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Capturing Critters in Lembeh Workshop 2020 Round Up

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Now in it’s 8th year running, Lembeh Resort’s “Capturing Critters in Lembeh” underwater photography workshop has once again delivered some incredible imagery. As usual, the workshop featured three world-class underwater professionals who hosted daily presentations, workshops and one-on-one sessions with participants.

The 2020 professionals—Saeed Rashid, Todd Winner and Alex Tyrrell—shared their knowledge and expertise with everyone taking part, and joined them underwater for some truly amazing critter spotting and shooting in the Lembeh Strait.

Capturing Critters grows from strength to strength each year and the images continue to portray some of Lembeh’s most iconic muck diving highlights. The participants dived Lembeh hotspots such as TK, Hairball, Pantai Parigi, Nudi Falls and Serena. Lembeh Resort’s marine biology trained dive guides were put to the test and they certainly delivered. The critter sightings were quite remarkable, with blue ring octopuses, flamboyant cuttlefish, hairy shrimps, coconut octopus and pygmy squids and seahorses.

Photo by participant Audrey Haug

While all three pros are new this year to Capturing Critters, certainly none are new to shooting in the Lembeh Strait which boasts the highest concentration of rare and unusual marine life on Earth.

Photo: Saeed Rashid

Saeed Rashid from the UK hosted a series of Adobe Lightroom presentation during the week and commented that:

“It’s a really nice being somewhere (Lembeh Resort) that’s so dedicated to underwater photography and to one particular aspect – macro. The guides have been incredible this week – as trained underwater photographers they know what they are looking at and how to put subjects into images and they understand angles. It’s amazing to have a resort so set up for photography, with comprehensive camera facilities, and to have guides who are so into photography and who also take wonderful underwater images themselves.

Capturing Critters workshop is a unique event and with three pro pros, as well as an in-house pro to help guests, there is always someone on hand to answer queries and help with problems. To have three pros with three different view points is a highlight of the event”.

Photo: Alex Tyrrell

Alex Tyrrell, also from the UK, owns Dive4Photos which provides underwater imaging training on Koh Tao in Thailand. Alex presented some of the most awaited subjects including composition and how to capture black and blue backgrounds. Alex said:

“It’s been really good working with other photo pros and being able to bounce ideas off each other. This has especially benefited participants in the critique sessions where they have been able to get three different views on their images.

Photo by participant Cameron Azad

The Lembeh Strait is ideal for underwater photography, it has a massively higher biodiversity and abundance of photogenic critters than found elsewhere and Lembeh Resort has excellent facilities for hosting photography events and workshops. The dive guides are very attentive to make sure everyone sees the creatures underwater and the dive operations are incredible well organized and well-run”.

Photo: Todd Winner

Todd Winner, from the United States, is well known for his underwater wide-angle photography and aptly presented the Closed Focus Wide Angle sessions as well as lighting technique workshops. He said:

“One of the things that is invaluable about a place like Lembeh Resort is the small ratio of guests to guides. You are never going to find these subjects on your own but the guides here are fantastic at spotting and identifying Lembeh’s critters.

For the participants to have three different perspectives from the pros as well as from James (Emery, inhouse Pro) is invaluable. Critique sessions this week have enabled guests to get maximum input on their images and advice on how to improve from three different stand points”.

Photo: James Emery

Did you miss out on this year’s workshop? Lembeh Resort is set to host the 9th annual Capturing Critters in Lembeh workshop in January 2021 with Photo Pro’s Alex Tattersall, Jade Hoksbergen-Spiers and Henley Spiers

Find out more at the link above or visit www.lembehresort.com.

Sarah Ann Wormald is a writer and PADI Master Instructor with a passion for underwater photography and conservation. Sarah is the author of “Diving in Indonesia” and “Diving in South East Asia” (Tuttle Publishing). With over 20 years of diving experience, Sarah has dived all over the Indonesian Archipelago and South East Asia. Find out more at www.MurexDive.com.

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World Shootout winners revealed at Boot

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The World Shootout winners were announced at this years returning Boot show.

Producer David Pilosof initiated the first World ShootOut online competition in 2011, breaking all boundaries and introducing an international competition as never produced before.
Hundreds of photographers from around 40 countries around the world take part in the World ShootOut competition year after year, submitting thousands of images and videos, ranging from those that capture the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada, showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and introduce the great dramatic white shark in the Gulf of Mexico.

Claudio Ceresi from Italy won the top valuable prize for best picture of the year $10,000 worth of 3 weeks diving vacation for 2 people, in Papua New Guinea.

The winning video can be seen here:

We have featured a few of the category winners in the gallery above. To see all the images placed in this competition, visit the World Shootout Website

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New book by diver aims to inspire teens to protect sharks and the ocean

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A new book by experienced diver Christine Edwards has just been published, which aims to inspire children and young people to better understand sharks and become advocates for ocean and environmental protection.

Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? tackles themes such as the human impact on the environment and the protection of sharks and their habitats. The story depicts the emotional journey of Charlie Parker, a fearful twelve-year-old boy, and Jane Jones, a retired dentist and scuba diver, who meet by chance on a beach. Despite the years that separate them, they discover they are more alike than they could have imagined.

Sharing the world through the eyes of sharks, hearing about the struggles and dangers they face and how they are on the brink of extinction, brings the two friends closer together. In this book there are stories of shark encounters, the majesty of the underwater world and how the impact of human activity and plastic pollution is affecting their habitat. Most of all, the two characters learn about the power of the human spirit to change in the face of adversity.

Author Christine Edwards was born in Chester in 1962. She read psychology at Warwick University, then worked as a teacher for twenty years. In 2004 she trained at Birmingham Theatre School to become an actor. As a teenager Christine feared the sea and the sharks that swam there. After trying a scuba dive in 2006 and making 1,200 dives around the globe, everything changed. She now adores sharks, hence writing this book.

Christine says: “Conquering a deep rooted fear of the sea and terrified of the sharks that roamed there, I made the astonishing decision to try a scuba dive in 2006. The moment I sank beneath the waves and glimpsed at the world below the surface, I was well and truly hooked. Since that first plunge underwater, I have accomplished over 1200 dives in seas and oceans around the globe. My fear of sharks has turned into a passion for them. Whenever I would describe my shark encounters to friends or family they invariably expressed concern and questioned why anyone would dive with such a dangerous species.”

Christine continues: “My book came out of the need to redress the balance for this wonderful fish. Sharks have existed for 450 million years, well before the dinosaurs, and still exist today. They are being hunted and cruelly killed for their fins and are probably one of the most misunderstood creatures on our planet. The knock-on effect of their demise will be catastrophic. Oceans without sharks will cause negative changes to other species – without this apex predator keeping other fish in check, our coastlines and reefs will ultimately suffer. The oceans need sharks!”

The paperback of Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? (ISBN  9781915352613) is out now and was published on 28th January 2023 by The Book Guild, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd. Priced £8.99, the book is available from https://bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/ as well as at bookshops and through Amazon and other retailers.

Check back for our review of Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? soon!

Header Photo credit: Jane Davies Photography. Photo of Christine Edwards on a dive.

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