Bali, Indonesia. September 2011
In mid-September I travelled to Bali in Indonesia. It was wonderful to arrive there. A place I had visited much in the past, but had not been to for 4 years, it immediately felt like a home away from home. A feeling that was certainly helped because I was staying at the most welcoming Scuba Seraya resort, enjoying typical Balinese hospitality. Oh and great diving. Scuba Seraya should feel like a home away from home because this was my 5th visit, I first went there in 2004, when the resort was on soft opening, but I had never seen it in ruder health than on this last visit. I am already looking forward to getting back there as soon as I can.
I was in Bali for the first leg of my Indonesia Photographers Group Trip for British travel agent Divequest and had many good friends joining me there for the tour. This was actually my third trip to Bali with a Divequest group, and in fact, Scuba Seraya was a resort that I introduced to Divequest and has been one of their most popular, ever since. The resort offers a range of local divests as well as house reef (black sand slope) that typically heaves with critters. And once again Bali didn't disappoint. Highlights included a pair of Rhinopias, mating wonderpus octopus (above) and the donut nudibranchs (below) an undescribed species. In addition to many species of nudibranchs, several species of frogfish, numerous shrimps, crabs, ghost pipefish and the wide angle at the USAT Liberty wreck.
I also managed a little topside shooting in Bali, because I had my 70-200mm lens along for the Komodo leg of this trip. The panorama of Scuba Seraya Resort and beneath the Mount Agung volcano (above) is composed of 12 separate frames, shot from the ocean.
The other nice thing about Bali is that you usually run into other interesting folks people there. It reminds you of how small our world is, which is nice. Although perhaps I shouldn't be grateful for the dodgy photos that Drew Wong took of me, seeming wearing nothing, save for my camera housing! A big thanks to Drew and Graham Abbott for stopping in. Sadly I wasn't able to meet up with everyone who got in touch, as I explained my first responsibility is always to look after my group. Also our few days there just weren't enough and they raced past. We were so busy in the water getting stuck into all the subjects, which were irresistible. Thank you to the all the staff at Scuba Seraya and thank you Bali!
I used the Nikon D7000 in the Nauticam housing with Nauticam's 45 degree viewfinder, I used the Zen 100 mini dome for wide angle and the Nauticam macro ports for close ups. For lenses I used the Tokina 10-17mm (sometimes with a 1.5x teleconverter), 60m and 105mm (sometimes with a 1.7x teleconverter). For topside I used my 70-200mm. I used FIT +5 and Subsee +5 dioptres. For strobes I used the Inon Z240s and Inon S2000 strobes which were optically triggered. I used a SOLA 600 focus light.
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