Fishies and phoneography

First off, a big WHOOHOO!!! for being included in The Daily Post’s phoneography favorites for March! The staff chose my “My Neighborhood” post to include in the roundup of their favorite entries. It always feel good to be recognized πŸ™‚

Second: one good thing about working in an island resort is that the water is only a couple of meters away πŸ™‚ Beat the summer heat this afternoon by diving our house reef. I used having to download my water temperature sensor data as an excuse. Heehee. That and I volunteered to take photos of one of our guests doing his Bubblemaker course πŸ™‚ Aside from taking pictures of a 9-year-old during his first scuba experience, I also got to take some pretty good pictures of our resident bigeye scad (Selar crumenopthalmus). Swimming through a school of fish who totally ignored my presence was a surreal experience. I tried moving away so that I could take better wide-angle photos but nothing doing. The water was just too shallow and the school was just too big!

Fish in the light
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Window through the darkness
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Just might become one of my all-time favorite photos.
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I said on Facebook that I wish I had extra-clear water for that perfect shot. Jayvee said that the water was already pretty clear. It was pretty clear but you could still see some backscatter. He said I should get strobes. I said he should give me the money for them πŸ˜›

Along the wall


I prefer taking landscape photos instead of wall photos but hey, if the view is nice, anything goes πŸ™‚ Thank you Sir Bobbit for being an excellent model!

Lagen Wall, Lagen Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.

Soft corals on the wall

I willingly admit that wall dives aren’t my favorite kind of dive. I prefer wide open reef flats to hugging a wall and seeing nothing on the other side. Maybe it’s my claustrophobia kicking in: I’m also not fond of night dives, despite the amazing critters that come out once the sun sets. Despite the anxiety, I found myself fascinated by the stuff growing on the Lagen Wall. This soft coral was the prettiest of the bunch.

Photo taken at Lagen Wall, Lagen Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines with just a Canon S95.

Dive El Nido (part 2)

Also known as Entry to Ailsa’s “Oceans” Challenge Part 2. Here are three more photos from the past week of diving we did. I can finally sleep now!

The classic shot of the South Miniloc dive site in El Nido. “South Mini” is known for the field of foliose Turbinaria corals (AKA cabbage corals) and the school of yellow-lined snapper (Lutjanus lutjanus) hovering over it.
The yellow-lined snapper (Lutjanus lutjanus). They’re the main stars of South Mini. I wanted to change the white balance of this photo but unfortunately, the dial on my camera housing wasn’t working πŸ™
Edu picked up a friend during the dive! This little golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) followed us from 20 meters depth all the way back to the boat!

Dive El Nido (part 1)

So. The reason behind the lack of decent posts for the past week is because I’ve been accompanying an underwater videographer during his dives here in El Nido. It may not look it but diving three times a day is exhausting, made especially so by strong currents in the dive sites. The upside? I took some pretty nice photos, I think πŸ™‚

A feather star! Those arm tips are really sticky so don’t get too close.
I swapped out MSI’s tide gauge and temperature sensor and replaced it with my own temperature and light sensor. I programmed the sensor to record the water temperature every 15 minutes.
A sea cucumber! My former college professor (he’s now with the National University of Singapore) tentatively identified it as Bohadschia graeffei.

More photos to come!

More explorations of the Miniloc house reef

I got to take the G12 for its second dive yesterday when the Community Ecology (Comeco) Lab crew came over to Miniloc to check the house reef. Yay friends visiting my workplace! Still had difficulty manipulating the camera to get the look I wanted (so many buttons!) but it was a bit easier this time around. Hopefully it’ll become second nature by the time the 5th dive comes around? Haha!

This surgeonfish is feeding on the turfing algae on the rock. Tentative identification is lined bristletooth (Ctenochaetus striatus)
Renmar dubbed this "The Big Ball of Awesome". This is what the school of bigeye scad (Selar crumenophthalmus) looks like from below.
A schooling bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus) with no school πŸ™

Today’s money shot is brought to you by:

A blue-spotted stingray (Taeniura lymma) getting cleaned by a cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus)

Too bad about the suspended particles πŸ™

This would have been the money shot if the parrotfish just stood still for one second more:

A parrotfish (can't tell which species) getting cleaned by a cleaner wrasse