Saturday, September 8, 2018

Marine Life Photos from West Papua

by Charles Roring
I have just uploaded several videos in my youtube account this week. They are about marine life in Raja Ampat and Manokwari. I hope that I could upload more videos covering the coastal region of Tambrauw regency too.
I often organize marine and birding tours to Vogelkop (bird's head) region of West Papua for tourists who are interested in swimming and snorkeling over coral reef and watching birds and other wild animals in rainforest environments of this province.
For swimming and snorkeling, I recommend that visitors bring their own snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel, and flippers. A small action camera such as Gopro or a waterproof Nikon W300 is good for taking pictures of fish and other marine creatures at sea.

For rainforest tour, I suggest that visitors bring a good pair of binoculars. I personally use a pair of Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars and a Kinglux 20-60×60 mm spotting scope. For taking pictures of birds, I used Fujifilm HS50EXR. It was a powerful super-zoom point and shoot camera. Unfortunately, it stopped functioning more than one month ago.
Yesterday, I went snorkeling to test my "new camera" Fujifilm XQ2. Its size was quite small. The manufacturer put a 2/3-type X-trans CMOS sensor II and an EXR processor II inside its body. It looked like a promising specifications.
It was sunny when I arrived at the beach outside of Manokwari city. The sea surface was a little rough. The visibility in shallow water was poor. So, I decided to swim further to drop off area of the reef. There, sea water was quite clear and the visibility for coral reef was good.

I was not familiar with all the features of the camera. It was my first time to use the Fujifilm XQ2 underwater. To simplify everything, I set its shooting mode dial to automatic. Because of small waves and current, I could not easily maintain stable position in the water. I did my best by holding hard rocks near me while taking pictures. There were Blue Devil, Anemonefish, Surgeonfish, Parrotfish, Moorish Idol, Wrasse, and a lot more. I saw a sea snake was going up to sea surface when I was shooting the anemonefish. Perhaps, it was taking fresh air. Green sea grass, green hard corals and sea star could also be seen in the water.
Damselfish in Coral Reef
The coral reef and marine life was in good condition and good for snorkeling and freediving. The photos that I made that day were quite good. I hope I could make better ones when I go freediving in the near future, perhaps in Raja Ampat or Tambrauw coastal area. I will read its manual book and see the best settings for underwater photography.
If you are interested in taking a sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling, hiking and birding tour with me to Sorong and Raja Ampat, Tambrauw and Manokwari, and want me as your guide, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.