Empowering Conservation Through Local Engagement

The spectacular ecosystem of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat offers ample opportunities for fish portraits and macro shots with a 100mm lens, but the broad expanses of pristine hard corals punctuated with colorful soft corals and sea fans made it difficult for me to forego using my wide-angle lens during a recent liveaboard trip. Seeing reefs this healthy — especially after the bleaching in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean last summer — kept me shooting with my 15-35mm lens, but I frequently found vibrant reef dwellers, such as coral groupers or clown triggerfish, that I also wanted to photograph. Even at 35mm, I couldn’t get close enough for the fish portrait I imagined before they would dart away. On one morning dive, however, the fish were much easier to approach. Wondering if this change in behavior was due to the time of day or the tides, I asked our cruise director what was different from the previous day. He said we had just entered the Misool Marine Reserve, where the fish were friendly. Suddenly, it all made sense. Empowering-Conservation-Through-Local-Engagement.pdf File Size2.0 MiB Date1718047073 Downloads42 AuthorStephen Frink (Diver Alert Network