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Archive for November, 2010

Lush coral window (Yilliet, Misool, Raja Ampat, Indonesia)

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Beautiful Dendronephthya soft corals ring a window in a boulder

During the 30-day trip to Indonesia I’m currently writing from, I’ve focused on taking still images and video with my insect eye setup (wide-angle macro) and a 3D underwater housing. I didn’t even bring a traditional wide-angle dome port, which has made it a little frustrating to be diving in some of the healthiest reefs in the world. Luckily, Don Kehoe is here and lent me his wide-angle rig for 3 dives. I went down and banged out some colorful reef images — felt like I was at home again. :)

Raja Ampat, Indonesia | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 30, 2010 07:17:30

Me ‘n Riri

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Riri and me at Misool Eco Resort

It is really rewarding to be accepted by a wild bird, even if the basis of trust is based on food.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 30, 2010 06:36:06

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-11-29

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  • @tonywu Julie wants a Japanese toilet. Please arrange. #
  • Got them most epic footage of a yellow-nosed shrimp goby, alpheid shrimp and dartfish in burrow, and the lens fogged up, ruining footage! :( #
  • Beautiful dive this morning – lots of behavior. Unfortunately, had 3D rig, so was unable to capture. #
  • Got serial number 0001 of the 2011 Raja Ampat park entrance tag! #
  • Enjoying shooting moon and stars. The night sky is incredible from Misool Eco-Resort! #
  • 4 sargassum frogfish, 1 normal frogfish, a nudibranch, wrasses and more in a clump of sargassum in the lagoon! #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 29, 2010 07:01:00

Starry night, with lightning (Raja Ampat, Indonesia)

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A lightning storm under a sky full of stars. Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

The night sky is amazing here in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Aside from the occasional live-aboard dive vessel, the Misool Eco-Resort is the only source of light pollution for miles and miles, and the lights at the resort aren’t bright enough to really cause problems. Point a camera at the sky on any clear night, and you get magic.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 29, 2010 02:06:24

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-11-22

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  • Coke with milk?? http://yfrog.com/eueighj #
  • There is nothing quite like the light of a setting sun under a stormy sky. #
  • Wandering around the beautiful village of Toraja, in central Sulawesi. #
  • Australians are telling me that "lollies" include things like gummy worms, mints and other kinds of non-lollipop candy. I protest! #
  • Leaving Toraja in the morning for the long drive back to Makassar. Loved the visit! #
  • @tammyloh come on a trip with me sometime! #
  • Missing the Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide party at DEMA in Vegas (stuck in a car in Indonesia). #
  • @sterlingz and @adam_hanlon are doing a fantastic job covering DEMA 2010. Check out day 2's coverage on Wetpixel! http://ech.cc/9ISNGC #
  • RT @tonywu: New post: Equipment Note: Totomega Insect-Eye Lens http://twu.tw/bdJkHq #
  • @sterlingz Whoah — you must have been up late or really early. Typical Wetpixel DEMA experience. :) #
  • Gorged ourselves at the Hotel Aryaduta Makassar dinner buffet in Indonesia. Great food here! Onward to Sorong tomorrow, en route to Misool. #
  • Landed in Sorong (jet passed kids playing on the runway). Now, 4-4.5 hour crossing to Misool Eco-Resort. #
  • Just passed Mike Veitch, Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock; they are on the Damai in Sorong harbor and we are on a speedboat headed to Misool! #
  • @tonywu whaa? The Rhinopias shows up as we leave? #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 22, 2010 07:01:00

Bats are cool

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Large fruit bat in central Torajaland, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Most of the Wetpixel group traveling to Toraja are more used to photographing wildlife than they are photographing landscapes and people. Bernie, our guide, took us to a place where hundreds of large fruit bats hung on towering clumps of bamboo. I’m not sure what kind of bats they were, but they were likely Indonesian short-nosed fruit bats (Cynopterus titthaecheilus). A few of them were flying around during the day, and I snapped these shots with a Canon 7D and 70-200mm/2.8L lens @ 200mm (crop). (read more »)

Toraja, Indonesia | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Nov 19, 2010 06:58:50

Burial caves at Londa (Torajaland, Sulawesi, Indonesia)

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4 skulls deep in a burial cave in Londa, Toraja (Sulawesi, Indonesia)

As an interlude between diving Ambon and Raja Ampat, 9 of us are on a 4-day tour of Toraja, which is up in the mountains of central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Traditional burials of the deceased here are in “hanging” graves on cliff faces, but we also were taken to see burial caves in a village called Londa. Although much of the caves were filled with old skulls and bones, we saw a coffin that had placed there earlier this year.

Toraja has a rich culture around death, and we spent much of our two full days here attending the funeral of a local man. 6 buffalos and 2 pigs were slaughtered at the event, and the meat was distributed to family members who aggregated for the 3-day celebration. We were invited in to one of the temporary shelters erected for the event, and feel honored to have been treated like family.

Toraja, Indonesia | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 18, 2010 06:15:51

Warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus), Ambon, Indonesia

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A pair of warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus). The female is heavily laden with eggs.

We saw nearly 20 different frogfish while we were in Ambon, including warty frogfish, painted frogfish, striated frogfish and more. This female warty is full of eggs. You can see the tiny little male sitting on top of her.

Ambon, Indonesia | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 17, 2010 21:32:39

Clownfish aerates eggs, Ambon, Indonesia

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A false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) aerates and cleans her eggs next to her host anemone. Ambon, Indonesia.

Most seasoned underwater photographers are inexplicably drawn to photograph anemonefish even though they already have hundreds of pictures of them. It is extremely difficult to get an image of an anemonefish that someone else hasn’t already captured. I took this shot with the INON insect-eye lens, which allowed me to capture the tiny fish and egg patch along with the anemone and background.

Ambon, Indonesia | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Nov 17, 2010 21:27:53

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-11-15

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  • Jetlagged. Woke up at 5am after only 4 hrs sleep (mosquito flew into my ear). #
  • Burt Jones, Maurine Shimlock and Mike Veitch came by to visit us in Ambon today (from the Damai). It was great to see you! #
  • @johnolilly prefetching is evil. Some links do things, like delete stuff! #
  • I am now an expert at assembly of the SOLA600 light. http://yfrog.com/gqeq1j #
  • This is the underwater camera I'm using. Insecticon is ready to be deployed! http://yfrog.com/87pu8kj #
  • I was excited by $1 cipr #
  • I was excited by $1 Ciprofloxacin in PNG. In Ambon, it is $1.50 for 16 tablets! #
  • Lea Moser got a nice shot of a newly-hatched paper nautilus in Ambon. Awesome! #
  • I'm posting Indonesia updates to my journal when I can, but they aren't hitting Twitter. http://echeng.com/journal/ #
  • I'm posting Indonesia updates to my journal, but they aren't hitting Twitter. Check manually if you are interested http://echeng.com/journal #
  • 4 hairy frogfish on a dive tonight! They are very cute. #
  • I'm going to rename the dive sites in Ambon: Huggies 1,2,3 and Pampers 1,2,3. #
  • Nursing an ear infection. Poo in the ocean is hard to avoid. #
  • Wrapping up 7 days of muck diving in Ambon. Heading to central Sulawesi tomorrow and then continuing onward to Misool, Raja Ampat! #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 15, 2010 07:01:00

Juvenile paper nautilus in egg casing, Ambon, Indonesia

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Ambon, Indonesia | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 14, 2010 03:33:31

Coleman’s shrimp pair on a fire urchin

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Coleman’s shrimp pair on a fire urchin, originally uploaded by echeng.

Coleman’s shrimp (Periclimenes colmani), a beautiful commensal shrimp that lives in pairs on fire urchins (Asthenosoma varium), are fairly common in Ambon. Fire urchins are typically found here at depths of 60-90 feet, and about one out of 20 will have at least one of three kinds of commensal crustacea living on them.

Using the INON insect eye lens (Underwater Micro Semi-Fisheye Relay Lens UFL-MR130 EFS60), I was able to capture two Coleman’s shrimp in a valley of fire urchin spines. Shots taken with traditional lenses cannot capture the colorful environment in which these shrimp live.

Ambon, Indonesia | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 13, 2010 08:48:14

Pregnant harlequin swimming crab (Lissocarcinus laevis), Ambon, Indonesia

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Pregnant harlequin swimming crab (Lissocarcinus laevis), Ambon, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

The most well-known dive site in Ambon is called Laha. Laha is known as “Twilight Zone” by the folks who first dove it – and for good reason: its mucky slope is packed full of the strange and outrageous. When we came here in April of 2009, we enjoyed the site so much that we spent 6 full days diving its mucky slope.

The new moon is approaching, and everywhere in Ambon, animals have aggregated to spawn. In a single large hole in the reef, we saw 4 large stonefish fidgeting about with their heads nearly touching. Many of the critters we are finding down there are stuffed full of eggs. During a midnight dive last night, I spotted a pregnant harlequin swimming crab (Lissocarcinus laevis) hiding under some sort of tube anemone. After a few minutes, the crab walked out slowly from under her protective umbrella and extended her brood pouch – a sure sign that she was about to release eggs. After 4 minutes of gentle egg aeration, she sprang into the water column without warning, releasing all of her eggs in a few seconds of spastic gyration. This photo was taken moments before she released her eggs.

Ambon, Indonesia | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Nov 11, 2010 22:43:11

Panda anemonefish eggs (Amphiprion polymus), Ambon, Indonesia

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Panda anemonefish eggs (Amphiprion polymus), Ambon, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

The Wetpixel Ambon Night Safari is underway in full force; we are doing 3 night dives each evening and are enjoying being immersed in a soup of the bizarre creatures that inhabit the waters of Ambon, including discarded diapers, tampons and other desirable subjects. Unfortunately, the nasty stuff thrown into the bay is part of what creates such an interesting underwater habitat.

Most of our group is shooting with standard macro rigs, but there are 3 insect eye relay lenses here at the resort. Julian and I are both shooting INON lenses, and Tony has a custom job from Japan. They can be incredibly frustrating to use, but successful images often describe scenes that have never before been seen. The photo in this post is a screen grab from HD video taken with my Canon 7D and insect eye lens. The main subject, a mass of eggs from a panda anemonefish (Amphiprion polymus), is normally photographed using a super-macro setup. Using an insect eye lens, I was able to capture video of both the tiny eggs and attentive parent fish. Each egg houses a late-stage baby anemonefish, an in the video, you can see tiny hearts beating and eyes moving.

echeng101110_0268858

Ambon, Indonesia | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 10, 2010 23:44:53

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-11-08

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  • An airport farewell. So familiar… #
  • Don't use Facebook or Twitter on open WiFi networks (or, use https) http://zum.bz/cYowF9 #
  • I liked a YouTube video — Lord of the Vibrato – The Fellowship of Anna K. http://youtu.be/9uPNFkvOzAw?a #
  • Hrm. The Use HTTPS extension for Chrome doesn't quite work right with new-tab clicks in Facebook (opens link in new tab AND in current tab). #
  • I'm proud to live in a place where the "I Voted!" sticker looks like this. http://yfrog.com/jc1rnzj #
  • I liked a YouTube video — ParCow! http://youtu.be/wSnc3neGaYI?a #
  • I liked a YouTube video — 3RUN SHOWREEL 2010 http://youtu.be/XFErnYDHFF0?a #
  • There is a large stream of people heading to the parade in SF. Going to be crazy! #
  • Trying to finish as much work as possible before starting to pack for tomorrow… #
  • I'm back on Blackberry, and it feels so good. Now. Who is on BB Messenger? :) #
  • Trying Skype 5.0 beta for Mac, and… WHAT IS WITH THE GIGANTIC WINDOW? #
  • Skype 5 beta: You have to show the "Contacts Monitor" for the small window and close the main one every time you open the app. #uifail #
  • OK, looks like United Premium Exec gets me 3 x 50lb bags in economy on Singapore Airlines from USA. That is great news! #
  • It's taking me HOURS to pack. #
  • We're going to have 4 Light & Motion SOLA600 lights in Ambon and Misool for guests to try. They are great lights! http://yfrog.com/022a4ej #
  • Raja Ampat wants 3 x passport-sized photos for its marine park application. Stress! I printed these at home. http://yfrog.com/28r4tlj #
  • I liked a YouTube video — The Vibrato Showdown – Anna Karkowska vs. Heifetz & Oistrach http://youtu.be/d_UNEFHzVfk?a #
  • "No, You're Stupid: How Different Smartphone Users View Themselves (And Others)" http://ech.cc/a7kWuf Hmmm. I've had all three. #
  • My friend Stephen Prutsman is playing piano at Herbst Theater, 11/27 @ 8pm. Program is incredible and benefits autism http://ech.cc/cqYHI0 #
  • SFO – HKG – SIN – DPS – Makassar – Ambon. Here we go! #
  • I am *so* glad I'm in a window seat. The seat-back climbing as people make their way down the aisle has already started. #
  • These pillows are going to end up in my lap. http://yfrog.com/n05t2lj #
  • It's always the smell of mothballs that accompanies an arrival in East Asia. #
  • The airplane cleaning crew took my gum!! #
  • 3 Airbus A380 aircraft parked in Singapore. Still haven't been in one. #
  • @ggoodale yes. I wonder if it is policy to confiscate unattended packs of gum. Or if it is valuable black market currency. #
  • Julian got us into the first class lounge at SIN. I'm hopping into the shower! #
  • Crap: all flights to/from Jakarta cancelled due to volcano. Hope our guests flying through there can reroute successfully! #
  • It's always Battlestar Galactica music in Bali. It is weird that a TV show has changed how I experience a place. #
  • Out of our entire group, I was the only one charged excess baggage for my dive gear. Love the consistency in Indonesia! #
  • @sterlingz has 1password for chrome reached parity with the firefox extension? #
  • @sterlingz lion air. Wasn't too bad. #
  • A daily doodle by Dan Kozyndan Kitchens, captured on video. http://yfrog.com/146x3j #
  • The Wetpixel group has arrived in Ambon (minus 1) with all our gear. Ready for 8 days of critter diving! #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 8, 2010 07:01:00

How to protect yourself from Firesheep

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Firesheep is a Firefox extension that allows users to steal login cookies on popular websites, which allows the user to login as you if you are browsing on the same network. It was release last week and has already forced sites like Facebook to issue statements addressing security. I downloaded it just now to test it out, and ran it while I logged into Facebook, Gmail, Amazon, Twitter, and other sites I frequent often. Here’s what Firesheep sniffed out:


Firesheep can login to a lot of the sites I use

Double clicking on an avatar or account in the sidebar immediately opened a browser session as me, logged into the website shown. Anyone running Firesheep on an open network can sniff out and login as anyone on the network who is actively using the websites Firesheep knows about. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 1, 2010 22:17:44

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-11-01

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| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 1, 2010 07:01:00
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