In September of 2012, I had some vacation time booked, and of all the places I could have gone for 7 days, I chose Indonesia. After 3 flights, a lengthy car ride, and then a boat ride to an island, I arrived at Lembeh Resort in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lembeh Resort is truly spectacular! The service, food, accommodations, dive staff, and general atmosphere is really top notch. Everyone there makes you feel so welcome and it was really hard to leave at the end of our stay. I had an amazing room that over looked the Lembeh Strait and it had the most beautiful view of the sunset against a volcano. Nightly, I would sit and watch the sun go down with Bintangs in my hands (that’s the local beer).
Diving in Lembeh is unlike any other place in the world. The Lembeh Strait is home to some of the most diverse and bizarre marine creatures in the world. It’s all muck diving (mostly sand/rubble bottom, with very small amounts of coral) so it is perfect for macro photography. For me, every muck dive is like a little treasure hunt… you know there are little animals hiding all around you, waiting to be photographed, but sometimes they’re almost impossible to find! Thankfully, I had an amazing dive guide (Jhoe) for the majority of the time, who kept me busy photographing creature after creature that I’d never seen before.
If you thought macro photography on land was even the slightest bit hard to do, macro underwater is a whole other story. On top of everything that you need to think of on land, you need to have complete control over your buoyancy, keep an eye on your dive computer, always be aware of your surroundings so you don’t trample the small homes of other amazing creatures, and then try to point a bulky camera housing with external strobes at a tiny little subject. Major respect goes out to those accomplished macro underwater shooters that can just ‘do’ this without a second thought – and of course use the Subsee. I can barely use it on land!!
This was my first dive trip where I had my own camera set up the whole time, so it was my first real go at underwater photography – so please be gentle! Enjoy these photos from diving the Lemebeh Strait!