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Lembeh Photo Blog From Mark Bartick
By Matt J. Weiss, April 25, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: saltwaterphoto.com

Editor's Note-

This is a photo blog from Mike Bartick. Some great photos here and he assured us that the nudibranch moved on the frogfish's head! Here is what Mike has to say about his blog and why he travels.

I am often asked why I journey thousands of miles to Lembeh Straits to shoot under water photos. I thought about this question on the 30 hour trip to my destination. Is it the challenge of locating bizarre and spectacular critters? Is it the commensal macro life or the slight chance of locating the teddy bear crab?
This trip differed from my last, in that I was able to concentrate on specific shots and locations. Repetitive dives allowed me to shoot Shrimp, Crab, Juvenile fish, and several undescribed Frogfish and Nudibranchs. I also witnessed natural frogfish behavior. The frogfish used its lure to attract the attention of another curious fish and faster than a blinking eye….Whoosh! The curious fish disappeared.
Diving was exceptional! Visibility ranged from 30ft-100ft. On one day, the dive guides took us to the outer walls. Here, we saw giant Pigmy Seahorses. There was no comparison to the ones we saw inside of the Straits. We also saw Xeno crabs and whip coral critters of several varieties. Let’s not forget Lembeh at night. I highly recommend the “Cotton Dives” aka COTN-critters of the night.
I was extremely satisfied with the performance of my new D300. Shooting with 14 bits, the subtle colors are evident and the contrast is amazingly smooth. Every shot on my photo blog at: http://saltwaterphoto.com/blog.php are directly from the camera, with the exception of the twin Rhinopias which were shot with my D80. My housing and ports are Sea and Sea with Dual Sea and Sea YS 110 and Dual Ikelite DS 125 strobes. My lenses are Nikkor 105vr, 60mm Nikkor, 10-17 Tokina.
Lembeh Straits is an exceptional experience for muck diving and macro photography. I highly recommend it and promise to revisit Lembeh very soon. At least until I can edit 80 gigs of committed memory.
Here are some sample photos.

Ceratasoma with Imperial shrimp
 
harlequin shrimp
 yawning rhinopia

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