Taumako Aerial 5
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
The island of Taumako is another one of the incredibly remote islands that I was fortunate to visit during my 2019 Secrets of Melanesia expedition. Located in the remote eastern part of the Solomon Islands, it is the largest of the Duff Islands and home to a population of less than 500 Polynesian people. In order to come ashore, we had to navigate through a treacherous reef with large breaking waves. Once on shore, the local people welcomed us with their traditional singing and dancing. Some of the unique features of their society include ancient Polynesian seafaring techniques and buildi ..read more
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Vanikoro Girl 1
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
I would like to introduce you to Stella. She lives on remote Vanikoro Island in the Santa Cruz Island group which is part of Temotu Province in the Solomon Islands. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to visit her and her isolated community during my 2019 Secrets of Melanesia expedition. Her village welcomed us with traditional singing and they were eager to share their culture. After their children, their most prized possession was a sailing canoe that they built using traditional techniques and use to navigate between islands. The village children were adorable and loved climbing on it. Th ..read more
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Red Snapper Spawning 1
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
One of my dear friends and photography idols is Tony Wu. He is a pleasant individual who is sometimes fun to be around. We have done a number of trips together over the past decade, most of which he works hard to forget. Anyway, years ago I saw some of his brilliant images of the red snapper spawning aggregation in Palau which inspired my own desire to photograph schools of fish having sex during my 2019 visit. The spawning only takes place a few days each month in the early morning hours the few days before the full moon. I planned my trip to coincide with these dates. Because the diving was ..read more
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Jellyfish Lake 14
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
For many years, one of my dreams was to snorkel with the stingless golden jellyfish in Palau‘s famous Jellyfish Lake. In December 2019, I was able to experience this unbelievable underwater photography destination during my visit to this tiny island nation. Jellyfish Lake is connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the limestone, but the jellyfish have been isolated for so long that they have lost their stinging tentacles compared to their ocean cousins. Millions of jellies migrate around the lake each day chasing the sunlight so that the symbiotic algae that live in their tissue ..read more
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Ngerukewid Aerial 1
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
In December 2019, I went on an adventure to another one of the destinations that I had a life-long desire to visit. The Republic of Palau is an isolated island nation located in the South Pacific north of New Guinea and to the east of the Philippines. During World War II, the United States captured Palau from Japan after the costly Battle of Peleliu in 1944. Today, it is renowned for its stunning scenery, epic scuba diving, and lakes filled with stingless jellyfish. I was fortunate to be able to spend several weeks photographing all of these amazing subjects. At the top of my list was an aeria ..read more
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Red and Black Anemonefish 10
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
One of my favorite subjects to photograph underwater are clown anemonefish. I can spend an entire dive photographing them as they dart about in a comical, yet exasperated state. I encountered this red and black anemonefish while visiting Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands in 2019. While trying to create an image like this, I am dealing with multiple issues that my non-underwater photography friends are probably unaware of. I have to be aware of my surroundings, pay attention to the amount of air left in my tank, control my buoyancy, adjust my cumbersome camera equipment, and then hope that s ..read more
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Ambrym Rom Dance 3
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
During my Secrets of Melanesia voyage with Heritage Expeditions in 2019, I visited a series of incredibly remote islands from the Solomon Islands on down through Vanuatu. Ambrym was the last island that I visited before ending the expedition in Port Vila. It is known as the “black” island due to its twin volcanoes which cover much of the island in volcanic ash as well as being renowned for its mysterious “black magic”. This magic is showcased by the famous Rom Dance which is restricted to only the village men. The masked dance is a ritual that stretches back centuries and recounts the age-old ..read more
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Nendo Man 2
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
One of my favorite photographers is Art Wolfe. His photography greatly influenced my own style and motivated me to travel the world. I have been fortunate over the past 20 years to be able to photograph remote landscapes and endangered wildlife, but had always desired to expand my work to include exotic people. In 2017, I dabbled at photographing people during my first visit to Vanuatu. This initial foray only fueled my desire to expand my work in this direction. When I travelled to the Solomon Islands to scuba dive in 2019, I also joined Heritage Expeditions’ Secrets of Melanesia expedition ..read more
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Marovo Lagoon Aerial 2
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
Prior to my trip the Solomon Islands, I had researched satellite views of Marovo Lagoon and knew that I had to find a way to photograph the Mindeminde Islands with my drone. This beautiful location featured mangrove covered islands surrounded by interconnected reefs and shallow water. My first logistical challenge was that I needed a boat in order to visit the islands. They were located over an hour away from the dive lodge where I was based, but closer to the airstrip where I had landed. Eventually, some new guests were arriving by plane, so I took advantage of the opportunity to use the boat ..read more
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Marovo Lagoon Coral Reef 1
Cornforth Images
by Jon Cornforth
3y ago
In October 2019, I realized one of my life-long dreams and traveled to the Solomon Islands. I have been sitting on these images for over a year, but now want to start sharing them. The Solomon Islands are infamous for the fierce fighting that took place there between the US Marines and Japanese forces during World War II. They are also a series of idyllic tropical islands surrounded by coral reefs and home to a diverse people with exotic cultures. I began my trip by scuba diving for 10 days at a tiny resort located in Marovo Lagoon. I was the only guest for all but my last few days, though to ..read more
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