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Some Tips on diving at Lembeh

Close-focus Wide Angle Hairy Frogfish

A tiny Hairy Frogfish Antennarius striatus roaming around the black volcanic sandy bottom of Lembeh.  Diving at Lembeh requires that one patiently discover the myriad of critters through careful observation.

Eagle-eyed Dive Guide and Mimic Octopus

Get a good Dive Guide

The most important tip is to get a good dive guide. It is essential, as most of the critters are very small, and they are fairly dispersed in the environment. The dive guides of Lembeh, the good ones, are literally eagle-eyed. They will spot the smallest of critters, and would know where to locate the good finds on any given day.

Would you have seen that octopus?  It is a Mimic Octopus!

Master Your Buoyancy Control

Many dive sites in Lembeh have somewhat silty bottom. The way to annoy the next diver is to fin to get off the bottom, and behold desert storm! Inhale and wait a moment to let buoyancy lift you off the seafloor, and gently swim away, so that the next photographer can get in to take the photographs of his or her trip!

Divers with good bouyancy.jpg
Urchin Lembeh Critters

Look Before You Land

It would do you well before landing on the sandy bottom to have a good thorough look about where you are about to land – there could be some venomous, toxic or otherwise harmful critter right there, that can inflict serious pain on you.

Observe but Don’t Touch

There are many critters that rely on toxins, or other mechanisms to defend themselves. This is especially so on sandy dive sites, where there is no place for many critters to hide. Do not touch anything, and when something is flashing at you, like the blue ring pulsating on a blue-ringed octopus, back off!

Blue-ringed Octopus
Bubble Coral Shrimp Lembeh Critters.jpg

Bring your macro lens

That is the standard setup, macro lens that will go to 1:1 and beyond. I was shooting up to 1:1.4, using a TC1.4 on a 60mm and a 105mm macro. Many photographers these days go beyond 1:1.4, and use snoot – slow moving critters, like nudibranchs, are ideal for snooted shots.

There is actually a place for wide angle, even fisheye lens, for a technique called CFWA or close focus wide angle, where the smaller (not smallest) critters can be shown in their environment.

Bring your Fish Eye lens!

Close Focus Wide Angle Coconut Octopus
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