Sunday, 13 July 2014

Taking this Turtle for granted...

It was a lazy Sunday and had time to browse through some of my old photos and found a rather simple image of a Sea Turtle basking in the sun taken from Apo Island. I uploaded the image on Flickr, 500px and Your Shot NGC and entitled it 'Sunbathing', had lunch with some friends and came back several hours later and found the photo has been trending on 500px and Your Shot NGC. This was somewhat of a surprise to me as I've thought the image was quite simple and safe. It was a nice feeling though getting close to 6,000 views in less than 3 hours and more than 500 thumbs up and 300+ favs on 500px, currently on the trending list on Your shot's always a nice feeling when your work is appreciated, (the little joys of photographers) sure made my Sunday =)

  Photograph Sunbathing by Jun Lao on 500px

Friday, 4 July 2014

More Reverse Ring Macro Underwater

It has been four months since I had the great opportunity to have learned from Imran Ahmad who was the first to use and teach a myriad of reverse ring macro techniques & secrets underwater. 
Here are a few more shots recently taken in Batangas waters. Do drop by , to check out his upcoming photo clinic schedules and latest works.

Gnathophyllum Americanum
Habitat: shallow rubble/ deep crevices with sea urchins 
Porcellanella Picta
Habitat: sea pen, soft coral shrubs

Lybia Tessellata
Habitat: shallow rubble under rocks, dead coral
Periclemenes Imperator + Dermatobranchus caeruleomaculatus
Habitat: Nudi on sand and atop soft coral/
Shrimp on Nudi's, spanish dancers, tube worms,  
Phyllognathia ceratophthalma
Habitat: staghorns with sponge, deep rubble and rocks
Antennatus Coccineus
Habitat: dead coral, coral mound grooves
Links to other photographers who have recently used Reverse Ring Macro underwater

Monday, 9 June 2014

Dolphins at Bais, Tanon Strait

Warm Welcome
I've devoted my life taking photos of marine wildlife for several years now and was looking for something more fun and challenging to document rather than be conformist to the drudgery of shooting macro images. I've heard about Bais, Tanon Strait for the longest time, home to 10 of the 21 cetacean species which can be found in Philippine waters and just this past summer, I decided to check this place out.
Instead of joining a motley crew of tourists, I rented out my own little banka and set out early in the morning, I had so much fun just observing  the Dolphins on the first day it took me another two days to attempt taking photos of them.  Below are some observations and images from my three day sojourn  

a. Trying to go scuba with the Dolphins in Bais is next to impossible, they will dart down a thousand feet as soon as you egress from the boat
b. Patience is a virtue, they will let you shoot under their terms and not yours. As shared, chase them and they'll dart down to the deep
c. Staying Calm is the most essential ingredient. Shooting marine wildlife for several years, animals can sense excitement, if they do, they respond by turning away, so goodbye nice pic...unless your into fish butts.
d.  Early mornings are best, they move closely together and in bigger groups.

Three's company

Rising to the bow 
Massive Pod of Spinners dart down
Leaving 530am daily
I had a few more days to spare so I ended my adventure doing several dives in Apo Island with Scuba Ventures Dumaguete, where you get guaranteed opportunities to free dive or go scuba with sea turtles.
Hello from Apo Island

Michael freedives for some turtles
Flying High at Apo Island
Best Season
   November to end May

Getting Here
   1. Fly to Dumagueteuete and take a tricycle to the Bus Terminal (10 minutes- P50 per pax) and      take the Ceres- Bais bound bus (P65) optional route if Dumaguete air tix to high...

   2. From Cebu- take a cab to South Terminal Bus Station (30-40 min.P150-P200) then take the      Ceres Bus to Santander port (3 hours-P127), then ride a ferry/fast craft boat to Sibulan (15 min.-    P70+/-)  and from the corner of port area, grab another Ceres Bus to Bais