Lembeh Creatures

September 29th, 2023 • uwt

Lembeh Creatures

We recently hosted our 10th Anniversary Photo Workshop at NAD Lembeh Resort back in July. Prior to the event we were there for the “Photo Fun Week” where we also jumped in the water with our cameras. During the workshop we don’t dive with cameras and the Fun Week allows us to see what critters are hanging out before the workshop starts. This year we enjoyed four days worth of diving to photograph the always inspiring wildlife in Lembeh.

With the great guides of NAD on hand we were able to photograph a long list of great critters. We have selected a few highlight shots to share some of the more interesting animals that we found.

Coconut Octopus – Lembeh Creatures

Lembeh Creatures Coconut

One of the highlights of the trip to Lembeh was a plethora of cooperative coconut octopus. The best site for these entertaining cephalopods was Air Bajo. There were 3 or 4 coconut octopus in the area inhabiting a variety of different homes. Mainly they were at home in a variety of shells as opposed to coconuts. All of them were quite large and were perfect subjects for close focus wide angle work. However, as I only had a 105mm lens it was a little more difficult to take a pleasing photo. Using such a long lens required the camera to be a long way from the octopus itself. This was good in a way as the octopus wasn’t bothered by my presence.

Yellow Goby

Little Yellow Goby Lembeh Creatures

Little yellow gobies are one of the highlights of any visit to Lembeh. These tiny fish inhabit a variety of different homes. Popular spots include bottles, coconuts, wood, or any other bit of detritus on the bottom of a sandy site. Although they may not be the most technical subject to shoot, the shenanigans they get up to is always worth the effort. There may not be a more frustrating subject than a goby that keeps hiding on the wrong side of a bottle!

Goby in Bottle

Bearded Goby – Lembeh Creatures

One of the most difficult critters to shoot. These small gobies live inside hard coral and not just any hard coral. Bearded gobies live within branching coral which is both dense and shiny! Anyone who has spotted one of these little fish will understand the frustration it takes to photograph as it flies all over the coral! Thankfully this fish was a relaxed one and allowed me to get a few shots in.

Bearded Goby

Velvet Ghost Pipefish

One of the most unique finds was a beautiful velvet ghost pipefish on the second dive of the week. This unique looking fish is not found very often and is wonderful to see. The bright colours are so different from other ghost pipefish so it really stands out. Although not a technical photograph to take, I used an open f-stop of f5.6 in order to separate the fish from the background.

Purple Pipefish

These are just a sampling of the photographs and creatures that we found in Lembeh in 2023. Other Lembeh creature highlights include blue ring octopus, mimics, wonderpus, hairy frogs, harlequin shrimp, sea horses and so much more! We will be heading back to NAD Lembeh in 2024 for our annual Photo Fun Week and Photo Workshop. If you are interested in joining us we do have a few spaces left, feel free to contact us.