07:19 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=13487 Mirrorless Macro Underwater Photography Part 2

Mirrorless Macro Underwater Photography Part 2

The march of the mirrorless cameras continues with each new camera that is released and the technology really does have great potential for underwater macro photography.

The macro lenses available for the Micro Four Thirds (Panasonic and Olympus) format is really quite impressive.

Combine those lenses with the small form factor of the cameras and their housings and mirrorless cameras become a really serious contender for macro where size (smaller the better…) really does matter!

In this article, the 5th in the series I wrote for X-Ray magazine, and Part 2 of 2 on macro underwater photography I detail the results I have achieved with the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

The full article can be downloaded on this LINK.

 

Next Page: Wide Angle Photography with Mirrorless Cameras – coming soon…

Back to: Underwater Photo Equipment: Mirrorless Cameras – Macro Photography Part 1

 

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Diving the Solomon Islands: The Sharks of Marovo Lagoon http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/10/diving-the-solomon-islands-the-sharks-of-marovo-lagoon/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/10/diving-the-solomon-islands-the-sharks-of-marovo-lagoon/#comments Sun, 27 Oct 2013 10:48:24 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=12850 The Sharks of the Marovo Lagoon

The Sharks of the Marovo Lagoon

The sharks of the Marovo Lagoon hold a special place in the local culture of this part of New Georgia, in the Solomon Islands.

In what is said to be the largest salt-water lagoon in the world, life revolves around its waters and swimming is as normal as walking – so from the earliest age Marovians learn about the inhabitants of the lagoon.

Reef sharks, rather than being feared, are regarded almost like dogs in that their behavior is generally docile and non-threatening, but they can quickly sense unease and can be potentially dangerous to those who fear or provoke them.

They are considered as “home” sharks, and a special type of fish that is at the top of the reef food chain – which is the major source of food for the people of the Marovo.

For that reason sharks are not eaten, because traditional conservation methods teach that removing such an important component of the food chain can create an imbalance which could have very serious ramifications!

You will see sharks on virtually every dive, but the best place to see a lot of them is the welcome jetty at Uepi Island resort where they gather in significant numbers!

The in-flight magazine of Solomon Airlines recently published an article of mine on the sharks of Marovo Lagoon which you can download on this LINK.

 

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Underwater Photo Equipment: Mirrorless Cameras – Macro Photography Part 1 http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/10/underwater-photo-equipment-mirrorless-cameras-macro-photography-part-1/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/10/underwater-photo-equipment-mirrorless-cameras-macro-photography-part-1/#comments Sun, 13 Oct 2013 11:31:44 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=12789

Mirrorless Macro Underwater Photography Part 1

Mirrorless cameras really do have great potential for underwater macro photography.

There are now some serious macro lenses available – particularly for the Micro Four Thirds (Panasonic and Olympus) format.

That capability combined with the small form factor of the cameras and their housings make mirrorless cameras a serious contender for macro where size (smaller the better…) really does matter!

In this article, the 4th in the series I wrote for X-Ray magazine, I explain that potential with a specific focus on the Olympus OMD.

The article is Part 1 of 2 on macro underwater photography and the second article is coming soon…

The full article can be downloaded on this LINK.

Next Page: Underwater Photo Equipment: Mirrorless Cameras – Macro Photography Part 2

Back to: Choosing an Underwater Mirrorless Camera Housing for Underwater Photography

 

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Diving Bali: An Insider’s Guide to Tulamben’s Liberty Wreck http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/10/diving-bali-an-insiders-guide-to-tulambens-liberty-wreck/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/10/diving-bali-an-insiders-guide-to-tulambens-liberty-wreck/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 08:46:24 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=12746 The Insiders Guide to the Liberty Wreck

The Insiders Guide to the Liberty Wreck

Located on the north-east coast of the Island of the Gods, Tulamben’s Liberty wreck is Bali’s most famous dive and on a busy day up to 150 divers visit it.

Divers travel from all over the world to experience it and to some degree the wrecks popularity is killing it – so is it still worth diving, or should we just move on and leave it to the backpackers?

In January last year I decided to try a bit of immersion therapy on the Liberty and instead of the usual 1 or 2 dives a day on the wreck when I stay in Tulamben, I did 4 to 5 a day for 6 days!

To be in the water by 6 everyday meant getting up at 5… and most days we would not leave the the wreck until full darkness had reclaimed it.

It was a really interesting and intensive experience that meant I got to know the wreck really well – much, much better than I thought I did! It also made me go back to look at all my images on the wreck since I first dived it in 1999 to try and quantify how it has changed over the years.

The whole experience was documented in an article that is in the latest issue of Australia’s SportDiving magazine plus I have added several pages to my site as a kind of “insiders guide to the Liberty Wreck”…

You can download the full article on this LINK.

Alternatively you can check out the pages and image galleries on my site and here is the LINK to the starting page and then just follow the links.

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Diving Indonesia – The Incredibly Rich Waters of Raja Ampat http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/09/diving-indonesia-the-incredibly-rich-waters-of-raja-ampat/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/09/diving-indonesia-the-incredibly-rich-waters-of-raja-ampat/#comments Sun, 01 Sep 2013 12:42:38 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=12718 X-Ray Magazine Raja Ampat Article

X-Ray Magazine Raja Ampat Article

Raja Ampat is probably the hottest dive location on the planet right now and last October/November I spent four weeks there diving the best sites in the Dampier Strait, Gam & Waigeo, Batanta and the incredible reefs of Misool in the south.

It was a tremendous experience and one I will be repeating again this year as I have signed up again to assist Deb Fugitt and her annual City Seahorse charters to Raja Ampat on the SMY Ondina.

X-Ray magazine just published a 12 page article of mine on the trip and, as usual, they did a great job of laying it all out!

If you are interested in diving Raja Ampat you can download the full article on this LINK.

I have also added numerous new pages to my Raja Ampat location guide which has lots of information on the area plus detailed dive site descriptions and image galleries.

 

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Underwater Photo Equipment: Mirrorless Cameras – Choosing an Underwater Housing http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/08/underwater-photo-equipment-mirrorless-cameras-choosing-an-underwater-housing/ http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php/2013/08/underwater-photo-equipment-mirrorless-cameras-choosing-an-underwater-housing/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 08:02:28 +0000 http://www.indopacificimages.com/?p=12480 Choosing an underwater housing for mirrorless cameras

Choosing an underwater housing for mirrorless cameras

Mirrorless cameras offer an excellent entry point in to the world of underwater photography.

The ability to use different lenses puts them well ahead of compact cameras, plus you can invest in good lenses and upgrade the bodies as the technology moves forward.

They are small, light and have much of the functionality and capability of DSLR’s, but are cheaper.

Their increasing popularity and the number of manufacturers making them indicates they are here to stay, but what about housing them for underwater photography?

Here the choices narrow significantly as many of the housing manufacturers stay away because of the rapid introduction of numerous new models makes it hard for them to stay the pace and make some money…

In this article, the third in the series I wrote for X-Ray magazine I review the housing and port choices available for the Olympus OMD, which is the mirrorless camera I chose to try out this new technology for underwater photography.

The full article can be downloaded on this LINK.

Back to: Choosing a Mirrorless Camera for Underwater Photography

 

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