Underwater Photography

Got a wet dream a few nights back.
Was feeling restless, so I called up Ernest and asked him to satisfy my urges.

Diving urges, I mean. I haven’t been diving since Jakarta.
Kuching diving season starts in April and ends around September. I gotta satisfy my underwater cravings before monsoon season kicks in and force me to stay indoors. I also wanna test out the new wetsuit and snorkel I bought during the dive expo a while back.

Ernest brought us to Sematan – a little fishing village about 1.5 hours drive from Kuching. From there we took a chartered fishing boat out to Talang Island, which took another 20 minutes or so. I paid him RM210 (including gear rental) for the whole trip.
The road to Sematan was long and bumpy, but the gorgeous aquatic views made the difficult journey worth every bit. Armed with my trusty Sony T10 and a marine case, I was ready to shoot heaps of great photos underwater.

Kuching isn’t as popular as other better-known diving locations in Malaysia, but we still get a nice stretch of coral reef here.
For a lot of people, when they think corals, they think beautiful tentacle-like corals like these.

That’s not quite the case over here.
We have some standard-looking corals, but most of the other ones look a little strange.

Corals in underwater Kuching are very eerie-looking, looking more like props out of a B-grade zombie movie than Alice In The Wonderland.

This one has a surface that look like those octopus creatures from Japanese anime.

These one are hairy. Just like my legs!

These are fan corals. They are the only ones that look hauntingly beautiful.

These ones look like grapes.
My guide said they are bubble corals. I reckon they should be called condom corals.

There’s something surreal about being surrounded by thousands of fish circling above your head.
I feel so miniscule in such a huge space of magnificent underwater world.

Normally, the only chance we get interacting with marine life is looking them through an aquarium, or eating them on the dinner table. For once, I am in their territory and they are not in mine.
The presence of well-preserved corals in Kuching attracted heaps of marine life.

Butterfly fish

Some are colourful.


Some are cute.

Poisonous pufferfish

Some are dangerous.

My biggest fan

Some look like you could use it to fan yourself during warm days.

Some even look like Ah Beng cars with blue neon lights.

Then there are those that just look really delicious.
I’m not even sure what fish this is, but I reckon it should go well with sambal and a bit of lime juice.

One of the most fascinating discovery I made that day was a blue-spotted stingray hiding under the rocks.
These graceful creatures are so timid and shy in nature. It didn’t even flinch one bit as I swam closer to take a macro photo of its intense-looking eyes.

Can’t believe they’re of the same species that killed Steve Irwin last year.
I stayed for the longest time underwater during this dive – 82 minutes. That’s quite an improvement considering the first time I dived, I lasted a pathetic 25 minutes before I gulped up all the air in my tank.

I love scuba-diving.

As much as I’m flattered that my “suggested” Jeff Ooi election campaign video received praise from even Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, I must stress that I am not aligned to any political party, and that kennysia.com remains politically neutral. πŸ™‚

102 Replies to “Underwater Photography”

  1. just gorgeous. hey kenny i admire the way you lead your life dude.. do whatever you love to do or just want to TRY to do, go wherever you want to explore, but still staying grounded. man, i so want your life la! nice shots btw. live life to the fullest ey!

  2. wow… gorgeous!! sadly, i cant scuba dive. T.T im not fit enough. however.. seeing n reading bout it in yr blog makes me feel like im there.. that’s good enough. Thanks Kenny.. πŸ™‚

  3. Maybe you can try to dress like Nemo next time πŸ™‚
    Anyway, nice to know that Kuching provides such a nice place for divers. Good coverage in distinctively Kuching.

  4. Wow, so envy you.
    I had my one and only one diving in Pulau Paya (near Langkawi) last year with a diving coach. An enjoyable one with beautiful fish and the coach caught a nemo and put it in my hand (later perli me to had let it run away so fast)……
    I wanna learn scuba diving, but don’t have the chance as China Mainland is not famous for such activities. Seems like my alternatives would be to visit more gorgeous mountains, lakes and antique cities…
    Missed scuba diving sooooooo much

  5. Hi Kenny,
    I have been PADI advanced scuba diver for 5 years.
    You can be my buddy anything. Anything interesting trips, do email me. I am in KL. Cheers

  6. You only mention about corals in your entries. I’m so delighted to see a clownfish (Nemo)! But you didn’t mention about sea anemones because clownfish live mutually with a species of anemone.
    Not everything on the seabed are corals.. either way, those are natural heritage we ought to preserve. Oh yea.. any marine biologist reading this entry? Can shed some more light on what the photos are or not =) I’m interested in learning them!

  7. some really nice photos you have there… so blue and serene… can´t wait to attempt scuba diving myself one fine day… it´ll come πŸ˜›

  8. nice pics, it would be better if you invest more on strobe light. Cheers.
    Never got a chance to dive cos gf dunno how to swim, got “attached” with her staying on top of water and snorkeling only. btw, I’m using F31fd with UW housing. took many UW photos by snorkeling.

  9. Hello Kenny,
    Great Shots.
    I see u like diving a lot. Ever thought of becoming a commercial diver? Big Big bucks.. oil n gas.. of course not as fun as recreational diving, but u dont pay to dive, but get paid to instead.
    Im a life Support tech, for deep sea Saturation diving. Our divers use a helium oxygen mix, dive down 200-700 feet: saturated at the depth for 28 days at a time, sometimes deeper, breathing less O2 than in normal air; down to even 3% depending on depth. Oh, you’ll get to travel a lot too.. πŸ™‚

  10. I love snorkeling and those are some great pictures! You should enter them into the “Fields of the World” photo contest. You just have to send in a picture and write a little background information on it. They’re are a couple prizes you could win, and you never know what could happen. Here’s the link if your interested: http://1800flowers.eprize.net/fieldsoftheworld/

  11. Hi Kenny,
    That fish you were wondering about is a goatfish. It wanders around digging at the sand with its two feelers underwater.
    And lucky you, because of global warming. Dive season in Malaysia no longer ends in September like it used to years ago. Now you can dive all the way till November even.
    The worst day of diving is better than the best day of work

  12. Talang Island? Why no turtles? Why no sharks? Good educational pix. Can copy for my kid’s school project?

  13. Kenny dear, I love those beautiful underwater photos you have captured. My friend loves diving too and have been to Sipadan, I am sure you will fall in love with Sipadan underwater world which is many times better once you have been there.

  14. Fascinating!that is so totally cool. must be feeling like up in heaven when you go diving. can’t wait to experience one…

  15. Oh my goodness! That is a striking photo of the sting ray. Diving is the reason I a regret never learning to swim properly. Is there a reason why all the coral you decided to share is green? It all looks so beautiful, but I thought there would be more colour.

  16. Kenny, good effort in creating environmental awareness of our ocean life amongst your readers. This is what we call responsible blogging, right? At the same time can ‘action’ a bit about your diving skills…hehehe…

  17. Nikon does not has their own casing but there’s a company do produce the casing for nikon..if u r using nikon p3 or p4 u can use fantasea fp-4. That’s the casing i used during my recent trip to dive.

  18. fuyoo!..cantik sungguh the deep blue sea… our next trip for scuba diving is KUCHING!!!!!… thanx Kenny..

  19. hey kenny, nice shots! Didnt know kuching has such a beautiful diving spot! arghh..i havent dive for almost 2 years now..the last dive was in Pulau Aur, Johor. =p

  20. some very nice shots and they look quite professional too. keep up the good work on this blog, kenny!

  21. The white balance settings on your camera is wrong and the pictures turn out so blue-ish… Does your camera has got Underwater scene mode? Quite a waste..:( In fact, I will your underwater pic then.

  22. I just got my PADI, but kinda broke to scuba. Saving money to do go SIpadan!!!
    Bro, in terms of blog u have created a good community, maybe is time for u to get ur own logo!

  23. You should invest in some HID lamps. That way the pictures you take wont look bluish. You should also use a red filter so that you get more red color for your pictures.

  24. i love diving too. six batfish followed us once for the full 30 minutes. the waters at redang are unbelievably clear, like a swimming pool. phi phi is not too bad too, saw an octopus. great barrier was a scary experience but a tale worth repeating. pulau payar was awful, don’t waste your money. wanna conquer sipadan next!

  25. 82 minutes’ awesome!! wonder if i could last that long! πŸ™‚ and great pictures! esp love the one of the stingray!! havent seen that one before..

  26. Hey..what a beautiful underwater world. Do you know Miri also have scuba diving? It was really BEAUTIFUL, you will feel like living in the water forever with the fishes.
    I thought you have a SLD camera? Why dont you buy its case too and go underwater? i am sure the pictures will be better…

  27. You lasted 82 minutes? That’s the time spent by Nicole Ritchie in jail for her latest traffic offences. Haha…what a coincidence! But at least you get to see the beauty of the marina life while she? She has to take a mugshot and her fingerprints was taken. Bet it is not as exciting as your 82 minutes!

  28. hey kenny, remember me???
    i read that you have a guide, maybe you should get a guide book to corals too. the pic you took which you described as having a surface that look like octopus creatures?? those stuff are not coral – they’re zooanthids. πŸ™‚
    nice pics btw. glad you’re enjoying diving cos i enjoy them too! πŸ˜€

  29. hey kenny, u wore the Bare wetsuit u bought. if u look at the logo another way, u can see a smiley face! anyway, we are doin our advance and are goin out to satang tomolo.
    anyway, i followed the link on wikipedia on zooanthids and found this amazingly wonderful collection of photos of these ‘animals’. those of u who wans to know wat underwater can look like if kenny use strobe or color filter, check it out http://www.zoaid.com/index.php?module=Gallery2&func=main&g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=15

  30. You’re lucky that Kuching is a city with diving and kayak spots within the vicinity. Speaks volumes about how much better the environment around there is than KL.

  31. Such beautiful wonders!
    Just hope that the ppl won’t turn it into another resort and start destroying all of them.
    Now I’m having the urges!

  32. Never thought of Kuching having dive sites. That’s pretty cool. How deep did you go at 82 min of bottom time? Come by Brunei and we can go wreck diving! We got great diving sites you can check out! It’ll cost about 75BND for the whole day for equipment and boat the group I’m with. Just gimme a buzz, more then happy to take you around πŸ™‚

  33. Actually, the post work on the photos is quite necessary as the red’der part of the spectrum are absorded by the water. Treating the photos post is better than correcting it using a filter or using one of the cameras settings. Why not try it and show us the results. Regards.

  34. hey kenny, been visiting your site for quite a while now, but haven’t had the urge to comment. haha. have you tried diving in singapore waters? is that even allowed. wait, what am i saying. i guess it’s not. we’re supposed to have more species of coral than the great barrier reef, but i don’t think you can see anything through all the muck. heh.

  35. hey..just wanna do some market research cos i was thinking of getting a divers’ license too..
    where did you get your diving lessons and how much did you pay for it? ‘d appreciate it if you reply…thanx ya!
    standard diving gear costs how much?

  36. Hi Kenny…new to ur blog…just wana comment abt some nice pictures u got over there…i would have loved to get into diving and do some underwater shoots too but then procrastination has always been a detering factor…till now, i will be doing my shooting without an oxygen tank on my back…nice place u went to in Macau btw…simply marvellous place to be staying in…keep writing my friend…
    nice shooting

  37. I love scuba diving too. I miss the days in Kuching where I could go diving once per week. Kenny, would you like to go to scuba diving with me once? ^_^

  38. Cool! Your underwater pictures actually made me crave more for the taste of diving which i have unwillingly put off since 3 months ago! Diving does this to people (enthusiasts especially).. fall in love! Whether to the beach, the underwater life, the white sandy beaches, the island life..whatever. anyways…I do some underwater photography too on my part (my deviantART gallery). just a lil tip you may wanna try to get a better colour saturation in your pics is to auto-level it (with photoshop). Cos at deeper depths, only blue and red wavelengths are around to light your subjects (hence the greenish sort of photos), thus using flash (white light) can be useful but it will scare the fishes off. ANyways.. thanks for featuring the pictures in your blog.. I terribly miss DIVING like anythinG! DIVING ROCKS BIG TIME.

  39. Kenny, perhaps you can consider coming Sabah for diving, here’s some nice spots around like Sipadan, Mabul, Mataking, Manukan, Mamutik, etc etc. Cheers!!

  40. you seriously suck at photography, go pick a Vietnamese boy’s nose and smell my wet pants…i’m 14 and even i know you suck…sheesh….sucks balls la you kenny….suck balls…

  41. Can I have the contact number of your guide? Planning to go diving there in April once the monsoon season ends. Thanks.

  42. Hi Kenny & his “reader” fansssss
    FYI – I av spotted an econimical resort in Sematan where Kenny took the pictures – Sematan Palm Beach Resort. This place is not 5 stars but economical,cozy,comfortable enough and reasonably priced.
    Not sure if Kenny knows about this but they provide scuba diving packages to Talang Island and they provide s-diving course as well- PADI.If I’m not mistaken the coach cum guide’s name is Nick.
    -Have the most cheerful year ahead. May all your dreams come true in 2008. Happy New Year!!!

  43. Hi, thx 4 lettin me know tat there is a dive site in kuching. been hopin 2 divin in kch but dono where 2 go. I’ll suggest u take up night diver speciality license. U’ll find tat it’s a different world during day n nite. Try it! Trust me, i’m a night diver n i’m lovin it! Hehe

  44. I just started my diving lessons in Kota Kinabalu. Spotted a baby blue-spotted stingray in my first dive. Instantly fell in love with underwater world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *