Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Photo Week 2006 - Macro Mania

Here's the second part for the Photo Week Images Special segments. In this segment, we post some of the awesome macro pictures for all macro maniacs out there.

Enjoy folks!!

Tim Smith's giant frogfish against the blue background, great shot Tim!!

Tim's second image, a close up of the face of crocodile fish.
Absolutely great shot of the snake eel in Paradise 1, with the cleaning shrimp on its eye. Who say shore dives are boring??
Lynn Ludden's serena notodoris nudibranch
Second image by Lynn Ludden, a small broadclub cuttlefish
Face-shot of a red giant frogfish by Jeff Mitchell, well done Jeff!!!
Another stunning shot by Jeff.......
Flamboyant cuttlefish by Janet

Yellow shrimp goby by Jack Gullison Another stunning macro shot bu Jack, gold-spec jawfish swimming out to eat
Bushy phylodesmium nudibranch by Barbara Laidlaw

Absolutely awesome Andy!!

Photo Week 2006 - Wide Wonder

Here it is all Paradise Loggers out there...the first of the four segments of Photo Week Special Photo Sessions - The Wide Wonder segment. Here's some of the very cool shots of the underwater world in Sipadan and Mabul.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Photo Week 2006 - Special Announcement

Dear folks, with kind consideration to what we have been doing for the coverage for the Photo Week 2006.....it has suddenly dawn on us that we may have not been uploading enough pictures for the viewing pleasures of all our Paradise-Logger out there, where ever you may be, be it in Japan, US, Italy, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan .....well, you guys know where you are.....

As a token of appreciation to everyone out there that has been checking back on Paradise Log even when you are back to where you come from and back to work, here, we upload more pictures that has been taken by participants of the Photo Week 2006. They will be uploaded in four sections, according to a very broad classification of what kind of pictures that were taken. The four categories are:

1) Wide Wonder - Wide angle pictures that represents the animal in a majestic way that leaves us awe in wonder....

2) Macro Fest - Well, what else can we say? Mabul is a great place for macro. And the participants are all crazy with macro subjects! It's a fest!!

3) Know Your Subject Know Your Friend - There are a considerable amount of pictures taken with a diver as a background to enhance the story behind the images taken, be it the divemasters or the buddies. We are land creature, yet we have an insatiable curiosity to see the underwater world, hence we dive! Yet, we constantly kept in mind that we are in the water to see those underwater creatures at their everyday lives, not to cause disturbance to them. 'Respect' is the word!

4) When I'm Not Diving - Diving holidays will always include nice scenery, nice beaches, nice resorts, nice indigenous people etc. Hence, this special segment is a special tribute to the natural environment that we have here in Mabul and the villagers that live here.

Seems interesting? Please read the next four entries that will be posted each day and at the end of it all will be the winning pictures of the Photo Week.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Photo Week 2006 update - Day 5 (Cultural Show)

The boat dives were as usual for today followed by a critique session with Marty. By today evening, all images are due for submission for judging. All images taken after today are not applicable for competition.

As a token of appreciation for all participants to choose SWV as their venue for this Photo Week, the SWV team has put together a special Cultural Show after dinner.

The first dance was Tong Pa Kitong Kitong performed by boatmen from the divecenter. The dance is a Bajau Dance from Sabah made famous by a Sabahan artist by the name of Den Bisa.

Boatmen performing the Tong Pa Kitong Kitong

The second cultural dance was the Sumazau dance performed by staff from the Reception, Bar, Bellboy, Housekeeping and Restaurant. The dance is originally from Sabah performed after the harvest season (local name Pesta Kaamatan) by the Dusun ethnic and the Kadazan ethnic as a show of gratitude for the harvest that they get for the season.

The Sumazau Dance with the use of the very famous song in Sabah "Jambatan Tamparuli"

The third dance was the Mengalai Dance performed by staff from the Restaurant and the Kitchen. This dance is originally from Phillipines usually performed during wedding ceremonies. This dance is performed only by female dancers.

The Mengalai Dance

The fourth dance was the Pocho-Pocho dance originally from Indonesia but has got its way into popularity into Sabah. This is a more modern dance that is likened by youngsters. The dance was performed by staff by staff from Reception, Store, Gardening, Maintenance, Restaurant, Compressor and Souvenir Shop. After the dance, the guests were invited to learn the dance with the dancers. Everybody is having a good time!!

The Pocho-Pocho Dance

The fifth dance was called Darling Darling Hip Hop performed by staff from Kitchen and Restaurant.

Darling Darling Hip Hop

The sixth performance was from the divemasters. This is not a dance performance but rather a singing performance. The songs that were performed was The Sipadan Song and the secong song was Leaving Mabul Island (improvised from the song Leaving on a jet plane).

Singing performance by the divemasters

The seventh performance was the Indian Dance performed by staff from Kitchen and the Restaurant again. These lots are sure a talented lot huh! This dance is specially performed in conjunction with the recently celebrated Deepavali celebration on the 21st of October.

Indian Dance

The last performance was a singing performance by all staff in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration on the 24th of October. For your information, it is not something surprising for Malaysian to celebrate more than one major festivals together. We have Deepa-Raya where the Hindus celebrate their Deepavali a few days apart from the Muslims celebrating their Hari Raya. And at some years we have Gong Xi - Raya celebration where the Chinese community celebrate the Chinese New Year together with the Hari Raya. When this happens, the children are the happiest because they get to have long holidays!

Hari Raya song

Everybody was having a good time after a week's diving here. Don't believe? Ask Clay, Mauricio, Julia and Andy..............

From left to right: Clay Wiseman, Julia Handler, Mauricio Handler, Andrew Wallace. Pictures taken by Janet Czapski

After the divemasters sang the Sipadan song, a lot of people were asking for the lyrics for the song. So here, as a compliment for everybody who liked that song, we upload the lyrics of the Sipadan song on Paradise Log.

The Sipadan Song (to the tune of Jamaican Farewell)

There’s an island in the Celebes Sea,
The name’s Sipadan you must go and see,
If you’re a diver and you want the best,
Come go along and we’ll do the rest

Well I’m glad to say the Drop Off’s OK,
Barracuda Point is not far away,
Lobster Lairs is also there,
And The Hanging Garden is very rare

Divers down at the water side,
Looking at the drop with gaping eyes,
Wondering what’s there down below,
Is it Nobby Clark or is it Jacques Cousteau?


There’s a turtle skeleton in the Turtle Cave,
You can go to see it if you’re feeling brave,
Dive right in until it ends
But don’t stay too long or you’ll get the bends


White Tip Avenue and the Turtle Patch,
The Coral Garden – There is no match,
Soft coral, hard coral and the sea whips too,
Tropical fish to amaze you


There’re so many places you may have seen,
The Caribbean Islands, the Coral Seas,
The Barrier Reef and the Maldives too,
But Sipadan Island now that’s something new


Jacques Cousteau and “Calypso” came
“Oh Gee” micro paradise he did acclaim,
Divers in silver up and down the reef
Cameras clicking there was no relief


Well…..Sad to say you’re leaving tomorrow,
Sipadan Island will be far away,
I know that when you leave her shore,
There’ll be memories in your heart forever more


Even the catfish in Paradise can sing the Sipadan song!!!!

Photo Week 2006 Update - 3rd and 4th day

The diving schedule were as usual for Day 3 and Day 4, with 2 boat dives and 1 boat dive in the afternoon. And of course, there are people who will skip one of the boat dive to do a self-dive in either Paradise 1 or Paradise 2. They just love Paradise 1 and Paradise 2, they love the snake eel, ornate ghostpipefish, fingered dragonet, robust ghostpipe fish, and the most exciting addition to Paradise now is the baby fingered dragonet, measuring less than 1cm in length, absolutely gorgeous!!!

Baby Fingered Dragonet

There were critique session at 1pm in the afternoon as usual with the photo pros. In this critique sessions, the photo pros will look at photos taken by participants and give comments on the picture on the lighting of the picture, the composition of the picture, the selection of subjects, etc.
There were 2 seminars in the evening of Day 3 by Maurico and Clay. And on the evening of Day 4 there was a critique session with Joe Wysocki.

By now participants started to submit images for competition. There are 4 categories for the competition: Best Use of Light, Best Behaviour, Best Topside and Best Representation of Sipadan Water Village.
Janet Czapski's little combtooth blennyJanet Czapski's honeycomb moray Janet Czapski's octopus in a bottleMauricio Handler's green turtle with Julia Handler at the back Mauricio Handler's pair of ornate ghostpipe fish
Mauricio Handler's many host gobyMauricio Handler's snake eel, again with Julia as her model

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Photo Week 2006 Update - 1st Day and 2nd Day

After the orientation dive and ceremony yesterday, participants are ready today for the real stuff! All participants are divided into 6 groups with rotating photo pros among these boats so that all participants can be able to dive with the photo pros each day.

Mauricio helping Janet with her camera
Clay and Andy helping Marsha with her video

There will be 2 boat dives as usual in the morning followed by a seminar by one of the photo pros in the afternoon to share the knowledge and techniques of underwater photography. Then participants will go on their third boat dives at 2pm. Another seminar will be held at 6pm every evening. Then participants will have their dinner at 7.30pm. After dinner participants can have more discussion sessions with the pros to share with them what have they encountered from their diving, to ask them questions about their cameras and videos or even to ask for critiques from the photo pros of the images they have taken.

Divemaster Allan is having difficulty finding his divers because everybody were busy fussing with their cameras and videos

Janet chatting away happily with Geri after the dive with Jeff smiling happily admiring his pictures....

Participants staying back after evening seminar to ask more questions to the pros

More discussion after dinner

There was a special optional mangrove dive for participants this afternoon. A total of 12 participants signed up for the mangrove dives with Jimmy and Allan.

Mangrove namelist

Jimmy briefing the participants for the mangrove dive

On the second day of the Photo Week 2006, it's Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration (Islamic New Year). In honour of the celebration, the first boat dive was scheduled at 10am in order for the Muslim staff here to go to the mosque in the morning for their morning prayer. Some of the divemasters helped out in the kitchen and restaurant to let other staff go to mosque to pray.

Su helping out at the restaurant preparing omelletes....so sweet!!

There were 2 boat dives in the afternoon instead of one. Followed by another seminar in the evening.

Dive boat coming back from diving

Barbara Laidlaw bringing her camera after the dive with Divemaster Bobby at the background