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Sipadan, Similans, Palau, Lembeh

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I have just put together my new online portfolio. I would appreciate any feed back you may have.

 

www.arewedreaming.com

 

Out of interest it was built using a very handy and moderately simple php application/template called indexhibit. If anyone is interested I would be happy to talk you through setting your own up.

 

Cheers,

 

Tom

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Really enjoyed your galleries. Love #4 in the Similians U/W gallery. #2 in the Palau gallery is a knockout too.

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i looked straight at your Palau gallery as I have always wanted to go there. The second image is awesome, sadly i didnt get any further into any of your galleries due to your third photo in the Palau gallery. In my opinion this behaviour is not acceptable so did not view any other images.

 

Stew

Edited by stewsmith

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The photos are great, but I do have one suggestion for the gallery. I am viewing them on my laptop which has a resolution of 1280X800. I have to scroll down to view the entire photo of those that are in portrait orientation, then I have to scroll back up to hit 'next'. I would recommend resizing the photos so that they can be viewed in entirety without scrolling and be able to hit 'next' without moving the mouse. I think this would encourage people to spend more time and go deeper into your site.

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i looked straight at your Palau gallery as I have always wanted to go there. The second image is awesome, sadly i didnt get any further into any of your galleries due to your third photo in the Palau gallery. In my opinion this behaviour is not acceptable so did not view any other images.

 

Stew

 

I can see where you are coming from Stew. That particular Napoleon Wrasse was incredibly friendly and curious and on the multiple dives I made at that site made a beeline for the divers and I am quite certain the guide in particular. Eddie (the guide) simply reached out and hugged the fish. I can't condone that behaviour but I must say that the fish did not appear traumatised in any way. Obviously I am not a fish psychologist so I can't be 100% certain how the fish reacted but I can tell you that the fish did not at any time appear to struggle or try to get away. Even after letting go the Wrasse did not swim away, remaining near our group whilst we surfaced.

 

I did actually think about whether or not to post that image as in my mind it does show something which at first glance looks how you apparently have perceived it. I am very much of the opinion that all creatures should be allowed to live their lives without interference and undue stress from humans, almost to the point where I feel conflicted about even diving and taking pictures in the first place.

 

Whether or not I agree with the actions of the guide is separate from the image I took. I simply saw the opportunity and pressed the shutter release. I have taken numerous photographs through the course of my work of unacceptable behaviour by divers. I have been lucky enough to work for several years in the diving industry and I have been shocked on countless occasions by what some people deem as acceptable treatment of the underwater flora and fauna. One example sticks out in my mind in particular from this same trip to Palau when the Liveaboard arranged a Nautilus dive. To catch the Nautilus the boat crew lowered a baited cage hundreds of meters into the blue one evening. The next morning I saw them bring up the cage with the Nautilus. Inside that cage were numerous dead fish and large dead Moray Eel... This for me was unacceptable, During the later dive where guests were given the opportunity to play with the Nautilus I made a point of having nothing to do with it.

 

I am firmly against the mistreatment of any animal and the wonderful creatures of the sea in particular. I hope that you can see where I am coming from and perhaps could give my galleries another chance. I warn you though I have other images which may offend your sensibilities, they document fish caught in nets, a really Giant Moray shot with a spear gun (luckily he survived) and white tips caught by fishermen and their bodies discarded.

 

As for Palau I wholeheartedly recommend you visit. If you would like to know which company put on the Nautilus show PM me so you can avoid them as I would if I ever return to that incredible place.

 

Tom

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The photos are great, but I do have one suggestion for the gallery. I am viewing them on my laptop which has a resolution of 1280X800. I have to scroll down to view the entire photo of those that are in portrait orientation, then I have to scroll back up to hit 'next'. I would recommend resizing the photos so that they can be viewed in entirety without scrolling and be able to hit 'next' without moving the mouse. I think this would encourage people to spend more time and go deeper into your site.

 

That had crossed my mind, I put the site together on a nice big screen and only just got to check it out on a smaller screen this evening. It would be nice if browsers would re-size images for situations like this.

 

Thanks for the comments, looks like I'll be resizing through the night.

 

Tom

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I can see where you are coming from Stew. That particular Napoleon Wrasse was incredibly friendly and curious and on the multiple dives I made at that site made a beeline for the divers and I am quite certain the guide in particular. Eddie (the guide) simply reached out and hugged the fish.

 

I suspect that this fish has been fed by the guide on many occasions and the wrasse was waiting for his boiled egg

 

I hope that you can see where I am coming from and perhaps could give my galleries another chance. I warn you though I have other images which may offend your sensibilities, they document fish caught in nets, a really Giant Moray shot with a spear gun (luckily he survived) and white tips caught by fishermen and their bodies discarded.

 

i do not have a problem with journalistic photography showing any of these issues. but i do feel strongly against fish - diver interaction such as cuddling fish. A few years ago may be i would gave felt slightly different, i dont know, but the more i read and learn about what damage humans are doing to marine life my mind and instincts tell me that it is wrong.

 

As for Palau I wholeheartedly recommend you visit. If you would like to know which company put on the Nautilus show PM me so you can avoid them as I would if I ever return to that incredible place.

 

Tom

 

PM sent

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If it's the wrasse that I suspect it is, then it was spoilt years ago and now hangs around divers at one particular site. It nuzzles up to familiar guides. Rumour has it that someone dragged an IMAX camera over the fringing reef nearby to make a well-known film sequence, and that, in my opinion, is a far more heinous crime.

 

I have a shot of the same wrasse "dancing" around a guide.

 

I had a great time on Palau: go!

 

Tim

 

;)

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That had crossed my mind, I put the site together on a nice big screen and only just got to check it out on a smaller screen this evening. It would be nice if browsers would re-size images for situations like this.

 

Thanks for the comments, looks like I'll be resizing through the night.

 

Tom

 

Gravity,

 

I have changed the layout of the galleries, now the taller images are resized to fit, does this work for you? I'm happy to say that it was very easy to change using the templates and some fairly basic css edits.

 

tdpreist,

 

That shot was taken at Blue Corner, but I guess you knew that.

 

I'm with you on the reef damage issue. Many times have I thought of photo/video divers; what is the point of destroying something unique and beautiful simply to get a shot of another unique and beautiful subject? It shows a huge lack of respect for nature and devalues any claim you may make to represent natures beauty in your work, rendering your art worthless. Oh, and it pisses me off...

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I can see where you are coming from Stew. That particular Napoleon Wrasse was incredibly friendly and curious and on the multiple dives I made at that site made a beeline for the divers and I am quite certain the guide in particular. Eddie (the guide) simply reached out and hugged the fish. I can't condone that behaviour but I must say that the fish did not appear traumatised in any way. Obviously I am not a fish psychologist so I can't be 100% certain how the fish reacted but I can tell you that the fish did not at any time appear to struggle or try to get away. Even after letting go the Wrasse did not swim away, remaining near our group whilst we surfaced.

 

Whether or not I agree with the actions of the guide is separate from the image I took. I simply saw the opportunity and pressed the shutter release. I have taken numerous photographs through the course of my work of unacceptable behaviour by divers. I have been lucky enough to work for several years in the diving industry and I have been shocked on countless occasions by what some people deem as acceptable treatment of the underwater flora and fauna. One example sticks out in my mind in particular from this same trip to Palau when the Liveaboard arranged a Nautilus dive. To catch the Nautilus the boat crew lowered a baited cage hundreds of meters into the blue one evening. The next morning I saw them bring up the cage with the Nautilus. Inside that cage were numerous dead fish and large dead Moray Eel... This for me was unacceptable, During the later dive where guests were given the opportunity to play with the Nautilus I made a point of having nothing to do with it.

 

As for Palau I wholeheartedly recommend you visit. If you would like to know which company put on the Nautilus show PM me so you can avoid them as I would if I ever return to that incredible place.

 

Tom

 

Hey, Tom, Nice Gallery! ;)

Will PM u when I saved enough for Palau... :D Thanks for that info! Wondering if the other guests knew abt their desire to photog the nautilus resulted in the deaths of many other fish & the eel?

Glad that the Napolean wrasse was not harmed, the photo would have been nicer if the guide hadn't blocked the eye. But it shows that the photo wasn't staged. ;-)

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Hey, Tom, Nice Gallery! :wacko:

Will PM u when I saved enough for Palau... :( Thanks for that info! Wondering if the other guests knew abt their desire to photog the nautilus resulted in the deaths of many other fish & the eel?

Glad that the Napolean wrasse was not harmed, the photo would have been nicer if the guide hadn't blocked the eye. But it shows that the photo wasn't staged. ;-)

 

Thanks,

 

About the wrasse; it was when the guide put his hand over it's eye that the fish stopped moving and just hung there whilst he hugged it. From what I saw I got the feeling that the fish and the diver were not doing this for the first time.

 

When you get there you will see for yourself how friendly the fish are on Blue Corner, there was one unicorn fish that seems to love your bubbles and it kept swimming over my shoulder and into view very close and fast, made me jump on a few occasions.

 

You won't regret going to Palau. Sharks on every dive, Mantas, Eagle Rays, Amazing vis and epicly blue water at the drop offs. Will post more pics soon and let you know.

 

Tom

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