Friday, December 30, 2011

My Last Post of 2011

Well, I am still in China...having a great time. I was talking with Tika (my wife), and we were saying how great this year (2011) has been for our really has been a great year. Of course, every year being alive is great. We have so much to be thankful for. I am hoping for some new things on this blog next year...and hope to expand my traffic...word of mouth is always best, so please don't hesitate to share my website with your friends and family if you like my photos...

I hope you all had a great year, and have even a better year next year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

From The Archives #7

I remember taking this shot while on my safety stop at the end of the dive. I saw the snake come out of a hole, and dived down for a quick shot with only a couple of breaths of air left in my lucky with this shot though...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From The Archives #6

One of the fantastic reefs in Raja Ampat...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From The Archives #5

I remember this spot so well because the current was REALLY strong. I remember just sticking out my arm with camera in hand snapping this photo as I held onto a rock for my life...

Monday, December 26, 2011

From The Archives #4

I took this photo on a reef named after me..."Scotty's Reef"...we may have been the first people to ever dive in this spot, and I liked it so much, my friend Max named the site after me...incredible corals!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

From The Archives #3

This was actually the first underwater photo I had published...from one of my favorite dive sites called, "The Passage"...

Have a great weekend, and of course, Merry Christmas (on Sunday)!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

From The Archives #2

This was back in the days of many Mantas...last time I was at this spot, we only saw one the old days (5 years ago), there would be 15+ Mantas swimming around...not sure what has happened to them...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Vacation...From Archives #1

Sorry for not posting anything the last two days...I have no internet at home.

I am off on vacation until the 5th of January, so will post some photos from my archives the next couple of weeks until I return from China with some new photos.

Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunset From The Cliff

Just a short hike up a small hill on Pulau Kri, there is a small bench where you can sit with a cold beer and watch the sunset. After the afternoon dive, I would take a quick shower, and go up to this spot...a different view every night...

Have a great weekend!!

I am off on vacation the next couple of weeks, so will be posting some photos from the archives...hopefully, I will return from China with some new photos!!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sorido Pier

Not sure if you will like this or not...I am still playing around with Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2...what do you think?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gold Fish

A combination of Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2 and Nik's Color Efex...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cool Nudibranch

Not sure how I missed this photo when I was browsing through my latest underwater stuff...but somehow I just "swam" right by it which is usually what happens underwater...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hidung Merah Circus (Red Nose Circus)

I have a buddy that has started a little circus. He offers clowning lessons for kids that live in some of the poorest villages in Jakarta, and then gives a big show for the community...the TV channels come, and usually a big crowd of people. What he does for these kids is priceless...below is a photo of the youngest group of kids in his troupe...too cute!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Papuan Kids

Bring out your camera in Papua with a bunch of kids around, and this is the kind or reaction you usually get...pretty funny...I like the two little puppies in the corner of the frame...

Hey, it's Friday!! That means the weekend is near...woo hoo!!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Another Black n White

On a roll here with Black n White....why not another one?

This one also processed using Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Gili Air in Black n White

I don't do a lot of black n white, but from time to time, I like it. I have been using the new Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, and it is awesome...such a variety of presets available, and you can then adjust the presets to something you like...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Swarm of Fish

I have been watching a series on the BBC about "Swarms"...they have some amazing footage of swarms of fish, birds and insects and talk about the behavior of the swarms as a whole....really interesting stuff. I couldn't help think about that series when I saw this school (swarm) of fish around this reef head. They all acted as "one"....really amazing stuff...

Is this photo too "tall" for your monitor? It fits nicely on my iMac, but don't want you to have to scroll up or down to view it...let me know in the comments if it is too large, and next time, I will re-size photos like this...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Glass Bottom Boat

I had accidentally left my camera set at ISO 2500 for this shot, but amazingly enough, it didn't come out too grainy...but don't ya hate it when you forget to change the ISO back to "normal" settings?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Mike's Point

Happy Friday!! Don't you just love Friday's??

This is a shot from one of my favorite dive sites in Raja Ampat...Mike's Point, named after my friend, Max's son. The currents can be fierce at this spot, but currents bring with them big fish and lots of them. On this particular day, the currents were fairly mild, and I was able to sit next to this big rock that had fallen from the island above, and watch the schools of fish stream by...I could have sat there for hours...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Red and Black

Sometimes I get bored underwater...after over 4000 dives, it gets to a point when you have seen most of the stuff there is to see, I give myself little challenges...try to get photos of only certain colors, or a combination of colors, or look for new and interesting patterns...etc, etc,, this is one photo I took for one of my personal challenges...I was looking for the colors red and black, and trying to make the most interesting composition I could find with those colors...I should start a contest with something like this...would be a cool challenge for a bunch of divers to do all at the same time...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sand and Sky

That is the island of Lombok in the background...Mount Rinjani, actually. Mount Rinjani is an incredible hike, but a tough one. When you get to the top, there is another volcano inside the caldera and a lake...I have not been there yet, but have seen incredible sight, and supposedly there is a unique ecosystem around the lake that only exists in that is on my bucket list to of these days..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reef On Fire

Sorry for no post yesterday....we had a three day weekend out here.

Thanksgiving went well...hope you all had a great weekend as well...

Doesn't this photo look like fish running from a fire?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Friday!!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!! We had a great time last night, and all 70 or so people left with stuffed tummies! The turkeys were the best I have had!!

Here is the last of my underwater fashion series...I do have a couple more, but thought you might be getting tired of these...but if want more, I can share a few more with you...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving for you Americans out there!! I know that not all of you are Americans, but even if you are not, it's still a great day to say, "Thanks" and enjoy a nice day with family and friends. I am hosting a big dinner tonight....I have over 70 people coming over. We have the tents set up at the house, and my wife, Tika, is picking up SEVEN turkeys this morning....I will start cooking at 1:00...we deep fry the turkeys, and each one takes between 30 and 40 minutes, and it is the most delicious turkey you have ever is for sure the way to go...can't wait. In any case, I hope you all have a great day is one of my favorite American holidays!!

To continue with my series of "Underwater Fashion" is round more tomorrow, and will then get back to my usual stuff....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Underwater Fashion No. 3

On a totally different topic...are any of you on Google+ ? I am writing my thoughts about G+, and will share them in a post in a couple of thoughts might spark an interesting conversation on Google+, so stay tuned...

Here is my third entry from my underwater shoot last Sunday...trying to get two models with their eyes open, no bubbles in their nose, not too much hair or scarf in their face, enough light on their faces, the right expression, etc. while they are holding their breath is no easy lucky with this one...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Underwater Fashion No. 2

I converted this one to black n wouldn't even know it was underwater if it weren't for the would need an elaborate system of cables if you did a shot like this on land...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Underwater Fashion

I was asked if I could take some photos of a couple of models underwater this past weekend. I am an underwater photographer, but this is the first time I have taken photos of "people" underwater, and in a pool. I am used to being in the ocean taking photos of fish and reefs. It was a great experience, and challenging. Taking photos of people underwater is not as easy as it looks...and it is even more work for the model...

This week, I will post my results starting with this photo of Nathasya below...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Article On Steve Huff's Website

I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys about this...

A couple of weeks ago, Steve Huff published an article I wrote about the Leica M9. I had written a story soon after I purchased the M9, and this was a follow-up story about my first 16 months using the Leica. The article was well received, and it even sparked interest on the Leica Forums where one thread ended up being over three pages long. Most of the comments were about my style of photography and not about the article itself.

Leica users are a funny group of people. I would coin most of them to be more traditionalist who prefer no post-processing, and black n white images straight from the camera. Their Messiah is Henri Cartier Bresson, and images that stray from the "HCB Look" are not images worthy of a Leica. They have a diabolical hatred for anything HDR or anything even looking like HDR. They are the snobs of the Photographic world. Ok, I am kidding for the most part here...after all, I am a Leica user too. However, there is some truth to what I am saying here...and that was evident in some of the comments I received about my style of photography...

In any case, have a read if like, and let me know what you think...


Photo below courtesy of

Low Tide In The Gilli's

My daughter, Kayla, said to me when she saw this photo..."Daddy, it looks like the Earth". Amazing what kids see...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Papua Sunset

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Raining Fish

I was looking at this photo last night, and at first almost tossed it because of the over-exposed part at the top, but then thought it looked is like a "rain fall" of fish tumbling over the reef...what do you think?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fun With Lightroom

I processed this photo totally in Lightroom...I am getting close to the point of not really needing Photoshop...most everything I do can be done in Lightroom except masking and blending layers...still use Photoshop for that...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Healthy Reef

There is all this talk about the coral reefs dying around the world, bombings, cyanide poisoning, and coral is true, these things are still going on, but rarely is the good news being reported. There are healthy reefs around the world, and reefs coming back to life...there is some good out there, and it should be celebrated...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sardines Reef

I don't know what it is about Bat Fish...they are just so cool, and fun to take photo of...some of them get real curious, and will come right up to you almost asking for their photo to be taken while others are shy and go a running when you approach them...I guess they are like people!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Reefs of Lombok Are Alive and Well

Nuff said...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Storm Approaches Lombok

Most of the time during my trip last week, the skies were void of any clouds...makes for pretty days, but boring, I was sure to pull out my camera when I saw this storm approach...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Good Ole Clown Fish

The Clown Fish is probably the most popular fish to photograph underwater. It is addictive. When I find a small anemone with clownfish, I will sit there for sometimes up to a half hour trying to get the perfect shot...they are quick little guys, and dart in and out and above and behind the anemone, so I set challenges for myself...can I get three in one frame, can I get them framed against the underside of the anemone, can I get them in a turn, is really fun, and it is really difficult to get a bad shot of a clown fish...they are all so cute...its kinda like taking a photo of a really pretty girl....tough to get a bad shot...

So below, are a couple of my challenges met...I was able to get three in one shot, but didn't like that photo as well as these...the top photo was my challenge to get two fish against the underside of the anemone...the bottom photo was my attempt to get a fish in a turn and against the underside of the anemone...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Back From Lombok

The trip to Lombok was great...the weather was nice, the diving good, and a great escape from the hectic life in Jakarta...

Still going through my photos, but here is one I quickly edited...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Another Shot Inside The Egg

Here's another shot inside the Egg on the ground floor. This was the last photo I took before being kicked out of the building...they closed at 5:00, and I begged the guard to let me take one last shot. It was dark inside, so my exposures were really slow...amazing how 12 seconds can feel like an eternity....I am sure it felt the same way to the guard who was standing there waiting for me to finish...but you know the best part about shooting in China? No-one bugs you about using a is really nice. If I were in the states taking a similar photo, I would have been for sure been harassed about my tripod in a public place...what's up with that anyway?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Inside The Egg

I couldn't get enough of this had to pay to get inside, and I waited until the last hour to go inside. I didn't want a lot of people running around. They closed at 5:00, so I went in at 4:00, and pretty much had the place to

It is tough to capture this amazing place with one need one of those 360 degree cameras to capture it all..but wow, what an amazing place!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Forbidden City Moat

I posted this photo on Google+ last week, and commented how I saw this scene and was reminded of a photo I saw on Trey Ratcliff's, Stuck in Customs Blog. I was wondering if it is cheating to take the same photo?? I remembered liking his shot, and when I saw the same scene, I wanted something similar. I am usually not like that...I like to find my own shots, but is it cheating in some way in taking the same photo that you have seen somewhere else?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sculpture Thingy In Front Of Bird's Nest

Happy Halloween!!

I am off in Lombok, so made this week's posts last Friday.

I chose this photo cause it kind of has the Halloween colors in it...actually, I should have posted this photo last Friday, and put Friday's photo today...The bird's nest has all of the Halloween colors...

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Bird's Nest

It was a horrible, polluted night...but with all the lights turned on in the stadium, the haze was cut through allowing for some night photography...

A way cool, the Chinese have really stepped up their game when it comes to architecture...

I am off to Lombok for the week...a week of diving with my broken camera. I am hoping to get some shots, but I have not had time to get my camera fixed, so I might come back empty handed...we shall see...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Version of The "Egg"

Here is another shot of the same building I posted yesterday...this is from the side, and you can see the reflection much better completing the "Egg" shape...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The "Egg" in Beijing

Finally...made it to this incredible building in Beijing. The first time I went, the pollution was so bad, I could barely see the building, so ended up with some very hazy photos. The other thing that was confusing to me was the lights...they had these massive spot lights set up along the perimeter of the lake, but I never saw them turned on...I am sure the building would look even more spectacular with the lights turned on. I asked the people inside when they turned the lights on, and they said, "we turn the lights on when it gets dark"...BUT, the lights never came on...oh well...

Monday, October 24, 2011

In Hong Kong Waiting

I have been in Beijing for the past 4 days. The weather was the weirdest I have seen anywhere when it comes to pollution. When we arrived, you could barely see the ground, and aircraft would disappear seconds after take-off. It got worse later. The pollution index reached a staggering 496 at one a reference, I was told that Seattle, Washington, at its worse reaches maybe was so bad, you could not see the buildings across the street. This was bad news for me in regards to photography, but I still got out to get some shots. Yesterday, early in the morning, it was the same super hazy day, but by 10:00, it suddenly cleared up...I mean REALLY cleared up....the index dropped to 8. It was like the entire city was under the screen of a huge Photoshop Photo, and some God in the sky erased all of the haze...never seen anything like it...really weird. The bad part is that we had to leave just as everything cleared about frustrating...the worst 4 days in the city, and that was the time I was there...

In any case, I am sitting here in Hong Kong waiting for my flight back to Jakarta...the only photos I have with me are my recent trip to, did a quick edit of this photo...don't know what it is with these hand gestures little kids love to do when they get their photo is like the gangs of New York has reached the minds of kids in Papua...

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Hunt

If I were a small fish, the guy on the block I would fear the most would be the Giant Trevali...those guys are always lurking about near a school of small fish, and they, with no notice, will suddenly dart into the school to grab a bite...

Have a great weekend!! I am now in Beijing, and will return late on Monday. I am hoping to get a cool HDR shot of "The Egg"...that very cool building in Beijing...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bat Fish Under The Ledge

If you follow me on Google+, you would have seen this photo already. I processed this photo using Nik's Viveza which is really an awesome Photoshop/Lightroom plug-in. I did some color balance first, and then did the rest in Viveza...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Pier I Walked Down Each Day

This was my view everyday walking down the pier to get on the boat...well, the sky was different every day, of course...