Indonesia: Manado & Lembeh on a brand new Canon G7X Mark II and a doomed DJI Mavic Air
Published on 2018-07-01 18:28:37
Now, Indonesia is quite a journey in itself. Ten hours or so to Japan, seven more to Jakarta, a twelve hour layover at a cheap (but very nice) hotel near the airport and up again for five more hours to Manado. Then a one hour bus ride through the jungle to reach the Grand Luley Resort near the famous Bunaken National Park, at the North-Eastern tip of Sulawesi, an Island that used to be called the Celebes. The trip was organized by our friend Evan, videographer extraordinaire and G.O (definition here) from Seasick Production. He has quite a few trips going on over the next years or so, check them out!
We spent about two weeks in Manado, diving Bunaken almost every day and did one day trip to Lembeh for quite a different diving experience, looking for weirdass fish and other critters in the muck.Contrary to Lembeh, Bunaken is known for its stunning wall dives and its strong currents. No big animals there, just beautiful healthy reefs with tons of fishes of all sorts.
Same thing goes with wide angle shots, even with an additional external light (I know, heresy right) I stole from my buddy's GoPro setup, I was not really able to get clear shots. It seems the depth of field on that camera is ridiculously short. I can't believe Canon would come up with such a shitty underwater camera, so it must be the photographer. It has to.
The external video light came very handy on the muck dives in Lembeh to help focus or to get clear video. It was still a pain to get the macro subjects in focus, especially the minuscule flamboyant cuttlefish or the elusive hairy frogfish we found there...
Notwithstanding the lack of camera mastery, this trip was awesome when it came to seeing stuff I had never or seldom seen before: squids (I know, we get these here in California, but I've never seen them!), cuttlefish including the flamboyant model, mantis shrimp (which I found myself after losing the rest of the group), giant devil scorpionfish (which I almost landed on), snake eel burrowed in sand, snake eel in old tire, a wide variety of colorful nudibranchs, twinspot lionfish, harlequin pipe fish, banded pipefish, ornate ghost pipefish, Oriental flying gurnard, stargazer (my favorite and #1 on my list, found 1 minute into the first dive in Lembeh, took a bit longer for the hairy frogfish), seahorses, crocodile fishes, fire urchins, Pegasus sea moth dragonfish, and probably more...
Top side, I experimented with the new drone. Quite a nice little piece of engineering this guy. Crystal clear smooth 4k videos or 120fps 1080p, very easy to handle... Except it did not like trees and the mangrove when I took it for a spin on its third day out. It must be the pilot though. It has to.
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