A local child posing for the camera at Sawandarek Jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
When I first took up underwater photography, it was quite lonely. I didn't know any other underwater photographers, so talking about the underwater challenges with non-photographers was only met with blank stares or half-nods. But years later, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by so many talented underwater image-makers, including this week's Photographer of the Week, Debbie Arriaga.
I first met Debbie whilst traveling onboard the Arenui liveaboard through a chain of remote islands in Indonesia known as the Forgotten Islands. Debbie is no stranger to liveaboards as she has been working on them in some capacity for the past 14 years. However, she only began to explore underwater photography about seven years ago. Over our time in Indonesia, we visited some of the most pristine reefs out there. And it was there that I had the opportunity to witness Debbie immersed in her passion and was in awe of her stunning macro and wide-angle captures.
Debbie has a particular affinity for frogfish—so much so she has set up an Instagram account devoted just to frogfish images! However, I particularly love her images of the children of Alor with their wooden goggles. Everything she aims her lens at seems to come out amazingly. We all know the saying, “Words can’t do it justice”—frankly, words aren’t needed with one look at Debbie’s images.
A hairy frogfish shot with a snoot in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
An immaculate reef in the Forgotten Islands, Banda Sea, Indonesia
A spine-cheek anemonefish in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
A coconut octopus in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
An anemonefish with tongue biter parasite in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
A teenage male sea lion in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico
A flamboyant cuttlefish in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
A pughead pipefish in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
A juvenile emperor angelfish in Ambon Bay, Indonesia
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