Secret Sea Visions - by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock
In 2008 we began consulting with Conservation International on sustainable marine tourism initiatives in Indonesia's West Papua provence. A guide book, Diving Indonesia's Raja Ampat (2009) was our first effort. That volume was then revised and expanded to include Triton and Cenderawasih Bays, Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape (2011). In 2014 we created and are the current administrators of the Bird's Head Seascape website. Besides scuba diving, the site provides information about additional sustainable tourism options, local news, conservation initiatives, groundbreaking scientific research, and stunning photography with the aim of conserving this region of West Papua, Indonesia's treasure trove of biodiversity.
Please remember that our photo seminars are available on all of our trips. We focus on an often-overlooked aspect of photography: how to reveal the art in the animal. We believe we can help just about anyone, no matter what type of camera you use, to improve their skills and underwater images.
Underwater and Nature PhotographyIn our gallery section you can see samples of our images and purchase them for stock, large format prints, or for your own personal use. Secret Sea, a large format book featuring our underwater photography, won the Benjamin Franklin award for best book the year it was published. Our articles and images have been published in a variety of magazines such as GEO, BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian, Natural History, Islands, Sport Diver, and Fathoms. If you like our images, please read some of our recent travel articles.
Travel with us - Underwater Photography WorkshopsThis page is where you'll find information about upcoming Secret Sea trips. On most trips we offer our Stop Taking Pictures and Start Creating Images workshop, and are happy to provide individual instruction to improve your technique. In just a few hours we'll teach you the basic principles that will transform documentary pictures into art.
Trip Planning & Dive ServicesOur combined 40 years of experience in the scuba diving, exotic travel, and underwater photography fields has put us in the unique position of being able to offer a wide range of services. Those exclusive services include underwater guiding, organizing custom expeditions, underwater photography, and Photoshop instruction. Please click here for more information.
Whatever your reasons are for entering the Secret Sea, enjoy this site.
Best Fishes, Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock
In December 2015, Dr. Gerry Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann honored Maurine by naming a new fish species after her. The renowned ichthyologists wrote, " The species is named in honor of Maurine Shimlock, our dear friend of many years, who has zealously promoted conservation of Cenderawasih Bay and the surrounding Bird's Head region by means of her excellent journalism and photography." Maurine can't wait to get back to Cenderawasih Bay and see her damselfish. Stay tuned!