Despite the virus and the unfortunate cancellation of diving in Raja for the season, we have a contest winner. Congratulations to Doug Keim
, who submitted 27 confirmed reef manta sightings!
Doug in fine “Manta-ID Contest taking” form, getting the all important belly shot!
Doug’s images, along with those from all participants, will be placed in the permanent BHS Manta database. BHS Manta Researcher and contest director, Edy Setyawan, notes that these images are essential to him and fellow scientists in their ongoing research and conservation efforts to protect these charismatic creatures.
Even though the contest was inclusive to images taken during this abbreviated current season, Edy encourages photographers to send him images taken at any time on any Raja trip! So, while you are sitting at home wishing you could dive, PLEASE consider spending some of your “free” time and take a dive through your older manta images. Then become a citizen scientist and send your images to Edy, either via the website uploader
or directly to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to include date, time and location if possible. (Edy is currently updating the Manta database and will share that with us very soon.) Show that you care and get to work, we thank you and so do the mantas!
Doug will get the honor of naming one of “his” mantas. He also wins a free trip aboard one of Raja’s finest liveaboards, Pindito
. We would like to thank Pindito’s owner and staff for their support of the contest and their ongoing commitment to providing the best of diving in Indonesia.
Doug, as always, prepared for a dive!
A bit about our winner, Doug Keim:
Doug writes; “I am originally from Pennsylvania. I got certified to dive in 1998 while attending Penn State University (Electrical Engineering), but aside from a couple of dives right after getting certified, I never really dived much. Then, in 2002, as luck would have it, a boat-builder friend in Thailand hooked me up with an operator for whom he had just built a new liveaboard. They got me setup on a trip to the Similan Islands. So there I was with less than 10 dives in my log book heading out on a trip on which I would ultimately see everything from harlequin shrimps, ornate ghost pipefish and other macro critters to swimming alongside sea turtles, whale sharks and manta rays. Needless to say I was hooked, and have gone on at least one dive holiday every year since.
Doug takes a “Selfie with Manta”
After that first trip, I knew I needed to get a camera to start capturing images of all the incredible things I was seeing underwater. I started with a point-n-shoot and proceeded up to the DSLR rig that I now shoot. Over the years my photography has gotten better and I’ve been lucky enough to witness some “once in a lifetime” events. Even though I never expect to be anything more than a passionate amateur underwater photographer, I’m always glad when my photos can be used for conservation and science. Winning the first BHS Manta ID photo contest is an honor beyond my expectations. Knowing my images will help mantas is a huge bonus!”
You can see more of Doug’s images by visiting his website
or his Facebook
and Instagram pages. His Instagram handle is @expatdiver1.