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Lembeh Macro Madness II - 2012 Trip Report

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Lembeh Macro Madness II - 2012 Trip Report

Located off of the eastern shore of the North Sulawesi Province of Sulawesi Island, Lembeh Strait is referred to as the Muck Diving Capital of the World. After taking a photo expedition to Lembeh Resort last year, where we experienced luxurious, Indonesian-style accommodations, gracious and warm hospitality and critter-popping diving, one would expect much of the same the second time around. But that was not the case. This year's Lembeh Macro Madness II was even better! Same great accommodations and hospitality, but critters, critters everywhere! And to top it off, the Critters@Lembeh Dive Team had recently explored new dive sites for wide angle photography set-ups! Our group was treated to the best of both underwater photography worlds in the muck diving capital of the world!

Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo again teamed up with Under Exposures for a photo expedition to Lembeh Resort, where many enthusiastic, benthic photographers, some new to muck diving and Indonesia, shot their memory cards full of local critters. This year seemed to be especially octopussy, with regular sightings of Algae Octopus, Mimic Octopus, Wonderpus, Long Arm Octopus, Mototi Octopus, Coconut Octopus, Starry Night Octopus and even the Blue Ringed Octopus made a few appearances. Frogfish were also in abundance: Giant, Painted, Hairy, Hispid, Randall's and Warty in all colors and all sizes. The usual cast of muck critters also made themselves known for the cameras, including flamboyant cuttlefish and his other cuttlefish cousins, seahorses and pipefish, crabs and shrimps, scorpionfish, stonefish, eels, stargazers and much more! With the help of our keen-sighted guides, many critters were easily spotted with the naked eye, but some were so tiny that many in the group considered adding a magnifying glass to their macro diving kit! Nonetheless, each day, the participants were eager to get back in the water to photographically capture the wild and weird of Lembeh. While some of the photographers were trying new gear during this expedition, others were shooting their tried and true underwater rigs, and based on participant's interest, all were given one-to-one instruction from Berkley White to improve one's shooting techniques. Nightly slide shows from the day's photographic catch also gave the guests tips for bettering their focus, exposure, strobe placement or composition.

Lembeh Macro Madness II participants' photos.

Last year, we had taken a couple of day trips to Bangka Island for blue water, wide angle scenics. Prior to this year's trip, we had heard a rumor that there were wide angle dive sites closer in proximity to Lembeh Resort to be explored. We wanted to be privy to these wide angle dive sites, and the Critters@Lembeh Dive Team did not disappoint. Blue water, rainbows of soft corals, shoals of blue Fusiliers, schools of pink and orange Anthias, cruising Jacks, an occasional White Tip and underwater canyons providing stunning scenery for stills or video encompassed these untouched, wide angle dive sites. Lembeh is so much more than just macro photography!

Joel Penner of Newmediasoup, LLC cut together a video of his favorite clips from Lembeh Macro Madness II

Thank you to the Lembeh Resort Staff. Each time we've visited your resort, we feel like the red carpet is rolled out! Special thanks to the Critters@Lembeh Dive Team, without your expertise, we would not have been able to capture all of the special moments under water.

Backscatter's professional staff regularly leads groups to the far corners of the planet for amazing photographic opportunities. If you are interested in traveling with Backscatter on an underwater photo/video expedition, please check out our upcoming trips.

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