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.

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Archive for July, 2017

Jul 18, 17     Comments Off on Derilissus sp. Clingfish, Tiny Reef fish, Deep-Sea Fish

Good morning, I have the third and final Derilissus sp. (clingfish) for you all this morning that the Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao crew recently discovered off the tiny coast of St. Eustatius. For those of you wanting to learn more about these beautiful little fish here’s a little more information about clingfish in general.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobiesocidae

When we saw this fish for the fist time it was so small/tiny that we couldn’t see how beautiful those eyes were. It wasn’t until I shot it with the 105 macro lens on f40 with two Ikelite sub strobes that the revelation of this little fish came to light and I remember almost loosing my mind and yelling for everyone to come over and look at this fish! Upon seeing some of my first shots I remember also having this large group of people now surrounding me wanting to see more close-ups, it’s truly a fish that everyone has fallen in love with!

Have a great day out there..

Barry

Jul 18, 17     Comments Off on Endangered Corals, Endangered Staghorn Coral, Corals

Here’s one very healthy colony of super endangered staghorn coral for you all today straight from the reefs of Bonaire. If you look closely at the two fish in the middle of the photo the little greyish blue damselfish is chasing away a much larger stoplight parrotfish that has ventured into his nesting/living area. I have written for years what aggressive little fish these are and apparently they fear nothing, I have seen them chase off everyone including divers.

Have to run..

Barry

Jul 13, 17     Comments Off on The Rare Blue Beads of St. Eustatius, Slave Beads, Rare Beads

Hi friends, while in St. Eustatius a while back shooting photos for the Smithsonian Institution I discovered a story of the islands history that few know involving these elusive five-sided, very hard to find blue beads once worn by slaves. My little adventure began onboard the Chapman research vessel with the arrival of some local divers all having at least one big blue bead hanging proudly from their necks. We immediately asked “what’s the story with your beads”? They then told us a story similar to the below article I found in Sport Diver that went something like this…

St. Eustatius or Statia once known as the trading center of the world, used to attract thousands of merchant ships to it’s shores each year. In the 17th and 18th centuries Dutch merchants brought unique pentagonal blue glass beads from Amsterdam to Statia’s marketplace. These blue beads were used to acquire slaves from western Africa who then later used the blue beads as currency on the island, and even sometimes to buy their freedom.

Strangely enough, these same blue beads now beckon divers, not to Statia’s markets but to its surrounding waters. Legend has it that after emancipation slaves threw their blue beads into the sea to celebrate their freedom. Another theory says a ship carrying beads sank or was sunk by the slaves sending the precious blue beads to their watery grave. Divers say that at the blue bead dive site (hole), one doesn’t find a bead but instead it finds or chooses you and once found you belong to Statia and are destined to return again and again.

Over the next few weeks I ended up getting off the ship and going to shore in hopes of finding one of these precious blue beads washed ashore, as we were told this is how many are found. I walked and walked the volcanic sandy beaches and even did some snorkeling in the shallows but never found one, most likely because most of them are found after a storm with big waves, and all we had was calm water the whole time. There is a dive spot called the “blue bead hole”, but I never got out there; they claim this was where a ship went down and many beads were lost. As I walked around town I started noticing many of the locals had a blue bead around their necks that they had found, and I managed to get some of the above shots on my walk. The last photo shows a collection of ancient glass beads that can be seen in the local museum but are different than the ever sought after five-sided blue-beads that everyone is hunting for. For those of you treasure hunters, if you thought hunting for gold was addictive spend a few days looking for these amazing beads, it will drive you crazy!

I do have a four page article that really explains these beads even more. If anyone is interested, just let me know, and I will send it to you.

Have a great day…

Barry

 

Jul 12, 17     Comments Off on Giant Hermit Crab Inside a Disscarded Queen Conch Shell

Good morning folks, sorry for the lack of postings lately I am once again working on more projects than I care to take on giving me zero time to jump on the computer. I am trying to get all my St. Eustatius photos like this giant hermit crab I posted today ready for key-wording and sent off to be copy-righted at the US copyright office, a process that takes forever.. At some point the Smithsonian will be needing these photos for talks and publications so me having them done ahead of time will be a big bonus.

This is another crab from our last trip, this time a giant hermit crab in a discarded queen conch shell which was most likely killed and eaten by a passing octopus at one time or another. The shell this guy or gal is living in is close to 10 inches in length giving you a little idea of the crabs size, I truly do love these hermits!

Have a wonderful day..

Barry

Jul 6, 17     Comments Off on Pleurotomariidae, Slit-Shells, Rarest Sea Shells, Shells

Good morning friends, I once again have some beautiful live slit-shells for you all today that were found deep off the coast of St. Eustatius with the use of a submersible.

Jul 3, 17     Comments Off on TIME Magazine, Baby Dolphin, Most Popular Dolphin Photos

Good morning gang, I trust you either had a great weekend or your still on an extended weekend because of the 4th, either way be safe out there with all the visiting tourists. I’ve been doing a bit of riding but not as much as I should be, I’m currently helping a friend re-do her bathroom at the moment hanging sheet-rock which seems to be consuming a lot of my time.

Good news again, I have a full page dolphin photo in TIME Magazine this month in their Special Edition “The Animal Mind” oh yeah, page 67…..

Sorry so short, I have to meet a friend for an early mtb ride, have a wonderful day!!

Barry

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