Raja Ampat 2012 – photography workshop

Raja Ampat is now one of my favorite place. It is as surreal above and underneath the surface of the water. You travel around all these little island, untouched and covered with plants and forests. Amazing contrasts with the booming underwater life.

One day we used the kayaks and went for a little tour around the blocks… In a few centimetres of water, you can see sharks, incredible coral lives, clownfishes and you name it..

It is the dream of the underwater photographer, from the macro life to the big animal, including the mantas rays, the giant bump head parrot fish and the occasional crocodile.

I had the chance to try the new poseidon rebreather with the instructors of Worldwide dive and sail. An amazing experience and up to its reputation… the fish are not scared. They come right up in your face.

I would like to thank again all the people who have been there for me during the trip, as i lost my mother while i was there. Thanks for your support and enjoy the pictures.

Some of you might want to have a look at our little fun video of our trip click  HERE

Maldives September 2011 – Photo workshop.

This year we decided to stay the Indian Ocean side, on the north part of the Maldives. As usual we were aboard the Maldives Siren, one of the famous sailing boat of the worldwide dive and sail fleet.

Starting from Male, we sailed up to Hanimaadhoo, through Baa Atoll and Lhaviyani Atoll and many other stunning islands, surrounded by white sandy beaches. No time for suntanning but only for diving and taking pictures.

On the first dive i was pretty impressed with the amount of fishes hovering on top of our heads, feeding in the current. The viz wasn’t great as  the water was full of plankton and nutrients. On the sea bed i noticed a large amount of grouper and a white tip shark that swam in a frenzy as soon as he saw Kitty and i with our big cameras. To me that was a clear sign that the reef was pretty much protected in theses areas.

When we arrived at Baa Atoll we dived the famous Hanifaroo bay, renowned for the mantas , but unfortunately they were not present at that time. We had the news that some of them were feeding on plankton, at a nearby Atoll. We lifted the anchor and started heading towards them. After a good 30 min, we could see their fins coming out of the surface. We mange to dive very briefly with them and take a few shots, there was a lot of current, making it difficult to keep up with them. We heard afterward, that on the next trip, the saw 40+ mantas at Hanifaru bay. We surely caught up the wrong week!!

Photography-wise, I found very difficult to compose in the Maldives as the state of the coral was not as good as Indonesia. There was surely lots of fishes, but as well, they were shy and kept their distances. Rare were the occasions where the wildlife would come close enough for you to make a decent shot.

Maybe it was just a matter of wrong tides and moon phases. There are weeks like that, where taking pictures underwater is  harder than usual.

On the other hand, here is what i still manage to shoot:

Philippines Photo workshop 29th Sep – 9th Oct 2010

This year we have decided to set sail to the Philippines, South of Mactan island.

I have personally been twice to the Philippines in the past and it certainly offers great opportunities for underwater photography and film. once more i wasn’t disapointed.

the first days we sail off the island of Cabialo where loads of hammerheads we used to be seen on the ” lighthouse” before a Japanese fishing boat passed by. I must have been an amazing dive in the past. Still you can see some large groupers down the wall as well as a group of  King fish and Barracuda.

the next days we head off to the island of Balicasag, my favorite dive spot. The island is surrounded by  a multitude of dives site, one as rich as the other. The diversity of subjects for the macro is unbelievable, several type of anemones, with all sort of clownfish, plenty of nudibranchs and also a wide range of colorful shrimps. The island is a marine reserve and plenty of turtles can be seen as well as school of Jacks and Barracudas. The water is so warm and calm, we were staying most of the time 80 minutes with only a short and lycra top.

We then spend 2 days around the island of Moal Boal. The small rock is surrounded by a school of sardines that attracts tuna, kingfish and thresher sharks. We were waking up at 5 every morning to see the sharks but we were unlucky. on the other hand, the sardines made some beautiful backgrounds for my wide angle shots.

the good about the Philippines is that it is an easy destination and also easy to dive. Not too much current and lots of photography opportunity. Have look at some of my shots and also at the little video made on my d300s.

For the video, please follow this link: Phillipines Workshop

Diver cover Nov & Dec 2009

I was really surprised when i saw that 2 of my pictures pictures were taken for the front cover of Diver Magazine last year. What a nice way to finish.

One was taken in Komodo with Susie, the instructor aboard the Phillipines Syren with the cuttlefish and the other one with my friend Samy with the eel of the Djabeda, a wreck on the north part of Mauritius.

I hope you will enjoy them

Komodo Workshop 2009 Aboard the P. Siren

The above shot might resume one of the best diving experience that you can ever dream of !!! On this dive, we had a big dolphins hunting together with sharks, kingfish, napoleon wrasse and the morey eels. This was just Amazing!! Plenty of action with a lot of other pretty things on the reef.

Have a look, the pictures speak by themselves:

The New Phillipines Siren is the new sailing boat of World Wide Dive and Sail ltd (www.worldwidediveandsail.com ), operating in South East Asia. Frank the owner of the fleet is an amazing character and has certainy understood all the needs of the underwater photographers. The boat is designed for us with and amazing space for the ones who like to have bit of peace. All the rooms are equiped with computers connected with the 47 inch tv in the main saloon if ever you would like to share your amazing pictures with the rest of the divers.

This Year we decided to launch another competition during the trip. The participant had to enter their 3 best shots taken during the trip. They were then judged on the best average.

This year Rachel Russell was our great winner, followed closely by Cedric Villiere and Katherine Urso. Rachel was offered a 5 day trip back on the P.Siren to the Philippines.

Here are some of the competitors shots starting with the winners in the above order:

Obviously not all the shots are present, but these ones are my favorites. Keep posted for more news and i will announcing the dates of the next workshop, that will take place in the Philipines.

Diver Magazine front cover – July 2009

I was lucky again to have one of my shots on the front cover of Diver magazine. This July issue shows Estee with a Diana Hogfish on the wreck of the Stella Maru, North Mauritius. These fishes are very inquisitive and very easy to attract, just by scratching with you nail the surface of the wreck.

 

12th world CMAS championship – Jeju island – South Korea

Unfortunately this time at the 12th world championship i didn’t manage to bring back a medal for my country. Jeju was a great experience and diving in 15 degrees water was something really new to me…..Quite traumatic!

It took me basically 3 days to get used to theses conditions. We were one of the few people wearing a wetsuit, everyone else diving in either a semi-dry or completely dry suit. Once i forgot my gloves, but it didn’t took me long to realize what was missing. we could barely last more than 45 minutes in the water and most of the dives were ending with a headache.

On the first dive of the competition, Estee, who was modeling for me, had some problem going down with her ear. It took us 15 minutes to get them sorted. Being left with not much time, i manage to get my wide angle shot with model, with took me to the 8th place of this category. The second dive was a mess! we were dropped in the wrong place and we had to surface and get dragged again to the right area. Once down, the cold kicking so hard, we had to abort without any shots. Count of the firs day: 1 pictures only for 5 categories.

The second and last day was better. I managed to get through the other categories and was actually pretty proud of my shots. Unfortunately, they didn’t work for the Jury. Have a look:

Underwater, the scenery was  amazing. Large kelp in the first 15 meters, and loads of giant soft corals deeper. Theses were the largest soft corals i have ever seen. In between, and amazing sea-life with a wide variety of nudibranchs. Fish-wise, Jeju has a lot to offer with some nice portrait opportunity, specially with the St Pierre.

Looking forward to get back there one day….. with a dry suit!

Zimaz Dilo March 2009

I am proud to announce that I have won the third edition of Zimaz Dilo. I am thus representing Mauritius in the CMAS world championship this year in Jeju island, South Korea. Estee will be following me on this new adventure and will pose for me and assist me underwater. I would like to thank the MSDA for their support and sponsorship and will do my best to represent my country. Keep posted!

    

“Mauritius Underwater” by Gerald Rambert

I am very proud to announce my first underwater photography book ” Mauritius Underwater”. It took me about four months to write this book, but years to master underwater photography and re-unite all the pictures that are inside. 

The book is a comprehensive companion to the underwater world of Mauritius with its 190 pages and 350+ underwater images. It features chapters on the different aspects of the Mauritian sea including a complete fish, crustacean, and nudibranch guide.

Unfortunately it will be only distributed in Mauritius, so feel free to email me if you would like a copy, so that we could make the necessary arrangements.

Following are are some example spreads of the book:

            

Winning Zimaz Dilo October 2008

For the second time the MSDA organised the Zimaz Dilo underwater competition where is was proud to take the first place. 

It happened on 2 dives where we had 90 minutes maximum on each of them. We all had to complete the 2 main categories : “Wide angle” and “Animal of the reef ”

My fellow apprentice Givanny Labonne took the second place and i was very proud of him.

Here are the winning shots: