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Trip Report : Weda Halmahera - Indonesia - April 2019


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#1 paolobl65

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 10:49 AM

I was in Weda Resort ( http://www.wedaresort.com/)  Halmahera – Indonesia for a 12 days dive trip in April 2019 , and I’d like to share my experience .

 

Reservation :

I contacted the resort directly and discuss accommodation and diving . Payment possible on check out but I preferred to pay in advance so I get also discount 10% .

 

 

Get there :

I flew from Italy to Jakarta , stay some hours in an Hotel near airport and take late at night a direct flight to Ternate ( Halmahera Island ) landing the following day h 07:25 .

Pick up in the airport from the Weda staff and then 15’ by car + 45’ by speed boat + 2 hour 30’ by car so I arrived h 12:00 in Weda resort . Smooth and well organized .

 

Accomodation :

Very comfortable even without aircon because the roof leave the air to enter . I’d say is not a luxury bungalow as some other resort , anyway all what you need for a perfect diving vacation is well provided . Very clean room , confy bed with mosquito net , a large table to work with the camera , big bathroom with hot shower . A nice veranda to enjoy the sunset . And just few step from the diving and from the restaurant .

My only complain was the frogs were very noisy at night ! ( also becuase it was a lot of rain at night )

 

Restaurant : 

the food was very good and plenty ! Lunch and dinner was in family style and fish , chicken and at least 4 vegetarian options were served every time . 

Afternoon snack was served directly on the bungalow veranda ( this was a nice touch ! )

Wi-Fi works only in the restaurant and was just enough for some wathapps . 

 

Birdwatching :

I'm not a big fan of birdwatching but it's worth an early woke up end join the expedition to see the Standard Wing Bird of Paradise in the jungle . A big professional monocular was setted up by the guide , so I saw wery well his dancing ritual . The guide had incredible eyes and he showed me many others birds I cannot count .

 

Diving operation :

2 dives in the morning starting on 7:30 for reef dive and 1 dive in the afternoon 15:00 usually for macro . Night dive available ( but 3 dives was more than enoug for me because 70-90 minutes each one ) .

Dive boat was very confortable , fast , semicovered , easy to get in and out , plenty of space , and also rinse tank on board for 2 big DSLR camera ! 

Snack on board , as well as water , coffee and tea . Great crew , as always in Indonesia , take care of all .

Group are small , max 4 divers for 1 dive master , but usually 2-3 .

 

Diving :

As underwater photographer I was there for wide angle photography and I was not disappointed !!!

No other dive shop around , no big boat transit ( just some small fisherman boat ) …. all the sea was only for us !

Even if there was a lot of rain at night during my stay ( unusual for the period ) the visibility was from great to excellent . Anyway we had to dive mostly the off shore dive site ( Loleo , Tidore , Elmoos ) for best visibility . 

Hope next time I will be there ( … and yes , I have to came there again for sure ! ) I'll be able to dive the dive site close the coastline .

Macro dive was also good with some dives really "muck style " on sandy slope in search of mimic octopus and frog fish . 

Very special dives were Gorango and Shark Mountain in early morning dive . So many fish !

Dive condition was perfect : flat sea , warm water ( 29-31°C ) , great visiblity , none to moderate current . 

Great snorkeling possibility as well and fantastic shallow part of the reef .

 

It was really a great experience :  one of the best place I ever dived  for  wide  angle  photography   because  the  combination  of  three  key  factor  :   fantastic corals and very good fish life /   great  visibility  /  moderate  current ( to be able to manage flash positioning and accurate composition )  , ..... anyway more than thousand words  I think it is better to show you some photos :

 

 

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Edited by paolobl65, 23 June 2019 - 11:11 AM.


#2 paolobl65

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 11:10 AM

some more photos :

 

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in natural  light  with  Magic Filter 

 

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early morning  and  deep  dive  at  shark mountain  ( sadly non sun ! )  ,  too  much  fish  !

 

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all photos  with Canon 80D   and   Canon 8-15 mm  in  S&S housing  with  Zen  170 Dome port   +  2 x INON Z330 

 

If you like to see more  photos   about this  place   here is  my  Flick  gallery  :   https://www.flickr.c...th/48109615808/

 

 

Finally let me say a special thanks  to all the  Weda  Resort Staff  and  to my super  dive  Master  Demos  for  their  professionality and  courtesy .

 

All my  best

Paolo Isgro


Edited by paolobl65, 23 June 2019 - 11:21 AM.


#3 Robin-D

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:07 PM

great shots! Have to go to work now, will read the report in the evening, tnx! :clapping:


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#4 Architeuthis

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 01:00 AM

Hi Paolo,

 

Great photos from you, as always!

 

 

I have two questions:

 

#1.: How did you manage to get directly the sun into your photos (especially 3rd photo, but also the others, from first post), without getting ugly artifacts upon post-processing? I use OMD-EM1II and when I have the sun directly in the frame, the colors become very unpleasant after processing. According to DxO, the EM1II has even better dynamic range than the Canon 80D: https://www.dxomark....-II___1076_1136

 

Is my post-processing too rigorous?

Or is it the 14-bit digitalisation of the Canon vs. the 12-bit of the OMD that makes the difference?

Would you mind to disclose your settings?

 

#2.: In February 2020 I will go to Sorong, also via Jakarta. We arrive at 06:30 and depart at 00:30 - the traveling agency offers a day hotel where we can check in only at 14:00. Is it easily possible to go without prior reservation and find something, where one can check in just upon arrival?

 

Thanks, Wolfgang



#5 makar0n

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 09:10 AM

Hi Paolo,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. And great pics! Those loopy fishies round teh pier do look funny :)

As we are trying to decide where to go for our next trip.....how are other, non wide angles looking like there ? Any significant macro to speak of? Any signs of rays/mantas or other weird flying creatures ?

 

Cheers,

Martin



#6 Robin-D

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 09:12 AM

oke now I read it, looks like a very nice place to visit! Awesome


Nikon D800, Subal ND800, Inon's Z240's, 10-17, 17-35, 60, 105 http://www.instagram...bin_daalhuizen/

 

 


#7 paolobl65

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 11:35 AM

Hi Wolfgang ,

 

thank you for  your  comment .

 

#1 :  setting  3th  photo is  F20 - 1/250 - iso  100  (  see exif data here :  https://www.flickr.c...57708873533293/ )   and  with  this setting  the  sunburst  is  OK  ,  but  the  real  secret  to get   a  good  sunburst ( without  cyan  halo )  is  to  dive  very  shallow  (  3 m - 7 m ) .  In this  case  I dont  remember  exactly  but for  sure  5-6 m .

And  you need  to  stay  very close  to the  subject  ( CFWA is  better )   and  flash  full power  because  the  close  aperture  (  F20 this  time  ,   sometime  I use even F22 ) .

I  just  made  postprocessing in Lightroom  so  nothing  special .

 

 

#2 :  I used  Orchardz  Bandara hotel  near  Jakarta airport ,  check  in  available  from  08:00  (  booked  trough booking.com ) !

 

hope this  help

all my best

Paolo


Edited by paolobl65, 24 June 2019 - 09:20 PM.


#8 paolobl65

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 11:48 AM

Hi Martin ,  

 

thanks  for  your  comment .

 

I made  some  macro  shot  also ... but  not  really a  standard  macro  because  I  used  some   vintage  lens  (  Helios  and  Oreston  )  to  get  some  special  effect .

 

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about  macro there  were  some  mimic  and  wonderpuss ,  frog fish  , some nudi ,  shrimps ,  crabs  ,  the  highlight   for  me  was  a  junenile  zebra  batfish .

 

Not  so  bad   but  I  do  not  rate  this  place  as good  as  Tulamben , Anilao  or  Lembeh .

 

No  manta  because  the  water  was  so  clean  ,  but  some  shark .  

Incredible  dive  at  shark montain  h  06.30   at  34m    FULL of  fish  but so  dark (  no  sun  that  day )   autofocus  didnt  work  properly !!

 

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#9 ChrisRoss

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 10:29 PM

Great photos Paolo, I was there in November last year and already planning on going back, was quite happy with my first go with a fisheye lens till I saw your images.  I seemed to be plagued by some particles in the water even though visibility was 30-40m, think I need to experiment with strobe positions some more!  I recognise some of these scenes from my dives at Elmoos Reef. 



#10 makar0n

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 11:41 AM

Thanks a lot for the tips Paolo. Yeah, Lembeh will be hard to match.

Looking more for a bit of both worlds location, so one can do a bit of wa, bit of macro and so on...if there is something bigger (especially flying things, since I am fixated on these) then great. Well let's see, can always go back to Komodo :) Alternatively Dumaguete looks interesting, though tad hard to get to.

And your octopus has definitely 80s vibe :D


Edited by makar0n, 25 June 2019 - 11:43 AM.


#11 TimG

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 11:48 AM

Some super pics there, Paolo. Lovely work! That vintage lens effect is terrific.


Tim
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#12 ChrisRoss

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 05:21 PM

Thanks a lot for the tips Paolo. Yeah, Lembeh will be hard to match.

Looking more for a bit of both worlds location, so one can do a bit of wa, bit of macro and so on...if there is something bigger (especially flying things, since I am fixated on these) then great. Well let's see, can always go back to Komodo :) Alternatively Dumaguete looks interesting, though tad hard to get to.

And your octopus has definitely 80s vibe :D

You can actually do Lembeh and Weda on one trip staying at the sister lodge in Lembeh, I did this last November - it is a <1 hour plane flight from Ternate to Manado then transfer to divers lodge Lembeh.  You of course have a full day's travel and lose the afternoon dive on your last day at Weda if you do that first, but Manado is on the way home for many as you can connect from Manado to Singapore or Jakarta.



#13 paolobl65

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 01:00 PM

a little  bit of  action :  

 

 

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