WORKSHOP 1 FULL. WORKSHOP 2 LAST SPACES. Once again Wetpixel and Alex Mustard have joined forces in Lembeh to run a very special Critter Photography Workshop. The three previous events have proved very popular, produced some stunning images and been tremendous fun, so please get in contact with us soon to be a part of this event. Once again we are returning to Lembeh in the autumn, which is traditionally the hottest time of year in the Strait, “it is usually dry weather and peak season for many critters,” says Alex.

There are TWO Workshops available (one is 8 nights with a 2-day extension, one is 9 nights), the teaching is planned to be identical on both and it is expected that most people will only join one workshop (although there is no rule against doing both). To book on this trip please email Adam Hanlon (adam@wetpixel.com).

A wide angle macro portrait of a hairy frogfish (striated frogfish: Antennarius striatus) waiting to ambush prey on a black sand slope. Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Molucca Sea.

Alex says, “I expect many of the people booking this trip will know exactly what to expect since they were there last time (the class of 2016, week 1 are below). The formula is the same: limit of 16 photographers, with a maximum ratio of two photographers to each of Critters@Lembeh’s famous dive guides. Last time the group was divided across three boats, each visiting different sites to avoid congestion around the most desirable subjects and to give everyone the flexibility to produce special images, we plan to do the same again.”

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Alex says “Wetpixel trips always try and include all the extras you need in the headline price. It means that our trips may look more expensive than others, but it saves you getting an unpleasant surprise at the end of your stay. This event includes unlimited diving (you can night dive every night), nitrox, meals, snacks, a massage, transfers and more. Even gratuities for the resort and dive shop staff are included, so you don’t have to travel with lots of cash.”

A snooted strobe is used to photograph a veined octopus (coconut octopus: Amphioctopus marginatus) sheltering in an old clam shell in a spotlight on the sandy seabed. Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lembeh Strait, Molucca Sea.

The workshop will focus on the techniques of macro and critter photography. The lectures will cover gear selection and options, focusing and framing techniques, high quality and creative lighting techniques and much more. Alex typically gives a talk each morning after breakfast to give you the best advice and ideas just before you go diving. After dinner, Alex will also conduct image review sessions, encouraging each participant to put in an image which is discussed by the group “it is a great chance to see what others have produced and get inspiration and suggestions for your own images.” Alex and Adam will also be around all day, helping with gear in the camera room and pre and post dive photo advice out on the boats.

Radiant sea urchins (long spined sea urchin: long-spined sea urchin: Astropyga radiata) are home to zebra urchin crab (Adams' urchin crab: Zebrida adamsii) and banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kaudemi) with schooling silversides behind, in shallow water. Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lembeh Strait, Molucca Sea.

Although the group will be split across three boats (Adam and Alex will rotate between them) we will exchange notes on what has been seen where and repeat the sites that are providing the most productive or turning up the most desirable critters. That said this is not a trip for wish lists, the goal is not seeing as many different critters as you can, but producing really outstanding critter photos. “I really believe in shooting what is common in Lembeh on that trip,” says Alex “get really special images of that subjects, because chances are, next time you visit it will be as rare as hen’s teeth.”

A pair of Pontoh's pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus pontohi) courting. This pair were dancing around each other with synchronised movements. This species was first described in 2008. Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Molucca Sea.

The main change to the workshop this time is that each week is longer than a week! One of the main comments after last year’s trip was that people didn’t want to go home! In fact they wanted more time to try the ideas and techniques that they had learned. The first workshop will be 8 nights, but with the option of a two day extension, where we will continue with unlimited diving, and with the same two photographers to a guide ratio, but the formal lectures and image reviews will stop. We will still offer some informal coaching, these extra two days are for putting-into-practice what you have learned. We’ve priced these extension days attractively, as we hope most of the group want to stay on. The second workshop will be 9 nights, with no extension, the extra day will hopefully give a little more time to absorb and put into use the ideas and techniques.

A pair of mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) mating/courtship. The smaller male, right, is riding on top of the female as he tries to place his sperm sac inside her mantle with his arm. Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Molucca Sea.

Alex has been diving in Lembeh since the 1990s and Lembeh Resort is a firm favorite of his and has seen it and the diving operation Critters@Lembeh evolve, through constant attention to detail, into arguably the finest dive resort in the world. Even with a group of 30+ for the 2013 workshop, everyone felt that the resort could have been purpose built individually for them, and all the staff knew the names and favorite drinks of all the guests from the first day! However, we now limit the workshop to 16. As our hosts, Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh play a big part in this very rewarding event. Read more about the resort (http://www.lembehresort.com).

A veined octopus (coconut octopus: Amphioctopus marginatus) rests on top of the two halves of an old clam shell on the sandy seabed. These octopus regularly carry pieces of shell so they can use them as protective armour if required. Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lembeh Strait, Molucca Sea.

THE PACKAGE

We know that this trip will be very popular. So without further ado, here are the booking details!

WORKSHOP 1 – is 8 nights and costs $4425 USD. If you add the two extra put-it-into-practice days, then 10 nights are $5225 USD. Dates 5-13/15th October 2018.

WORKSHOP 2 – is 9 nights and costs $4825 USD. Dates 15-24th October 2018.

All packages based on double occupancy in Deluxe Cottage, other accommodation options available (ask Adam).

The packages include

  • Unlimited guided boat dives with nitrox
  • Unlimited guided house reef dives with nitrox (7am-10pm)
  • Unlimited night dives/mandarin dives with Nitrox (note: mandarin dives have limited spaces)
  • Alex Mustard’s Critter Photography Workshop
  • All meals, snacks etc
  • One cocktail and one 2-hour spa treatment
  • All gratuities

Search “Lembeh Strait” in the Image Search to see some of Alex’s photographs from this destination.

A pair of giant frogfish (Antennarius commersoni), male on the left, female above on right on sponges. Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lembeh Strait, Molucca Sea.

 

For further information and reservations, please email Adam (adam@wetpixel.com). Only a deposit can reserve your place.