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 September, 2015
Sep 9, 15 Comments Off on Purple Stove Pipe Sponge, Coral Reef Scene
Good morning all, so guess what we got rain!! And not just a little sprinkle but an all out tropical downpour that left everyone scratching their heads asking “where did that come from”?? Yesterday morning after walking the dogs we jumped in the car and it wouldn’t start, for those of you who know this feeling, it’s awful! Before panic could take over I popped the hood and tapped on the starter with our tire jack and believe it or not that did the trick and off we went back home. So on the way to work I dropped the car off to our homeless auto mechanic that lives in a non-running falling apart car and just left it there, he was still asleep and I didn’t want to bother him. I had my bike in the back of the car and rode to work from there. About an hour later I get a call saying “have you looked outside lately, there is a huge storm coming”! Panic immediately set in as I knew I left the dogs outside and I had to get home and save them before I did anything else! No sooner had I got home the rain started and as quick as I could I got the dogs inside and out of the rain. Then it hit me that when I dropped the car off I left the windows open and my mechanic was still asleep! So just as the rain was starting I took off on the bike at full speed but within 20 seconds I was completely soaked to the bone and could hardly see the road in front of me, it was raining so hard! Then to make matters worse I got a flat tire and I was still a quarter of a mile away, talk about a crazy morning! As the air was draining from the tire I pedaled faster and made it to my car but by this time it was too late, the inside of the car looked like the side of a tropical waterfall, the only thing missing was the plants! I rolled up the windows and walked the bike a few blocks away (in the rain) to the World famous Dive Bus Hut and managed to get a ride back to the aquarium via an American tourist who had rented a big jeep, what a morning! Our car did get fixed later in the day, it was the starter and we found out water had been leaking into it from a radiator hose.
I have a beautiful purple stove pipe sponge for you all today which is just one of hundreds I saw in Klein Curacao last week, I can hardly wait to get back there and go diving….
We have a submersible dive at 11:15 today, I need to get ready for that.
Have a wonderful day.
Sep 7, 15 Comments Off on Old Vintage Bottles Found with a Submersible
Good morning all, how was your weekend?? I finally got around to shooting some of the old bottles we found with the submersible on the island of Klein Curacao last week. When the bottles come up from the deep they are filled with trapped hermit crabs that manage to get in but they can’t get back out and we end up with a jar full of old deep water sea shells. Starting from the left we have A typical Dutch Onion Bottle that dates back to the early 18th century. The glass is a shade of green with small bubbles and imperfections. The size and shape of these bottles varies due to the fact that they were mouth-blown in a variety of glass houses in Europe. It has a deep base with a typical jagged pontil scar where the bottom was pushed up with an iron rod to form the base of the bottle. Bottles like this traveled all over the world on the old sailing ships.
Some of the earliest liquor bottles were like the square one pictured to the right in the #3 position (going left to right) which is square in cross section and generally designed to contain gin though undoubtedly contained various types of liquor and possibly wine. Commonly called “case gin” or “taper gin” bottles since they would pack more efficiently to a case (6 to 24 bottles) than round bottles (Illinois Glass Company 1903). Case gin bottles are square with a more or less distinct taper inwards from the shoulder to the base (or a flaring from the base to the shoulder if you prefer). The neck is very short to almost non-existent with the finishes varying from a laid-on ring, flared, mineral finish, oil, and even a blob. This shape and style of bottle originated in and was commonly made in Europe at least as early as the mid-17th century and have been found in contexts as early as 1745 in the New World (Jones & Smith 1985; Hume 1991). However, some case gin type bottles were made in the U.S. during the time span of popularity for this bottle type from at least the early 19th century.
Bottles #2 and #4 were used for spirits as well as ale/porter, wine, and likely other liquid consumables and date from the early 1850’s to the early 1900’s.
The last one on the end, all the way to the right reads; C. BROMLEY, ADAM.STREET, GOOLE. It is also a major antique and dates to the early 1900’s.
Our friend Carole Baldwin from the Smithsonian took the photo of me shooting the bottles without me knowing it, thought I would throw it in to show you the work we go through for a single photo these days. Please don’t ask me to sell the bottles, they are already spoken for and will get great homes.
Have a wonderful day all…
Sep 3, 15 Comments Off on Green Sea Turtle Photos, Marine Reptiles
Good afternoon one and all, how is your day going out there??? We had an early morning submersible dive with two people from Brazil and I of course was underwater to take their photos as they passed by. After I finished with the sub photos I located all my know Ghost shrimp homes (about 6) and fed them little pieces of algae. The shrimps live in these beautiful sand burrows and wait all day for food to pass by so I just make it easier for them and give them a whole bunch all at once. I hold the food over the little inch and a half holes and out they come grabbing the food from my fingers and taking it deep down into their hidden bunkers, talk about a cool creature!
I have a beautiful Green Sea Turtle for you all today that I found swimming under our anchored ship in around 25 feet of water at Klein Curacao. This little deserted island has become well known for an abundance of these turtles and whether your diving or snorkeling your almost guaranteed to spot one.
Lots to do…
Sep 2, 15 Comments Off on Brain Coral Colonies, Coral Reef Scenes
Good morning from the HOT Caribbean… I have not one, but two fantastic brain coral colonies for you all today that I found on the beautiful island of Klein Curacao. There are a bunch of different brain corals here in the Caribbean with names like Symmetrical Brain Coral, Knobby brain Coral, Grooved Brain Coral, Maze Coral (looks like a type of Brain Coral), Rose Coral and my favorite as seen below, Boulder Brain Coral. Years ago here in Curacao we had a long season of coral bleaching which ended up killing much of our beautiful brain corals but in Klein Curacao I didn’t see many that were dead, they all looked fantastic! The beautiful round ball of brain coral at the top is about three feet tall while the other at the bottom was twice this size and as you can see as healthy as coral can be. Remember the coral letters I did last year and earlier this year, well these are the corals we searched for in making our one of a kind unique coral alphabet.
I’m busy today setting up my aquariums in the deep water labs getting them ready again for anything new that the Smithsonian might bring up, they are here for the whole month.
Have a great day…
Sep 1, 15 Comments Off on Sponge Face, Faces in Nature, Natural Faces
Good morning friends, I found a beautiful Azure Vase Sponge on the island of Klein Curacao that reminded me of the Cookie Monster, one of Sesame Streets all time greatest characters. As many of you already know, I love finding faces in nature, especially if they are underwater! Aimee and I have searched for years for fun faces but they are very hard to find making the quest that much more difficult. A few years back I had a photo assignment involving faces around the home and ended up selling a picture of a shoe that looked like a face to National Geographic Kids magazine, do any of you remember that one?? I am still looking for these types of photos so if you find something around the house, please let me know.
We have a lot going on today, I have to get ready to splash…