We emerged into what seemed like a lake but which was in fact a deep gulf … studded along its shores with numbers of rocky islets … Every islet was covered with strange-looking shrubs and trees … forming one of the most singular and picturesque landscapes I have ever seen.”Alfred Russel Wallace, The Malay Archipelago, 1869
Why Raja Ampat?
I’ve been intrigued by this spectacular region ever since reading The Malay Archipelago by Wallace, and exploring this region above and below water has become a personal passion since my first visit in 1990. It doesn’t hurt that the islands harbor Birds-of-Paradise, and the coral reefs are now known to be the richest in the world.
As a rain forest biologist and a marine enthusiast, I’m fascinated by places where the rain forest meets the sea. Raja Ampat is a premier example of this. In fact, it is the best I have ever seen. The striking islets of uplifted limestone eroded by sea and weather give Raja Ampat some of the most striking scenery in Indonesia. Here, as elsewhere, the land and sea are intertwined, but due to there being very little runoff from the porous limestone islands, corals can grow right up to the shore, even under overhanging forest!
Photo Workshop in Raja Ampat:
With the highest species diversity of reef fish and corals in the world, and spectacular above water scenery, Raja Ampat is a photographers dream. It is also critically important to spread awareness about this region through visual imagery to support its conservation.
Underwater photographer and marine conservationist Zafer Kizilkaya and I are developing a plan for teaching photo workshops in Raja Ampat starting in July 2020. If you are interested, sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the webpage to get updates, and/or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep you posted on developments as we finalize plans.
Raja Ampat Through the Lens of …
I am honored to be one of the photographers contributing to this book printed in support of conserving Raja Ampat Reefs.