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 June, 2017

Jun 29, 17     Comments Off on Four Deep-Sea Invertebrates from St. Eustatius

I’m back, I have four more invertebrates found with a deep-sea submersible from the island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean. The top photo is some kind of weird anemone sitting on top of a rare slit-shell, below that is a cool looking deep-sea shrimp, then a big starfish that I had never seen before and finally a super tiny, smaller than a dime hermit crab from way down stairs.. I decided to toss all these into one blog because of my need to be finished with photos from Statia although I still have a ton of underwater reef shots and all the SIRENAS sponge photos to show you, this could take a long, long time!

Last week I sent in my poor regulators for repair only to get a return note saying your regs are toast! I then proceeded to explain the amount of diving I do and how may dives I had done with them which is in the thousands so now they understand why they look like that.

I have a full page dolphin photo in the new TIME special edition that is out now on page 67, I think the book is called the animal mind or understanding animals, check it out if your at a news stand.

I have to run, I am so busy these days..

Barry

Jun 28, 17     Comments Off on Decodon sp. Orange Reef Fish, Small Deep-Sea Fish

Good morning, I have another super colorful three inch Decodon for you all this morning, this is one of the three that was found on the St. Eustatius Expedition last month. A Decodon is a type of wrasse and this particular species is one of my favorite to work with because of their super calm behavior and their more or less relaxed attitude. I think I have told you over the years that not all fish are easy to photograph, some can take me hours to get a shot of as they never stop moving unlike this orange beauty that just sat in one place posing forever! I was going through my St. Eustatius folder yesterday and I see that I am close to having posted most of the top finds from that trip, so I will try and finish that up by the end of next week and then we head back to Bonaire.

Hope all of you are doing well out there…

Barry

Jun 27, 17     Comments Off on Palatogobius grandoculus, Deep-Sea Gobies, Tiny Fish

Good morning out there, sorry for the no-blogs the past few days have been doing a bit of traveling and in doing so met some of the greatest folks in the world! Someone had asked me the other day about our three island dogs and how they are doing and other than a little hip problem with Inca they are all doing great, especially Joy!

I have another super tiny fish for you all today called a Palatogobius grandoculus or for those of us not in the science world, a goby! This was yet another tiny little thing about an inch in length covered in bright neon stripes and a wild looking neon yellow eye, this is such a cool little creature! Many of these tiny gobies will perch themselves on top of an object and sit there motionless for a long period of time giving your truly plenty of time to take a few shots. I am close to getting all the finds posted from our last trip to the Caribbean with the Smithsonian, I have about 10 left then I will start on the trip before that to Bonaire, so trust me there is no end to my photos..

Be safe out there, see you tomorrow…

Barry

Jun 22, 17     Comments Off on Brotula Barbata, Reclusive Reef Fish, Odd Loooking Fish

Hi everyone, I have an odd looking fish for you today called a Brotula Barbata found deep off the coast of St. Eustatius by the Smithsonian and Substation Curacao. I know it’s hard to tell from the photo but this fish is only around five inches in length. These weird looking fish swim non-stop in an eel-like fashion making them very hard to photograph so what I had to do was to make a cave of sorts (which they love) for him or her to swim into and stop swimming long enough for a shot, I guess it worked! I don’t know a lot about these fish or the depth we found it but I will try and get this info soon and update this and all the rest of the posts.

Be safe out there… Please put the phone down while driving, I was almost in a wreck yesterday from someone texting..

Barry

Jun 21, 17     Comments Off on Valley of the Sponges Dive Site, St. Eustatius

Good morning, I’m finally getting around to actual dive photos I took on my last trip to the Caribbean, here’s a little window into a dive-site called “Valley of the Sponges”. The morning we did this dive a small boat came from shore over to our ship and picked me and two other Smithsonian friends up and off we went for a three hour, two tank dive. Because St. Eustatius is one big volcano we had to go almost two miles offshore to get to this dive-site, it’s for sure the furthest I have ever been from any given shore. I remember we were already soaked before we even got to the drop-site because of high winds, big waves and a tiny boat, good thing I had already put on my wetsuit. Once we arrived we wasted no time getting in, especially after that crazy ride, we all knew it would be nice and calm underwater and raced to jump in. I had two science people with and they both took off in different directions in search of something different and I went in search of beautiful reef scenes. These kind of dive trips are hard for me because I know I will most likely not be back and I try as hard as I can to cover as much reef as possible in a one hour time period. On my way down from the boat I can usually see my first objects to shoot and from there I race around like a crazy person trying to take as many photos as I can in this short period of time, it actually should be an Olympic event. This particular dive-site was littered with my favorite giant red barrel sponges and they were in every shape and color, I was honestly going crazy trying to figure out how can I shoot them all! I did end up with a great collection of photos, one of my favorites is the top one with the corals growing inside the barrel sponge, this would be a rare sight in Curacao but here I found this fairly common, maybe they know they are more protected in there?? Any ways, if you are visiting the island of St. Eustatius have your dive operator take you here, it’s truly a unique dive-site with lots of sponges, sea-fans and barracuda’s.

Off to start the day..

Barry

Jun 20, 17     Comments Off on Deep-Sea Nudibranch, Tiny Invertebrates, Sea Slugs

Good morning out there, I have something a bit different for you all this morning, something other than a crab or fish for once.. This is a super tiny, very fragile deep-sea nudibranch, one of only two we found on the whole trip to St. Eustatius. And when I say one of two, that means we found this one above and another that is completely different which I will get posted as well in the coming days. Nudibranch’s are a type of sea-slug with bodies that are so delicate and move slower than about anything in the sea. This one here was about 12.5mm or half an inch in length, I actually remember it being even smaller as it was so hard to photograph. With all the diving I have done in Curacao over the years I never found many nudibranch’s other than the common lettuce sea-slugs that covered the reef in the shallows, so these are pretty special. This was another find by the Smithsonian scientists and Substation Curacao and if I get a name I will update this so check back often.

Have a wonderful day…

Barry

Jun 19, 17     Comments Off on Deep Sea Crab found by Smithsonian Scientists

Good morning, I have another wild looking deep-sea crab for you all this morning found by our favorite scientists from the world famous Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The red you see under the belly could be eggs but don’t quote me on that, I just remember hearing that in the lab as everyone was watching observing her. This crab was close to 6 inches wide and most likely even longer with those crazy claws extended. Most of you already know my love for any and all crabs which must come from the insane amount of hours spend either underwater or with the Smithsonian observing them, they are so cool and they come in every shape and size one can imagine.

Sorry so short, I’m so busy with so many weird things these days, have a great day out there..

Barry

Jun 16, 17     Comments Off on Deep Sea Squirrelfish, Squirrelfish sp. Holocentridae

Hi friends, I have one beautiful squirrelfish for you all today found on the last day of operations on our recent trip to St. Eustatius. This colorful little treasure was about three inches in length and I remember Smithsonian being super excited because of this strange color pattern you see above. These fish have such a wonderful relaxed disposition and like I said earlier this week spend their days from the safety of their homes watching the reef go by, they are for the most part very cautious fish.

Have a great weekend…

Barry

Jun 15, 17     Comments Off on Octopus, Deep-Sea Octopus, New Smithsonian Finds

Good morning, sorry about the text this morning, I’m having a weird formatting issue making me hate Word Press even more at this point..
I have four beautiful deep-sea octopus for you this morning all found in the Caribbean, many found living in discarded bottles and all found by the Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao. Some of these are tiny and I guess they would have to be if they were living inside an bottle. Scientists from the Smithsonian now believe that these small octopus grab little hermit crabs and carry them back to their private bottle homes were they can eat without being disturbed that is unless a 2.5 million dollar submersible happens to pass by. Also many of these amazing creatures were found at or around the 850 foot mark so many of these you see here could be new species, we will again have to wait and see what the Smithsonian scientists come up with as far as DNA goes.
I am running late for a long mtb ride, talk to again soon…
Barry
Jun 14, 17     Comments Off on Varicus cephalocellatus, Deep-Sea Goby, Tiny Reef Fish

I have a tiny one inch or less Varicus cephalocellatus, goby for you all today found by our world renowned scientists from the Smithsonian Institution using a deep sea submersible from Substation Curacao (yes where I used to work). For any ichthyologist finding these deep sea fish is about as good as it gets and from what I have observed working with the Smithsonian, finding new species of gobies is better than finding a ship full of gold! When these fish get brought up and are actually seen for the first time there is yelling and excitement in the air not to mention an occasional high-five for a job well done and for finding a possible new species of fish. I have to say, anyone who ever said “scientists are boring” hasn’t met the group from the Smithsonian Institution, they are anything but boring and when their not holding a fish they are out doing something else fun.

Have a great day..

Barry

Jun 12, 17     Comments Off on Squirrelfish, Sargocentron sp. Small Deep-Sea Fish

Good morning out there, I hope you all had a great weekend and went out and did something fun.

I have a small, three inch Sargocentron sp. or squirrelfish for you today once again found on our last expedition to St. Eustatius, which is a super tiny island in the Caribbean. Remember we talked about the “sp.” which means “species’ meaning it may or may not be a new species from this family, we all have to sit tight and wait for a little DNA to come back before we all know for sure. Squirrelfish tend to spend their days hanging out in the shadows or under reef overhangs minding their own business and become more active at night. They feed on shrimps and crabs and tend to be in small groups and are for sure a very common reef-fish. I remember my wife’s sister coming down to Curacao one year for some diving and upon exiting the water she excitedly proclaimed “her hands down favorite fish she saw was the big eye squirrelfish”, I think that was the first time I ever remember anyone saying that was their favorite fish, I guess squirrelfish need love too!

Cheers..

Barry

Jun 9, 17     Comments Off on Deep-Sea Crabs, Deep-Sea Invertebrates, Crabs

Good morning, I have a cool little crab (about 2 inches wide) from the recent Statia expedition found with a deep-sea submersible by scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao. Crabs are not always easy to photograph! This one here kept burying himself in the sand with just his or her eyes showing, so finally I gave up and covered the sand with shells giving this little guy no options other than to just sit there and smile for the camera. I’m guessing that this is some kind of swimming crab but again once I get a positive ID I will update these blogs.

Have a great day out there..

Barry

Jun 7, 17     Comments Off on Rison ruber, Odd Looking Fish, Small Deep-Sea Fish

Hi all, I believe this is a sponge loving goby of sorts and I’m working on more info for you, stay tuned…

Jun 6, 17     Comments Off on Sphoeroides dorsalis, Deep-Sea Puffers, Rare Fish

Hi friends, I have a little two inch Sphoeroides dorsalis for you all today which is super similar to the shallow water bandtail puffer that I have sent you all more than once. Unlike the bandtail this guy is found very deep, it’s smaller and is much more colorful than it’s shallow swimming cousin. The bandtails were also very grumpy and hated to be photographed much like this little treasure who was very uncooperative from the start making this photo super hard to take. This was once again found miles off the coast of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean by the Smithsonian Institution using a deep-sea submersible from Substation Curacao.

Sorry so short…

Barry

Jun 4, 17     Comments Off on STINAPA House Reef, St. Eustatius Underwater Photos

Good morning, I have a few underwater reef shots from a little island in the Caribbean that is currently not at the top of any “Top” dive destinations list, but maybe it should be! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the underwater world in little o’l St. Eustatius and granted I didn’t get to dive a lot but what I saw made me wish I could have seen more. ALL diving on Statia must be done through one of the two or three dive shops, there are no exceptions to this rule, it’s for sure not Bonaire. Many of the reefs here are far off shore, we went to the “Valley of the Sponges” which was close to two miles straight out from the harbor and although your jumping off into rough seas the reef under was quite beautiful. Above are photos from the STINAPA house reef which is located in calmer waters and much closer to shore but again you will need to hire a dive operation to take you out there. Also like many other Caribbean countries you must purchase a $30 STINAPA reef tag before you dive as well which is available at the dive shops or the STINAPA office located near the harbor. I have to say this little dive spot had more creatures and fish, sponges and corals then I had seen on any dive site in Curacao, it was just a small reef area but completely packed with life meaning my camera was on fire and we were all out of air before we knew it!

Busy day ahead…

Barry

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