ABOUT

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.

General

Archive for January, 2015

Jan 21, 15     Comments Off on 2015 Outside Magazine Bike Testing Update

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Beautiful Tucson Arizona!

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2015 “BOO” Mountain Bike made from Bamboo!

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Testing a quarter million dollars worth of high end road bikes at Gates Pass!

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The NEW 2015 Fat Tire-Salsa “Bucksaw” Our hands down favorite bike to ride!

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Check out the specs at….  http://salsacycles.com/bikes/bucksaw

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The Lightest bike tested, The New 2015 TREK, cost? $16,000 and weighs 10 pounds or 4.5 Kilos!

Jan 9, 15     Comments Off on Red-Ridged Clinging Crab, Mithrax forceps

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Good morning from Curacao. I have a very small, half inch, Red-Ridged Clinging Crab, Mithrax forceps for you all today that I found nestled deep down in a crevice on a colony of pillar coral. These crabs can be identified by their unique carapace which has numerous grooves that form ridges and nodules and have prominent cone-shaped projections around the sides. The legs and carapace may have bands, stripes or spots and the colors can range from red, yellow, brown, orange or green. Also it has smooth claws with blunt tips as you can clearly see above. These tiny nocturnal crabs inhabit reefs and adjacent areas of coral rubble and algae-covered, rocky bottoms. During the day they hide in small holes or recesses and are close to impossible to find. We have a wide variety of crabs on the caribbean reef but many of them like this little guy here are so small you would never see it unless they moved. Nightfall is the best time to find crabs as they are now out in the open feeding but they are still super small and very camouflaged, it makes the hunt that much more fun!

Well that’s it for me this week, I am on a plane Sunday headed for the States, I really need to get off this rock for awhile, I have island fever! Will try to keep you posted on what I am doing, I may add a link on the front page that says Tucson 2015 Trip and add photos there so look out for that.

Take of each other…

Barry

Jan 8, 15     Comments Off on School of Fish, School of Bonnetmouths, Bogas

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Hi all, it’s been a busy morning again with diving leaving me no time to play on the computer. I took this photo just a few minutes ago at around 65 feet after waving good-bye to the visiting tourists inside the submersible. Once I finish doing my sub photos and it disappears into the abyss I always go on some kind of search to see what is new on the reef today. I honestly can’t resist swimming into this large school of these colorful Bonnetmount’s or Bogas, they are so much fun to hang out with. These fish seem know I’m not a threat and allow me to become part of their school but sticking with them can be very difficult. Not only because they are fast but also because they swim up and down and this is something you can’t do many times on scuba without getting in trouble. They also know that when I’m there no big predatory fish like those dumb amber jacks are going to make a move on, I’m their big human protector! This giant school has been here for years and they make going out to the reef a complete joy, in fact most days they will see me swimming out of the lagoon, they will race over to me and then swim circles around me or play with my bubbles.

Many of you know I’m taking off for a few weeks starting this Sunday for a little vacation, Aimee will stay here with the dogs. I’m headed to Arizona again to help test mountain bikes for Outside Magazine and spend time with my mom and my editor Tom. So, I’m not sure if I will be posting during these weeks or not yet but please check in, you never know.

That’s about it, have a wonderful day!

Barry

Jan 6, 15     Comments Off on Fish Faces, Cute Fish Photos, Queen Angelfish

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Good morning from the mosquito infested Caribbean! Here’s an intermediate Queen Angelfish, Holacanthus ciliaris for you all today looking about as cute as a fish can be! These young angelfish are by far on the top of my “find list” but regrettably we hardly ever see them and if we do they are usually hard to approach. Now a days when I spot a Queen I follow for as long as it takes in hopes of them swimming into a small protective cave which gives me the only chance of a photo opportunity. Once trapped in their cave they will peer out at me as this one did which is just long enough to get a picture, they are very shy animals!

The Queen angelfish body color can be described as blue to blue-green with yellow rims on its scales. Their pectoral and ventral fins are also yellow but their lips and the edges of their dorsal fins and anal fins are dark blue. Queen angelfish are also known to have blue markings around each gill cover. Juveniles have dark blue bodies with yellow lips, gills, and tail and vertical bars ranging in color from light blue to white. The colors of the juvenile fish help them to blend in with the reefs. The Queen angelfish may live up to 15 years in the wild and reach up to 45 centimeters (17 inches) in length. Queen angelfish are about three and a half pounds.

Like other angelfish, much of its locomotion is produced by the pectoral fins. The outer 40% of each fin can be used to produce up to 80% of the fish’s total thrust.

The Queen angelfish feeds primarily on sponges, but also feeds on tunicates, jellyfish, and corals as well as plankton and algae. Juveniles serve as “cleaners” and feed on the parasites of larger fish at cleaning stations.

The adults are found in pairs year round, perhaps suggesting a long-term monogamous bond. The pairs reproduce by rising up in the water, bringing their bellies close together, and release clouds of sperm and eggs. The female can release anywhere from 25 to 75 thousand eggs each evening and as many as ten million eggs during each spawning cycle. The eggs are transparent, buoyant, and pelagic, floating in the water column. They hatch after 15 to 20 hours into larvae that lack effective eyes, fins, or even a gut. The large yolk sac is absorbed after 48 hours, during which time the larvae develop normal characteristics of free swimming fish. Larvae are found in the water column and feed on plankton. The larvae grow rapidly and about 3“4 weeks after hatching the 15“20 millimeters (0.6“0.8 in) long juvenile settles on the bottom.

Have a wonderful day!!

Barry

Jan 5, 15     Comments Off on Red Night Shrimp, Cinetorhynchus manningi

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Good morning from Chikungunya-ville! The island is still being hit hard with the terrible mosquito illness and at last count we had over 25,000 people sick with it. I have had mine for going on 5 weeks, one days you feel like it’s gone and the next your back in bed with stiff joints, headache and for me an upset stomach. So needless to say my December was awful and my New Year is not off to a good start. Is there a cure you ask?? Not really, they say to use paracetamol which seems to be the only thing that helps and to boil papaya leaves for a tea.

I have some very bright colored Red Night Shrimps, Cinetorhynchus manningi for your viewing pleasure today. These little 1-2 inch shrimps can be found on just about any rock on the reef in great numbers once the sun goes down. These shrimps can be easily identified by their beautiful red bodies and may have white to tan bands and spots with large black eyes. They inhabit coral reefs, they are solely nocturnal and hide deep in reefs during the day and appear in large numbers at night. The eyes are the cool part, when you shine your dive light onto the rocks  you see hundreds of glowing red eyes looking back at you, it’s such a cool sight. Trying to approach these delicate creatures has turned out to be a near impossible task but I am getting better at it. I now move in without lights and slowly expose them to the light and try not to move, otherwise if they are startled they will retreat into protective recesses in the blink of an eye and will not come back out for a long time.

We have a dive in about 30 minutes, not looking forward to going underwater today but someone has to do it.

Have a great day…

Barry

Jan 2, 15     Comments Off on Colorful Curacao Photos, Reflection Photos

BAR-

Good afternoon one and all, we made it to 2015! We gave up trying to sleep on New Years eve and ended up just watching movies, fireworks and comforting the dogs all night. You honestly can’t imagine the noise here on this one night of the year and it lasts from about 8:00pm till 4:00 in the morning! I always tell my friends in the States, “picture your own local 4th of July fireworks display” which may last up to 30 minutes or an hour at the most. Well here, it’s an all out 4th of July fireworks display for 8-9 hours in every direction you look and the island looks like it’s on fire and sounds like it’s being bombed! I’m sure you could find something on Youtube.

I had a request for a photo from above Curacao so I have this crazy photo for you all today. What is it you ask??  Good question. I was downtown shooting some graffiti and noticed the reflection of the colors in a parked car. As I set up the tripod and got ready to take the photo a guy on a bicycle rode past and “click” that was my picture, ok, it’s not for everyone but I like any kind of reflection photos.

Busy at home today working my “honey-do-list”.

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Barry

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