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Humpback Grouper

Humpback Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis) is a tropical reef fish whose economic value is very high. It is also called Kerapu Tikus (meaning Mouse Grouper) because the tapered form of its mouth looks similar to the mouth of a mouse. I used to see the fish several times when I enjoyed snorkeling or scuba diving in West Papua. The last time I saw the expensive fish when I was diving in Raja Ampat. I was in the waters of an uninhabited island at a depth of around 20 meters (65.6 feet). I saw the grouper was hiding under a big leaf coral. I did not want to disturb the fish so, I took picture from a distance of around 5 meters. Seafood Restaurants offer various kinds of menus whose main ingredient was the meat of the Kerapu Tikus.
High economic fish in coral reef of Indonesia
Polka Dot Grouper in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat
Because of its high economic values, aquaculture companies are trying to produce the fish in higher quantity through fish farming. Usually the seed stock is taken from coral reef.
In Raja Ampat the massive production of groupers has not been carried out by fishermen. Most of the fish that are supplied to local market is taken from the sea. So, the opportunity for investors to introduce aquaculture business in this region is very high.
Marine life in Raja Ampat - diving in an uninhabited island
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Coral reef of Raja Ampat islands is the richest in the world in terms of marine biodiversity. Raja Ampat is a very important destination for marine tourism. However, its aquaculture business is still small. 
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by Charles Roring

Pied Imperial Pigeon

I went to Warduwer beach this morning to see the progress of the construction of Raja Ampat Flower (RAFLOW) Resort. It would be continued soon. While I was there, I did some birdwatching. I brought with me my camera the Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm telephoto lens. Inside the complex of the beach resort, I saw some Pied Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) sitting on the tip branches of a tree. Slowly I walked closer to the birds. They did not fly when they saw me. So, I could take pictures without having to hide behind shrub plants. There were also Hooded Butcherbird on the lower branch of the tree.
Pied Imperial Pigeon in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
There were also Lesser Frigatebirds that were flying high in the sky. From the nearby forest, I heard the calls of Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Rufous-bellied Kookaburra.

Abundant Fish in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat

This is the photograph of marine life in coral reef of Raja Ampat. It is a very rich environment. With the highest marine biodiversity in the world, Raja Ampat islands are considered as the best destination for marine tourism activities. I often guide tourists to these tropical islands. We enjoy swimming, snorkeling, freediving and other activities that are related to Raja Ampat.
Diving photograph from Raja Ampat
Abundant fish in Raja Ampat islands
When snorkeling with tourists, I often do freediving to take pictures of fish and other marine life in deeper water. Usually the drop off or fore reef area is the place where fish is abundant. By freediving, I could get closer to fish and other interesting creatures of Raja Ampat. 
There is abundant fish in Raja Ampat islands
Abundant Fish at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
To take pictures, I set my camera to dive or snorkeling mode. In Fujifilm XQ2 or Nikon AW 130, the dive mode is symbolized by fish icon on the camera screen. I often go snorkeling with tourists on 3 to 6 days tour. It is combined with other activities such as hiking, birdwatching and sightseeing. The average number of tour participants is from 1 to 4 people. 
Participants of the tour have to bring their own snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel, and fins. Sometimes I see one or two participants bring dive computer or waterproof watch. 
Camera is needed to take pictures of this very beautiful marine environment. Sealife DC2000 is a nice camera but readers can choose other cameras as well such as Canon G1X Mark III with waterproof housing. 
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling and wildlife watching tour in Raja Ampat and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

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How to Take Pictures in Coral Reef?

I live in Indonesia, a country that consists of thousands of tropical islands. Most of the islands in the province where I live have got coral reef around them. This allows me to observe the marine life in this very rich underwater environment. During the observation works, I take pictures or make videos of fish, sea stars, coral reef and other echinoderm creatures that I see. 
I usually wear snorkeling mask, snorkel, and swim fins. To avoid fogging on the glass surface of my mask, I apply some shampoo on it. After that I rinse it but I still leave some thin layer of the shampoo on the glass. When I wear it, I will touch my forehead and temples to remove strands of hair that are  trapped between the rubber seal of my mask and face. It is important to remove them to prevent any water leaks when I do the snorkeling, scuba diving, and freediving. 
Three Spots Dascyllus, Red and Black Anemonefish
Underwater Picture from coral reef in Manokwari
Light Factor
Abundant marine life can be seen in the coral reef where sunlight can reach. In deeper water where sunlight has been much reduced, there are not many marine animals that we can see. So the best depths for taking underwater pictures are from 1 to 15 meters. At this depth, shooting a fish or a nudibranch does not need flash. In deeper water, the use of flash, and artificial lights is needed for underwater photography.

King Bird of Paradise

King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) is a small paradise bird that lives among hanging vines of a tree in the forest of New Guinea. It lives mostly in lowland and lower montane forest and has got red back and wings with white belly. His bill is yellowish orange.
I have watched the King Bird of Paradise a lot of times in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. The bird could also be watched in Tambrauw mountains, and Klasow valley. The birds are usually active in the mornings from 7 to 10 and in the afternoons from 3 to 6. If the weather is bad, he may not come out to dance or he may show up later.
King Birds of Paradise calls his female counterpart before performing his courtship dance. If the female King BOP comes, he will jump up and down the vines and perform the dance. If she does not come, he will be reluctant to dance.
Watching King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) in the forest of Manokwari.
King Bird of Paradise
Burung Surga Raja di hutan hujan tropis Manokwari.
King Birds of Paradise in the rainforest of Manokwari
It is not easy to find the bird due to its small size. We have to follow its calling sounds. Sometimes he jumps and dances to lower branches or vines. Because of its small size, we need to use binoculars and spotting scope to watch the bird.
When I guide tourists to Susnguakti forest watch the bird, it is not only the King BOP that we will watch but also Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Hooded Butcherbird, Black Butcherbird, Golden Cuckooshrike, Fairy Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Spangled Drongo, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Mimic Meliphaga, Black Sunbird, and a lot more. - written by Charles Roring
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Lizardfish in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat

This is the photograph of a lizardfish that I made when I was diving in Raja Ampat. Perhaps its species name is Reef Lizardfish (Synodus variegatus).
Reef Lizardfish (Synodus variegatus) in coral reef near Gam and Waigeo islands of Raja Ampat
Lizardfish in Raja Ampat
I and 3 divers were at a depth of around 18 meters (59 feet) below the surface of the sea when I saw the fish. The sunlight had been much reduced at this depth. I did not activate the flash of my camera to avoid disturbing the marine life when shooting the fish. As a result the picture that I made was not colorful at all. At least I could use it for identification purposes. I used Nikon AW 130 - a compact and waterproof camera that was suitable for snorkeling, scuba diving and freediving.

Flowers in Neighborhood

I had a short afternoon walk around my neighborhood yesterday. I passed by the front-yard of a junior high school, there were several flower plants that I saw. One of them was Red Hibiscus. Because it looked beautiful, I stopped for a while to take pictures. After that I continued walking to meet some people that I recognized. There were several other species of tropical flowers that I saw including zinnia elegans, and plumeria. There was a huge building of a Catholic church in my neighborhood. The name of the church was Santo Agustinus. Its surrounding yard had some flower plants too. I could not identify their names because I did not have the field guide book for the tropical flowers of New Guinea or Indonesia.
Tropical flowers in my neighborhood of Komplex Missi, Manokwari
Kembang Sepatu Merah

Butterflies in Susnguakti Forest

Last week, I guided 2 tourists to Susnguakti forest. They were Geoffrey and Jessica. They came from France. First they took international flight to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia, after that they flew to Manokwari by Batik air. I met them at Swissbel hotel and organized their trip by a chartered transport vehicle to the forest.
We spent 4 days/ 3 nights exploring the forest to see birds of paradise, cuscus possum, reptiles and insects. The forest was located in the south of Manokwari. We went there by chartered pick-up car that was operated by local villagers as public transportation that connects villages in the south and Manokwari city.
Adventure tur in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Cruiser Butterfly
I saw some butterflies such as The Silky Owl, Cruiser, Blue Mountain Swallowtail and some other species which I could not identify. I saw them along the path to a rose apple tree and near the clearing area of our basecamp. The butterfly came out in the mornings when the sunlight was bright. They landed on leaves to take a rest, or collect nectar of flowers and also collect the salty sweat from our exposed hands, shoulders or feet.

Coral Reef in Mansinam Island

Marine life in coral reef
Marine Life in Mansinam island
I went to Mansinam island this afternoon to do a field survey over its coral reef. The island was located across from Manokwari city. We did the survey at Sera Oser beach on the east coast of the island. I was with a friend of mine - Matias. I did the survey by snorkeling and freediving over the coral reef. My friend did not freedive, he only did the snorkeling. To take photographs, I brought my camera - Fujifilm XQ2 that had been put inside its waterproof case.

Wisata Nonton Burung Surga di Hutan Papua

Wisata pengamatan burung Cendrawasih kuning
Burung Cendrawasih
Hutan hujan tropis Papua adalah habitat alami bagi berbagai jenis burung surga seperti Burung Surga Raja atau King Bird of Paradise; Burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil atau Lesser Birds of Paradise serta Toowa Cemerlang atau Magnificent Riflebird.  Burung-burung ini menjadi target utama bagi para wisatawan yang suka dengan aktivitas penjelajahan hutan, pengamatan burung dan satwa liar. 
Burung surga yang saya sebutkan di atas memiliki warna bulu yang indah serta bisa menari di dahan pohon. Biasanya mereka aktif di pagi hari dari jam 6 sampai 9 pagi serta di sore hari dari jam 3 sampai 5 sore. 
Ada beberapa lokasi pengamatan yang kerap dikunjungi oleh wisatawan di Provinsi Papua Barat. Dua di antaranya adalah Hutan Susnguakti di Manokwari serta hutan Ayapokiar di Pegunungan Tambrauw. 
Wisatawan yang hendak mengamati burung Cendrawasih biasanya membawa teropong (binocular). Untuk memotret burung di pepohonan yang tinggi, mereka membawa kamera yang dilengkapi lensa telefoto. 
Karena burung cendrawasih adalah satwa yang dilindungi oleh undang-undang maka para wisatawan tidak diperkenankan untuk membeli/ memburu burung tersebut. 
Selain burung surga atau burung cendrawasih, wisatawan yang menjelajahi hutan hujan tropis Papua bisa juga melihat spesies burung lain seperti:
  • Kakaktua Putih (Sulphur-crested Cockatoo)
  • Kakaktua Raja (Palm Cockatoo)
  • Eclectus Parrot
  • Luri Kepala Hitam (Black-capped Lory)
  • Raja Udang Paruh Kuning (Yellow-billed Kingfisher)
  • Raja Udang Biru Hitam (Blue-black Kingfisher)
  • Jagal Papua (Hooded Butcherbird). Burung ini, ketika sedang menyanyi, memiliki suara yang merdu sekali.
  • Parrot Pipi Merah atau Nuri Pipi Merah(Red-cheeked Parrot), dan masih banyak lagi.
Ketika menjelajah hutan, para wisatawan hendaknya dipandu oleh pramuwisata setempat atau warga kampung yang mengerti benar tentang kondisi hutan tersebut. Jas hujan, tas yang berisi makanan ringan, biskuit, air minum serta lotion anti nyamuk perlu dibawa. 
Agar biaya perjalanan per orang menjadi lebih murah, ada baiknya jika wisatawan datang dalam jumlah sekitar 4 orang supaya biaya transportasi, bahan makanan dan jasa pemandu menjadi lebih murah. 
Semoga setelah membaca artikel pendek ini, Anda menjadi semakin tertarik dengan wisata pengamatan burung surga di Papua. 

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Sketch of A Lady with Her Laptop

Today more people are using cell phone and tablets for working. Laptops are still used for office works. I also have got a laptop but I use my table more often than the laptop. Here is a sketch of a ladying with her laptop. She was sitting on a couch while fully concentrating herself on the screen of this portable computer.
Figure drawing of a lady with her laptop
Please, support this blog by buying my artworks that are printed on t-shirts, bags, cell phone case, mugs, clocks, and etc. at this link: Charles Roring's Art Shop
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Figure Drawing of a Lady Enjoying Sunset
Figure Drawing of Father and Son playing pancho
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Sketch of a Lady Stretching

I am still learning about figure drawing. It is, I think, a life long practice. Here is another sketch that I made.
A Lady who practices stretching
Next to the picture of a lady who practices stretching, I made a drawing of a hand holding pencil. Well, drawing hands is often more difficult than other parts of the body.
Please, support this blog by buying my artworks that are printed on t-shirts, mugs, bags, cell phones cases, clocks, pillows, scarf and even bed cover at this link: Charles Roring's art shop
Sketch of a lady with her laptop
Sketch of Wave Surfers
Charcoal Drawing of Boys

Sketch of Wave Surfers

Wave surfing is a fun water sport. A lot of young people like it very much. I live in city where there are surf spots. So, I like to visit the boys there to see them playing with their waves and their boards at sea.
Pencil sketch of 2 boys waving surfing in West Papua
Wave surfing
There are a lot of surfing spots in Indonesia. Some of them include Kuta beach and Brawa in Bali; Batu Karas, Cimaja, Grajagan bay in Java; Biak, Supiori islands in Papua; and Abasi Beach in Manokwari.
Please, support this blog by buying some of my artworks that are printed on t-shirt, mugs, cell phone case, bed cover, and etc. They are available at this link:
Charles Roring's Art Shop

Red Bird of Paradise and Binoculars

In my daily life, I work as birding guide. So, I have a lot of opportunities to explore nature with tourists. I often guide tourists on a birding and snorkeling tours to Raja Ampat.
One of the main attractions of the tours is Red Bird of Paradise. We watch the birds using binoculars. So, in this sketch I make the drawing of the paradise birds and the birding device that I use which is a pair of Visionking Binoculars 10×42mm.
Drawing of a Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and a birding binoculars
Red Bird of Paradise and a pair of 10×42 mm Visionking Binoculars
So, if you are interested in taking a vacation to Indonesia for birdwatching, and want me to guide you, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Please support this blog, by buying some of my artworks in the form of t-shirts, mugs, tota bags, iPhone case, and etc at this link: Charles Roring's artwork
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Digital Drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise
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Red Bird of Paradise Doing Pole Dance
Vector Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise
Northern Cassowary - colored pencil drawing

Playing Guitar

Here is a sketch of somebody playing the guitar. I made the sketch using a 2B staedtler pencil and tha  gave ink drawing to it to make the lines darker.
Somebody playing the guitar
Somebody Playing the Guitar
I feel that I have to practice more on figure drawings. So, although this blog is about wildlife drawing, anyone who visits this blog regularly will see more subjects of human figure that I add in his blog. Enjoy the drawing.
Please, support this blog by buying some of my artworks that printed on t-shirt, mugs, clogs, iPhone case, tote bags, purse, and etc. at this link: Charles Roring's Art

Snorkeling Sites Near Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

coral reef and tropical fish of mioskon island
Marine Life in Mioskon island of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat islands are very important destination for marine tourism. People go there to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and even scuba diving. There are hundreds of coral reef sites in this archipelago which tourists can visit to enjoy snorkeling. The followings are the snorkeling sites that I recommend:

Kabui Bay of Raja Ampat

Kabui is the name of a bay between Waigeo and Gam islands in Raja Ampat. I often organize tours to the bay for visitors who like sightseeing, snorkeling, bird and wildlife watching. The duration of the tour is usually 3 to 4 days. I and the tourists whom I guide stay in a simple guesthouse run by local villagers or in a comfortable beach resort.
The view of Kabui bay as seen from Yengkawe homestay  wikipedia.org misool salawati batanta waigeo  stayrajaampat
Kabui bay in Raja Ampat
The tour to the bay will be conducted by a speed boat or by a motorized wooden boat. We usually visit karst, and then on the way back to the guesthouse we stop at several small islands to enjoy snorkeling and birding. Because the waters inside Kabui bay are protected by islands, the sea is mostly calm except between July and September.