Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.
Archive for March, 2009
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Curacao Kitten in a Cup
Good evening friends, our kitty has a home!! Our friend Sorayda stopped by yesterday at 4:00 to meet our little treasure and fell in love! We told her we are still going to keep her for a few weeks mainly because I have lots of pictures I want to take and also she is still needing to be fed by hand. This little cat is so dang cute!! We are really enjoying this little thing and she has been so good during the night. Aimee feeds her around 10:00 just before bed she then sleeps all thru the night!
I will be on the small island of Klein Curacao all day tomorrow shooting a surfing event. Word has it that the waves tomorrow could be the biggest of the year, will be a long day but a great adventure!
Have lots to do, see you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Seashell Treasures
Good evening friends. The other day when I shot that photo of Indi with her tongue out I also took this for you. While waiting for the batteries to drain on both dogs I collected a few shells at my feet and threw them all in one big shell for a fun “little treasures” photo. These are for the most part the most common shells we find, I picked these up in less than five minutes. The cool looking white spiral shell on the left is very unique and it’s called a Spirula and comes from the inside of a tiny squid called a Rams Horn Squid. The squid lives out in the open ocean at depths of 1000 meters! When it dies this cool shell floats to shore and hopefully finds it’s way to me, they are very fragile but I love them! Anyways something different, hope you like it!?
Let’s see for the daily adventure I went on a two hour bike ride starting at Saint Joris. I rode all the way to Canoa and back that’s around 20 miles. At the half way point I was feeling pretty good and was thinking I was going pretty fast. Well when I turned around to go back the reality of a strong head wind hit me straight in the face causing me to think I may have just made a big mistake! What a difference going back, not fun at all!! My ride kind of went downhill fast with getting caught in a severe tropical downpour about half way back! I was now unable to see the trail in front of me as the rain was just beating me to death and the mud and sand was now clogging every part on the bike, I was crying for my mommy! Soaked to the bone in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to hide is a depressing situation but all I could do was press on one pedal stoke after another! When I finally got back to the road, I was completely soaked in mud and sand and had no fresh water left to rinse my face with, good thing it was still pouring! I had about a two mile ride back on the road still pouring but at least it was better than the trails and if there was a good side, my bike was slowly getting washed! I was so glad to get back to that car, people where driving by looking at me and I can only imagine what they were thinking!!
Have a great evening and a super day tomorrow, rainy regards, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Beach Litter in Curacao
Hey guys, this is a funny shot of Indi at our driftwood collecting area at Saint Joris taking a break from her fun morning of being wild and crazy! I did not put that hat there, it was freshly deposited in the mornings tide and was a perfect addition to this photo and it’s probably still there. What trash?? Oh that, yeah well we are not without our fair share of recyclable’s that seem to find their way to these shores on a daily basis, but amongst all that trash we find little treasures! I just so happen to have such a little “beach treasure” shot for you and will send it out tomorrow. I am sure most of you are saying, “my how Indi has grown”, and your right! I am in high hopes this is as big as she will get. That tongue of hers is just so funny, she can hardly keep that thing in her mouth, it always just kind of slides off to one side!
The kitten is doing great! Aimee went back to where I found it this morning looking for others but none to be found? She also took the kitten to the vet today and came home with nothing bad to say, it’s a very healthy little cat and we still are in need of a home for it? Hint, hint!!
It’s pouring rain still, geez when will it end!! Talk to you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Our Dog Indi with an Orphaned Kitten
Good afternoon guys, look what we found today!! This morning I took the dogs to Saint Joris and at the beginning of our hike at the waters edge we heard this strange noise coming from the top of the mountain. I really thought it was a bird of some kind but couldn’t identify this strange new noise? The dogs were obviously going crazy and took off to investigate. The hike up was very difficult with tiny loose rocks, hazardous incline, cacti and thorns and as we got closer the noise stopped. The dogs knew there was something there but we couldn’t find it so we left. We hiked for two more hours and on the way back I again heard this strange noise coming from the same area once again. The dogs raced ahead again and this time they found our mystery noise. I have no idea where this little kitten came from?? It was up on top of this sharp piece of limestone just a meowing away!! Indi was the first on the scene and moments later Inca jumped up on this rock as well and started sniffing and licking away! I gently picked the kitten up and put her in my camera bag closed the cover and off I went. I noticed Inca wasn’t following us back down the trail because she didn’t know where the cat went? I had to walk back up the trail and show her the Kitten inside the bag before she would follow, it was to funny. So who needs a really beautiful now famous kitten?? Please let me know if any of you are interested or if you know of someone, it’s really has a pretty coat.
Last night when I took Sharon home we got hit by a motorcycle?? We were stopped at a three way stop getting ready to turn left when out of nowhere this guy on a motorcycle plows into us hitting the front of the car and falling off. We both just looked at the guy in shock as he picked himself and his bike up off the road? He then jumped back on and tried to start it but had to push it to the side of the road, we just shook our heads and drove off. He either just learned to ride, had no breaks, or was drinking, I am guessing the last one!
That’s about guys, see you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Hogfish
Hi again, here’s a Hogfish I found the other day, is this a cool looking fish or what? Besides all his cool spines he has the unique ability to change colors instantly! This is also one of those fish that is pretty much unafraid of divers. When I first saw this guy from high above he was completely white but after just seconds he turned into this cool orangeish yellow color.
For those of you asking about the hummingbird, I put a one minute video clip of it on www.youtube.com last night. Just type in “Hummingbird sitting on her nest” in the search box and wait for it to download. It’s just a cool, quiet clip of momma sitting in her nest after just feeding the babies.
That’s about it, talk to you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on School of Goatfish
Good evening readers. This morning I started out the day by picking up our friend Cival and driving to his grandma’s house to see the hummingbird and her babies again. This time we were not as lucky with the photos as momma seemed to be a bit more afraid of us this time? After about 10 minutes of waiting for her to show up we decided to move out and give her a secure area to land and feed her babies. The little ones have their eyes now about half open and have more hair or I guess soon to be feathers.
After getting home from that adventure I loaded up the hound dogs and took them to the ocean for an afternoon of fun in the sun. It was a fairly windy day so we got to watch the kite surfers and kite boarders racing all over the bay. I had two very dirty, wet and tired puppies after two hours of chasing each other in and out of the water, they slept the whole way home.
Your photo is a nice group of goatfish and a few grunts swimming together in front of Pier Baai. These are by far my favorite schooling fish to shoot as they always let you get very close.
Hope all is well, talk to you soon, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Deep Dive at Pier Baai
Good evening from banana land! Was looking thru old pictures today and found this one from a few weeks ago when Marco and I went on a deep dive in front of Pier Baai. I think we dropped down to 120 feet where I found this sponge sitting all by itself. We both noticed this area was pretty much just plate corals and rock, not a whole lot of sponge clusters to be found. If you were to continue at this depth for ten minutes heading east you would run right into the Curacao Car Pile, named after all the car parts and junk dumped there many years ago.
I don’t have much for you all this evening it’s just a nice quiet Sunday. Many thanks for all the nice compliments on the hummingbird pictures glad you all liked them. Sunny regards, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Hummingbird Feeding Her Babies
Good evening from a little place called Curacao! I was just thinking before we came here I never even heard of this island?? And I can still remember Aimee getting that phone call from our friend George asking if she was still interested in a dolphin job and the look on her face when she hung up. We both had to get a World map out and find this place, Bonaire and Aruba you always here about but Curacao, most people can’t even say the name correctly?
As promised here is another hummingbird photo for you, this time mamma feeding her just born babies. I think Cival and I were both shocked when we saw how far momma stuck her beak down the babies throat to feed, you really almost have to see it to believe it! In the time we were there we watched mamma feed her babies three times and after each feeding she would then lay on them for around ten to fifteen minutes. As you can see the baby doesn’t even have it’s eyes open yet. We also noticed that when the babies poop they push their butts up and over the edge of the nest and poop out of the nest, that’s what you call early potty training!! Not sure what mamma was feeding them but it was in liquid form.
That’s about it, felt terrible this morning but a bit better now. Talk to you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Nesting Hummingbird
Good evening friends, still fighting this stupid cold but had a fun day just the same. Aimee called me this morning from another part of the island saying she saw some young flamingo’s wading in the water close to the road. So I quickly ran over to my friend Cival’s house, picked him up and away we went. When we got there we found the flamingo’s but they were now to far away to get a nice shot. I tried walking out in the water to get closer but the mud was to deep and almost lost my shoes in the process. There must have been well over a hundred adults and twenty youngsters. The adults were glowing pink and the youngsters were a whitish grey color and we noticed that none of the young ones were in the main group they were always on the outside by themselves? So after that little adventure and a bunch of driving around we headed back into town. Cival sent me some photos a few days ago of a hummingbird that was now nesting in a palm tree at his grandmas house so figured we would go shoot that instead. When we got there I was thinking, ok this is a nesting hummingbird so it’s most likely going to have a nest that is very well hidden and will be tough to shoot. Boy was I wrong! This beautiful momma has made a nest about four feet off the ground right along his Grandma’s main walkway on the top of the highest palm leaf and seems to have no fear of humans at all. We set up our cameras and tripods about a foot and a half from her nest and she could have cared less? We watched for hours as she fed her two babies and sat on them as you see here, yes under her are two live babies, will send that shot tomorrow, it’s so cool. The tiny nest was built from every possible thing you could imagine, I even saw many pieces of hair, fabric and cotton. Many thanks again Cival, I had a great time can hardly wait to show her to Aimee on Sunday!
That’s about it, not feeling so great now. Bye, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Curacao View
Hello folks, I called in sick today and just stayed home. About the only thing I did was take our friend Sharon out to do some errands taking this photo for you along the way. This is just one of the hundreds of beautiful glowing churches on this island. This shot was taken on a road above Punda that overlooked the whole area. About forty miles behind that church is a little place called South America, on really clear days can you see the tall mountains of Venezuela.
Sorry so short, it’s back to bed, Sunny regards, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Saffron Finch
Good afternoon all, I am home sick today with a cold or something, again so many people at work are sick so it’s kind of like “take a number, your next”!
Since the birds seem to be such a big hit here’s another new one we got this week, this is a Saffron Finch. The locals call this bird a Saffraanvink, say that five times real fast. It is thought that this little golden beauty was probably introduced to Aruba and Curacao by man many, many years ago and can now be found living all over the island. This is a seed eater, looking on the ground for all kinds of seeds. I found this one and it’s mate by Alex Plaza in the Sea Aquarium parking lot and from what I was told by the guards they have been here for a few years.
I did manage to take the dogs for a walk this morning but that’s about all I will be doing today. I just heard there was a jail-break from our local prison less than a mile away, I can see and hear the helicopters over the desert looking out our window. Where do you run when you live on a tiny island, I mean what’s the point?? Maybe the guards got bored and let them out just to have something to do today, hey it’s possible!
Talk to you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on American Kestrel Eating a Bananaquit
Good evening guys, I had so many people ask me what do the American Kestrels eat and until today I really didn’t know? Well at 4:00 today I got my answer! I watched in disbelief as this Kestrel attacked this little yellow bird in mid flight and brought him back to earth to eat. I never would have guessed he was hunting this type of prey? I thought he was only eating lizards? I told you all these birds were incredible hunters, it seems nothing is safe when these guys are on the prowl. I also observed this Kestrel flying over the tree tops and noticed every other bird flew off in the opposite direction in fear for their lives!!
It was a long day at work today am going to bed early. Hope all is well talk to you all tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Buried Crab
Good evening from one very tired man! After doing two deep dives to the Superior Producer and taking the dogs to the ocean for two hours I have had it!
Here’s a fun shot from my night dive last night with my macro lens. This is by far the tiniest crab I have ever found! I was laying on the sand just waiting for some friends to finish what they were doing when out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. As I looked closer I still couldn’t see it until I zoomed in with the 105 macro. This little crab was in a beautiful little olive shell but seconds after he noticed my presence he buried his shell in the sand by moving it back and forth and also used his arms to help with the digging. After about 20 seconds the shell was gone he had pushed it under the sand leaving only his body resting on top. As I continued to watch he then just sat there completely motionless, talk about blending in?? As for an approximate size, he and his shell would have fit inside your smallest finger nail!
Just a “heads up” to all my faithful readers, in a few short weeks I will stop sending this daily blog out as an e-mail. Settle down, relax, everyone take a deep breath and continue reading. Soon I will have my daily blog on my website right on the front page, so all you have to is go there and read it at your leisure. The address will be www.coralreefphotos.com The easiest thing to do will be to open coralreefphotos, right click somewhere on the page and “create a shortcut” to your desktop or save it as your favorites folder. We are talking about still sending you an e-mail out once a week just as a reminder and a quick run-down of the weeks activities, I think your going to love it.
Many of you always ask if my photos are for sale, everything is available thru www.wildhorizons.com and if your out and about shopping pick up the new issue of Sport Diver, it again has some of my photos in it this month, I’ll let you find them!
I smell something yummy, see you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on Pair of American Kestrels Sitting on a Cactus
Good evening once again, yes, more American Kestrels, we just can’t seem to get enough of them! I found these two beauties this morning sitting side by side high atop a very tall cactus scanning the area for breakfast! These birds are some of the greatest hunters on the planet, just check out those feet! They were so cool sitting up there this morning, those cactus were really swaying in the wind but didn’t seem to bother them a bit, it would have made for a nice piece of video.
Working at the Aquarium we deal with people from every country on the planet. I kind of pride myself in saying that in the past five years “I have seen it all” or so I thought? The other day during a dolphin encounter a man picks up his son and instead of taking him to the restroom to pee, he just held him over the water (like Michael Jackson with his baby) and let his six year old pee into the water in front of 18 customers and three of our dolphins??? I was not there but I have seen the photo, anyone wanting to see it as well just say so and I will send it to you, it’s unbelievable “what are people thinking”?? For the life of me I just can’t understand it, would love to go to their house and do that same thing? Crazy huh? Now, I have seen it all!
I am going to be late for my night dive, talk to you tomorrow, Barry
Mar 27, 09 Comments Off on The Winners of the 2009 Curacao Carnival
Good evening friends, I bet most of you are glad it’s Friday! We had a crazy thing happen at work today. A few of my friends decided to go fishing at 2:00 in our lagoon equipped with only a piece of fishing line, a hook and a little fish for bait. Well they ended up catching a big snapper, like over 24 inches and were pulling it in when all of a sudden a monster sized barracuda grabbed the snapper and completely bit it in half taking half the fish in it’s mouth in one big bite! So they now had the head and half the body on a hook so they figured lets throw this back in and catch the barracuda! No sooner did they get that head in the water and the barracuda attacked again, this time cutting the line and taking the fish, from what I heard he was big, well over a meter in length! Cool huh?
By request here’s another photo from Carnival! This was a group of locals dressed as African animals, their costumes were so great!
I am doing a night dive at Pier Baai tomorrow night at 8:00, meet at the Dive Bus Hut!! I am tired and headed to bed my friends, till tomorrow, Barry