Posts posted by Dave H
I have returned from 2 weeks staying on Motupore Island in Papua New Guinea. Motupore Island is based just out of Port Moresby in Bootless Bay (next to Loloata Island) and the purpose of this trip was to finish off the photography for a new book that will be released later this year. The book is an identification guide to â€˜The Marine Life of Bootless Bay in PNGâ€™ and will feature approximately 1000 different species (fish, corals, sponges, plants, molluscs etcâ€¦) from the area.
Over the 2 weeks I took just over 2000 pics; the focus of the trip was for species ID images however I still managed to capture a couple of â€˜pretty shotsâ€™. I have put together a small gallery here:
Here are a couple of personal favourites:
Weedy Scorpionfish (Rhinopias frondosa)
The Pinnacles â€“ I had one of my BEST ever dives at this site â€“ we had 40m metre vis and incredible fish life!
Playing Peek-a-Boo with a pygmy!
Soft Coral Crab â€“ about 1 cm wide
Pair of Rhinopias:
Lionfish on the prowl:
This page has some additionally info about the little critter:
and this is the last lot of head scratching for the week. Below are 3 shrimp species that I am hoping I can get some ID's confirmed.
This species looks similar to Periclimenes tenuipes that is illustrated in the Debelius guide:
The next two images I believe could be Periclimenes kororensis
This species looks very similar to Periclimenes holthusi but I'm not conivnced if this is the correct ID. It also looks similar to the species I posted in this link:
Don't trust my poor memory-- don't you have Newman & Cannon?
Hi Leslie, A big thanks for the help as always!
I have been looking through the electronic version of Newman and Cannon this morning and I've had no joy. Both the flatworms in the images above were about 50-70mm long and according to Newman & Cannon Pseudobiceros flowersi grows to a max length of 40mm. I think the 1st species above has some resemblence to P. flowersi however I'm convinced about the 2nd species as the marginal band is very narrow and green 9as is the body colour) whilst P.flowersi is brown - now I'm confused!!!
I think i'll just call them P. flowersi, that makes it easy!
okay, here are 3 crab species from Lembeh in North Sulawesi that I'm struggling to ID. I have searched through Debelius (Crustacea Guide of the World) and some other reference books and either I'm blind or they are not in there!
yep, it's a Hermit crab - I'd really like to know which species it is! It looks to be a Dardanus species.
Here are 3 worm species that I photographed in Lembeh in Sulawesi ac couple of weeks ago - any assistance on the ID's would be appreciated!
Flatworm species found on sand - about 5cm long
Small worm that lives underneath seastars and sea cucumbers and I can't remember the name of it!!
Great shots. The barreltube shrimp-that's the eggs inside? Great stuff!
Yep, I think they are tiny egss. This is the shrimp pic below:
This species is apparently Diminovula punctata, Richard Willan from the NT Museum mentioned to me he had collected specimens from NB previously.
I have seen it several times this summer.
My understanding is that the DS50 is not current enough to be TTL compatible with the D80. You need to have it upgraded, or use a later model strobe like the DS51.
I think that this could be correct. I would send an email to Ikelite to clarify if TTL on the D80 actually works with a DS50 strobe.
I think the seahorse is H. colemani, although I have never seen on myself.
its not actually Hippocampus colemani. The species in the pic above is is actually smaller than colemani and can be recognised by its dark coloured body that generally has tiny red spots. It is commonly referred to as the 'Pontoh's Pygmy Seahorse' and there are a couple of pics of it in Rudie Kuiter's 'Guide to Syngnathids' 2006 edition. I believed this species is currently being described...
I managed to photograph 6 different species of seahorses over the 2 weeks which was way cool!
Thanks for the assistance on the ID's, much appreciated. I'm still digging through my Sulawesi pics so might be posting some more ID's shortly!
What is the smallest size of critter you can frame with this lens and how close are you to the animal then? For instance I notice you have a leaf fish and orangutan crab - are these uncropped?
The leaf scorpionfish is uncropped, you can quite easily fill the frame with a fish that is 7-8cm long. The orangutan crab is cropped as it was only about 3cm - I'm guessing its cropped about a 1/3 from the original.
The Blue Ribbon Eel is cropped as well and that only because I couldn't get though the coral with the big port and two strobes - I had to shoot it from about 2-3 feet away!
I have 3 crustacean ID's from Lembeh in Northern Sulawesi that that I need some assistance on.
Crab found on night dive in 5 metre water - length was approximately 7 cm.
This small shrimp was living in a long skinny tube/barrel sponge. About 3cm long. It also looks like its carrying eggs.
This small shrimp was found near an anemone. It looks similaer to Percilimes holthusi however its got red markings on it which I haven't seen before. Approximately 2cm long.
Any help would be appreciated! Otherwise I'm going to have start searching through crustaceans ID books in the library and I really don't want to do that!
I'm stuck. I photographed this critter in Nelson Bay (New South Wales - Australia) about a year ago and stuck it in the 'I have no idea what this is folder'. Well I've finished cleaning up this folder and this is the only critter left.
The animals was about 7cm and found in 8 metres of water.
Dave, did you use a dioptre? Or just straight up?
No dioptre, just the lens behind the 8" Dome port. Works a treat.
As for lens underwater... the first lens I pack in my bag at the moment is the 17-70. This is now followed by the Tamron 90mm (I'm learning to love this lens) and if its a big trip I put in the Nikon 60mm and 12-24mm. Throw in a couple of dioptres and this seems to be more than adequate so far...
I am a huge fan of the Sigma 17-70mm lens, I think this has to be one of the most under rated lens available. The versatility of this lens is what makes it the real winner and its quick focus and sharpness make it a great edition to any SLR setup. I use it behind the Ikelite Supa Dome and another good thing with the Ike housing is that it fits the same port as the Nikon 12-24mm... not sure if to many people are aware of that!!!
Here are 4 pics that were taken in North Sulawesi last week at Bangka Island using the 17-70mm. I think the versatility speaks for itself!!!
and here are 2 more from the same dive at Bunaken last week using the 17-70mm.
I've been using the D80 in an Ikelite housing for the past 6 motnhs and I am more than happy with this setup. Probably done about 100 or so dives with it so I've given it a pretty good flogging.
If you are interested in some pics from this setup I have added some shots to my website taken over the past 2 weeks in Sulawesi: http://www.daveharasti.com/Sulawesi/index.html
In the above photo's all the shots (with the exception of the really wide angle pics) were taken using a single or dual DS125's strobes set on TTL. I have found that the TTL on the Ikelite housing works exceptionally well and its very easy to change the TTL power (+/-) by a simple turn of the TTL knowb on the back of the housing. I never ever used TTL previously until I started using the D80 in the Ike housing.
The lens that I recommend are the Sigma 17-70mm zoom macro as this is the most versatile lens and you can pick it up for around $350 US. I also love the Nikon 60mm however more recently I have been using the Tamron 90mm and I have to say the 90mm is a great lens to use.
I occasionally use the Nikon 12-24mm but I use this lens infrequently as I prefer to use the versatility of the Sigma 17-70mm. Whilst in Sulawesi I came across a pair of Halmeda Ghost Pipefish (pretty rare) but unfortunately I had to cry as I had the 12-24mm lens on... Murphy's law. I would have been able to take shots of them if I was using the 17-70mm.
And then there was the Dugong when I had the 90mm lens on.... you just have to have a good sense of humour!
I have just returned from 2 weeks diving in Northern Sulawesi. This is without a doubt one of the best diving destinations that I have visited. there cannot be a better place in the world for macro/critter photography than Lembeh and Odyssea Reefs whilst the coral walls and big stuff at Bunaken and Bangka Islands was very impressive.
I went diving with two different Operators: Bastianos Lembeh for diving in Lembeh and Odyssea Divers for diving around Wori Bay, Odyssea Reefs and Bunaken Island. I can highly recommend both operations as they provided great sevrice and the accomodation was excellent.
I also spent 3 nights at the end of the trip on the liveaboard Odyssea 1 and I can honestly say this is the best liveaboard I have ever been onâ€¦ its miles ahead of anything else that I have been on!
In all I managed to squeeze in 30 dives and took just over 2000 photoâ€™s.
I have put together a collection of some of the images on my website:
Choosing a couple of favourite pics is almost impossible but here are some that I like:
Colourful reef at Bangka Island
This seahorse is small, really really small! Its an undescribed Hippocampus sp that is about half the size of a standard Pygmy Seahorse. I managed to get only 5 photos of it using a 90mm lens with a +2 on a night dive. This seahorse was the hardest thing I have EVER photographed as it didnâ€™t stop moving.
The Mimic Octopus was the highlight of the trip for me. I watched it impersonate a flounder, lionfish and a sea snake.
This is about the only arty shot I took all trip
Do you happen to have any sunburst shots? I think the D80 should handle those well...
Unfortunately no sunburst shots... I think I was to busy photographing all the critters to look up! I will try to give it a shot when I'm out diving next.
Mike - point taken! Signature is changed!
Iâ€™ve just returned from 2 weeks diving around Loloata Island in Papua New Guinea documenting all the marine species for a new book that will hopefully be released next year.
I was fortunate enough to use the Nikon D80 in the new Ikelite housing and this was my first trip away with a dSLR; it was a rude shock when I weighed my carry on! I thought travelling with the old coolpix was bad.
It took some getting used to using a SLR camera but I am now convertedâ€¦ the Coolpix is now officially being retired. The Ikelite housing for the D80 proved to be excellent and the housing itself (without ports) isnâ€™t to much bigger than my old Coolpix housing. My favourite feature is the TTL system control that is located on the back of the housing. Having full TTL functionality with dual DS125â€™s and being able to increase/decrease power output with the simple turn of the knob made it so easy to use!
All of the photography for this trip was aimed at species ID shots for the book but I still managed a couple of wide angle type pics â€“ unfortunately the visibility at best was about 15 metres with lots of gunk in the water (so much wind!) so I didnâ€™t get a chance to try out the 12-24mm. I only used the two lenses: the Nikon 60mm (occasionally with +2 filter) and the Sigma 17-70mm macro lens â€“ I loved using the 17-70 as it is so versatile.
A small selection of pics can be seen here:
My personal favs are these:
Leaf Scorpionfish (60mm)
Pai II Wreck (17-70mm)
Pygmy Seahorse (60mm +2)
Cheeklined Maori Wrasse (17-70mm)
Painted Anglerfish (60mm +2)
and here's a few more from the dive. I must say that I do miss the LCD screen of the CP8400 however the features of the D80 more than make up for it!
Splendid Chromodoris Nudibranch
Clown Ceratosoma Nudibranch
Now I just need to figure out how to use it!!!
Well it looks like I may have to finally retire the good old Coolpix 8400. Its served me well however I felt a little left behind so I bought myself a D80 and somehow Ikelite managed to have a housing designed, built and shipped to me within a month!
I took it for a test dive today with the Nikon 60mm. The Ike housing is fantastic, yet again Ike has come up with the goods! B) I'm off to PNG next Friday for 2 weeks diving around Motupore Island, will give it a thorough work out and hopefully have a couple of nice shots to show on my return.
The following pics are from my local divesite (Flypoint in Nelson Bay) and were taken in a 90 min dive today:
Half Banded Seaperch
Black Margined Glossodoris Nudibranch
Green Moray Eel
Blue Dragon Nudibranch
Draper's Egg Cowry
It looks very similar to Flabellina poenicia, found from SA around to NSW. There are some details on the species here:
I've seen this species a couple of times in Port Stephens, Sydney and Jervis Bay but because its so small it can be difficult to photograph. You have some great pics of it.
if I had to guess the nudie I'd say they are the eggs of Notodoris minor which is very common on the northern reef and that's the colour of its egg ribbon....
Some pics from Papua New Guinea
in Photo / Video Showcase
I used 4 lens on this trip. My standard lens was the Sigma 17-70mm which I used on most coral reef dives. I used the Nikon 60 mm for targetting fish images, the Tamron 90mm for the small critters and finally I had a couple of plays with the Tokina 10-17mm for wide angle. However, the 10-17mm isn't that great for ID shots! All pics were taken with D80 in Ikelite housing using dual DS125 strobes.
I should have mentioned in my first post, this book is being developed for distribution to the local schools and villages throughout PNG free of charge. We are developing the book to help educate the locals in the Bootless Bay region about their local marine life and what they can do to help look after it. We have secured a couple of small grants to help pay for the printing, if I'm lucky I might be able to keep a couple of copies for myself! The book will be B5 in size, about 130 pages and around 1000 species.
A sneak peak of some DRAFT pages can be seen here, I'm slowing coming to gripes with Adobe Indesign!
Sample ID page
If anyone has any suggestions for decent book printers that are reasonably priced in the Australasia region could they please drop me a line.