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anthp

Back from Sipadan Malaysia

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Hello everyone,

 

Thankyou all for answering my many questions on where we should spend October. We have just returned from a sensational trip to Sipadan and Kapalai.

 

Having not been on a diving holiday before it was a real eye opener. We have fallen in love with paradise and just adored Kapalai water village. Michaela had fun with her new video and I had a blast on my first holiday with a housing for my DSLR. I can't believe I have waited this long to get one. Topside photography is nowhere NEAR this much fun!

 

For more images - visit www.anthonyplummer.com and click on the New Malaysia gallery.

 

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Nemo www.anthonyplummer.com

 

281169564_0d6ddc932b.jpg

Gorgonian www.anthonyplummer.com

 

281169563_7368b8bfb6.jpg

Turtle www.anthonyplummer.com

 

Thanks for looking guys and any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

 

In particular, I would like to thank Lndr, scubadru, zeamonkey, SimonSpear and xtremediver who fielded many PM's and were extremely helpful.

Edited by anthp

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One suggestion,

 

Keep on shooting..Fantastic :D

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Thanks Dean - very kind of you.

 

Hope your mozzie bites have improved!

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fine...i will bury myself in sorrow..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet shots buddy, love the coloUrs!

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Bugger.... I knew I wouldn't get everyone when I started singling people out!!

 

So sorry Mike - yeah I know - you are my Life Coach and there is no way I could have done it without you. I thought we agreed to keep our arrangement secret though? :D

 

But if it helps at all.... I'd like to thank MikeV for Life, the Universe and Everything. :)

 

Seriously Mike - thanks for your comments and for the U. And I particularly appreciate you looking when it must have taken ages with your connection.

 

Now how did you go in the Phillipinnes? We were thinking of you over the sea there.

 

Thanks Arnon - much appreciated. Means a lot from such an accomplished photographer as yourself.

 

And yes, we had a ball! :D

Edited by anthp

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Anthony,

That first pic is absolutely perfect. Super.

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Thanks Gary. I was pretty pleased when I saw it pop up on the back of the camera.

 

It's actually a magic filter shot with the 10.5FE

Edited by anthp

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Hey great pics there Anthony.

 

That's a realy great Anemone shot and I like the Trevally one as well. :D

 

I think I will stick with shooting Video as there is know way I can get better shots than what you guys are getting.

 

Maybe we can setup a print section as well in our Cinema to sell for you guys. Make up a slide side and we feed it out to the projector showing all your pics. Then have your prints or books on sale.

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Hello Anthony,

 

Aaaah Sipadan & Kapalai.....brings back good memories... :D

 

I had a look on your website...what can one say: beautiful pictures, impressive shots both above and underwater ! The warmth in your topside pictures reminds me of the movie "A la vertical de l'été" ("The Vertical Ray of The Sun"or "At The Height of Summer"), a French-German-Vietnamese co-production. http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/verti...ndex_flash.html

 

Keep up the good work!

 

Best regards,

 

Bart,

Belgium

 

PS: Did you dive the damaged reef at Sipadan (cfr. barge incident a couple of months ago)? If yes, what did it look like?

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Hi Bart,

 

I'm honoured to have my work compared to such beautiful images - thankyou.

 

Regarding the damaged reef. We did dive in the area and, whilst there was some damage, I feel that there was some overeaction to the incident on the web. It was certainly regretable that any damage occurred at all, but the damage was restricted to a relatively small area and will recover in time. If anything, it has had the positive effect of preventing further development and similar incidents in that beautiful place.

 

Thanks again for your kind words.

 

Maybe we can setup a print section as well in our Cinema to sell for you guys. Make up a slide side and we feed it out to the projector showing all your pics. Then have your prints or books on sale.

Hi Wags - thanks heaps for the accolades! Michaela might be writing to you for some video tips any day now. This was her first trip with a vid and although we missed the MWB option, we are finding you can do a fair bit in FCP.

 

Your idea sounds awesome and it might even inspire me to actually produce a book so that I can have something for you to sell. Prints would be way cool too. Now all we have to do is organise a trip to come and visit you guys and shoot something from the 'loo. Seen some great stuff from there lately actually.

 

Thanks again and I love your idea.

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I'm glad you had a great time. Your pix are great. Sipidan is definitely on my list of places to revisit.

Edited by drsteve

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Having not been on a diving holiday before it was a real eye opener.

 

wow, I didn't realise this was you first warm water diving trip!?! Its sooo good you guys had a great time!

 

Great pics :D

 

Looks like you had good vis? Ah .... blue water :D

 

cheers

Leander

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Hi Leander and Steve,

 

Thanks for looking at the pics and replying positively. And thanks to you both for answering my many questions before we left.

 

A few years ago we did a very short trip in the Similans and I had time for one dive in Belize on a recent trip. All those trips were pre-housing, so all I have are topside shots. Other than that, we’ve both only ever dived temperate. We’re now seeking recommendations for future trips, although be warned, we’ll find it a challenge to resist the stunning water village at Kapalai.

 

Visibility probably averaged between 10-15 m on Sipadan and 3-6 m on Kapalai/Mabul. There seemed to be a lot of particles in the water at all locations and it took me a few dives to get around the backscatter issues (you’d think I’d be used to it). I still had to do the occasional clean up in PS.

 

We had a fair bit of rain while we were there, and until the last day, didn’t see the sun. It was temperate dark and I found I ended up at ISO 400 on some dives to maintain 5.6 or better and a reasonable shutter speed. However, the marine life was just superb and all new to us (other than pictures we’d seen on here and in books), so we still had a great time. It was always a risk going on the shoulder like that. I’ve no regrets at all. It was truely incredible.

 

We did the 530 am dive once, but found it way too dark for decent images. We encountered plenty of bumps and ‘couta on later dives anyway, so couldn’t really see the point. Of course now someone will chime in and explain that we could have seen whale sharks, hammers and blue whales if we’d cared to get up. :D

 

Leander – as you predicted vegetarian options were limited, but were certainly better than most other places we visited in Malaysia. Classic quote from a restaurant who had prepared us a ‘veg meal’ in the Perhentian islands….â€But they’re only little fish…and prawns aren’t animalsâ€. This was after a prior explanation from me listing fish and prawns as in the no-go zone. I find it difficult to justify eating the very critters you are there to see - but don't begrudge folks who do eat them – they are very tasty.

 

I dived myself silly and squeezed 30 into just over a week. Ears were less than happy at the end, but seem to have recovered now…. What’s that you say?... Must remember to bring ear drops next time. Is it just me, or do others find this an issue? Resort had home brew remedy consisting of some gin/vodka concoction which seemed reasonably effective. At first I followed the recommended method of application via ear canal, but efficacy was greatly improved through oral administration…

 

Say Leander - we were thinking of doing a drive up your way in Feb - wouldn't be worth bring our dive gear would it? :D

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Hello Anthony

 

I visited your Malasia gallery and can confirm you I will buy the photo book immediately when you print it :blink: .

 

As I am interested to visit Kapalai myself (who isn't ...) I wanted to ask you:

 

- Are theire any limits imposed for the boat dives (depth/dive time) by the guides ? (I read on a forum that even shallow dives are limited to 45' ?)

 

- When did your flight arrive at Tawau and how did the transfer to Kapalai go ?

 

- How was your typical diving day organised ?

 

Thanks a lot

 

Sven.

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G'day Sven,

 

Thanks for your kind comments on the pics.

 

They did impose limits on boat dives of 45 mins, but it was variably enforced by the different guides. Some were very strict, whereas others were still down there with you after 60 mins.

 

That said, in most cases, we didn't find it a problem. A lot of the time our computers were telling us that we should surface soon anyway. Would I have sometimes liked another five mins here and there? Probably, but I certainly wouldn't let that stop me from going there. It is a magical place out there on the sandbar and under the water.

 

We came overland to Semporna from Sandakan the day before, so we just wandered down from the hotel in Semporna to the dock and hopped on the boat out to Kapalai. I remember that the Air Asia flight doesn't get you there in time (you have to overnight in Semporna), but I think you can make it with one of the early Malaysia airlines flights. There was a fantastic market on in Semporna the night we arrived and I enjoyed staying there, but next time we might try to do it all in one hit.

 

Typical day involved two boat dives on Sipadan and then back for breakfast/lunch (depending on how early you started). I normally took this opportunity to change cards and charge batteries (both mine and the camera/strobes :blink:) We didn't do the 530 dive very often because it seemed to be too dark for video for Michaela and I found it dark for stills. It may vary depending on the time of year though.

 

After lunch there was a boat dive on either Mabul or Kapalai. Lots of great critters to be found and I enjoyed these dives too. I normally did another dive in the evening just off the shore of Kapalai. You can get a guide if you ask very nicely. It is good to give a tip if you do this because the guides would much rather be resting. The Mandarin's are worth the wait if you haven't seen them before (I hadn't).

 

Other than that, I'd highly recommend the place. Then again, as I mentioned, this was our first big diving trip O/S, so maybe I'm easily pleased :) It is a pretty amazing spot though. Hope this helps.

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Hey Anthony!

 

That seafan on your page (Sipadan 09) is that by any chance on Barracuda?

 

Cheers,

Espen :-)

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Highly likely Espen :)

 

It's probably one of the most shot fans around eh? :blink:

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Have a look and see! Mine was shot back in 2004.

Its flipped, but I can find most features are the same. Great to know it's still there.

 

Love the anemone shot! Very nice colors.

 

Cheers!

 

Espen :-)

 

post-3927-1170369917_thumb.jpg

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Anthony,

 

The colors are brilliant! I especially like the perspective of the turtle in "Sipidan-19". It almost seems three dimensional. What lens if I may ask? Thanks for sharing.

 

Kory

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Espen - well done again on spotting the fan. It is satisfying to know that diving on Sipadan is not resulting in damage to these beautiful creatures.

 

David Barrio - thanks for your comments. I always wait eagerly for your next showing. I love your stuff.

 

The colors are brilliant! I especially like the perspective of the turtle in "Sipidan-19". It almost seems three dimensional. What lens if I may ask? Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Kory! Lens is 10.5, but it might have been easier with a 15/16 if I had one...

 

Really enjoyed looking at that gallery. I am going in May - actually my next booked diving. So really looking forward to it.

 

I see you found the blue-finned lionfish:

http://www.finsonline.com/blog/fins/200605...-discovery.html

Was that at the rig?

Great to see you are heading off there again Alex. Can't wait to see your photos.

 

Where are you staying this time? I remember last time you were on a bit of a whilrwind tour.

 

I must confess, I didn't find the lionfish on my own. I hadn't realised it was so rare though - too cool! It was actually spotted by my own sensational observer and girlfriend Michaela. I was busy shooting something boring like a grain of sand or something and she came and grabbed me and dragged me over to see it. It was moving quite fast and I only got off one shot. I didn't think it was very friendly to chase after him for more...Beautiful fish though. :blink:

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Hiya Anthony

 

Wow awesome photos!! How did Michaela get on with the video...and just as importantly when are we going to see it?? ;)

 

We're planning a trip to Sipadan-Kalapai at the moment, hopefully for April/May. I'm even more excited about going now! :D

 

Cheers, Simon

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