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 the ‘Reef Scenes + Aerials’

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…


Nov 2, 16     Comments Off on Coral Reef Scene, Sea Fan, Shipwreck Point
Jul 15, 16     Comments Off on Pillar Corals, Coral Reef Scene, Coral Reef Photo
Jul 13, 16     Comments Off on Coral Reef Photo, Live, Healthy Corals, Soft Corals
Dec 30, 13     Comments Off on Curacao Coral Reef Photo, Colorful Reef Scenes

I have a Curacao reef scene for your viewing pleasure today filled with pillar corals, (middle) star corals and a bunch gorgonians that look like underwater bushes.

I will be taking off on a needed vacation on the 6th of July so beware there may be no updates for a few weeks BUT if I can find the time I will load some photos.

Have a wonderful day, Barry

Sep 17, 13     Comments Off on Shipwreck Point, Sea Aquarium House Reef, Curacao
Aug 20, 13     Comments Off on Playa Forti Dive Site Curacao, Natural Reef Ball
Jul 30, 13     Comments Off on Coral Reef Scene/Photo, Caribbean Coral Reef

Hello from a little place called Curacao. I have a beautiful reef scene for you all today that was shot a few years ago right here on our Sea Aquarium house reef before our good friend tropical storm OMAR came to visit. I will have to go back and try to find this same spot and take a more recent photo for you but I don’t think it has changed too much being that this was taken at 60 feet. I do remember after OMAR passed, I went diving the next day and the reef looked horrible especially in the 0-30 foot range with the fire and finger corals taking the biggest hit! I had a camera with me on that dive but the visibility was so bad because of all the sand and runoff into the ocean after the storm that I was unable to take many shots and if I remember correctly it took weeks before the water cleared up. Now years later and after many different storms the shallow reefs around the Caribbean are pretty much gone which leaves very little for snorkelers to see in the way of corals or soft corals. I’ve had so many visitors ask me, “well, won’t they grow back fairly quickly”?? Unfortunately, NO is always my answer. Unlike fire that can actually help with new growth in a forest, corals will take forever to grow back!!

I had a nice bike ride with some old friends out at Saint Joris last night and ended up not getting home till late. This morning we have a sub dive at 11:15 and you may be able to see it at www.seasubmarine.com  This is our live web cam that lives at around 50 feet and is protected by a mean damselfish and now home to a trumpetfish, tune in and you may see them or me.

Gotta go, be back soon, Barry

Mar 21, 13     Comments Off on Banded Butterflyfish, Chaetodon striatus, Reef Scene
Nov 16, 12     Comments Off on Curacao Coral Reef, Diving the Reef at Superior Producer
Oct 30, 10     Comments Off on Coral Reef Scene, Coral Reef Photos, Colorful Reefs
Good morning from Curacao. As some of you know we have Hurricane Tomas heading our way and should be in the area around Sunday. From the charts I have seen the eye is hundreds of miles away but I am sure we will see big waves and rain just the same. Most Hurricanes start down here in these warm waters and then head all the way up to the States generating speed and power the whole way up. I did take my normal precautionary storm warming steps by going to the store and buying bottled water and dried foods yesterday just in case, better to be safe than sorry.
Yesterday I did four dives and went to bed sooooo tired! I did 3 very short sub dives all lasting about 10 minutes each and one dive to the Superior Producer. I met some Americans staying at Royal Resorts and they wanted to go dive the Superior but had no idea how to find it. So since I had a few hours to kill in between sub dives we loaded up their rental van and took off to the Mega Pier. There was a big cruise ship parked at the Mega Pier but no one seemed to care about us doing a dive underneath it so off we went! The trip was fast and great! We took a few shots on deck and explored the ship but minutes later we had to leave, our time was up. On the way back we saw a baby Green Turtle laying in the corals but when I approached for a shot he took off. I think we set some kind of Superior Dive record yesterday for getting in and out and being back in a little over an hour!
Yesterday I signed up for a dive to Beqa (pronounced Benga) Lagoon Resort in Fiji, for 2012! There are still spots available for anyone wanting to dive with me and maybe learn a little photography or who just want to dive with a great group of folks from my home town in Rapid City, SD, check out the attachment to register and learn more.
Below is yet another beautiful Coral Reef Setting with a Large Cupped Boulder Star coral on the bottom and a beautiful Gorgonian on the top, I just love this stuff!
Time to walk the dogs, see you, Barry
Apr 23, 10     Comments Off on Reef Trash, Reef Clean-Up Day, Tires and Tubes

Inner Tube

Good evening all, someone asked me today if we ever see trash on the reefs here??  The answer to that is yes!!  The worst place we have seen is under and around the piers, those areas are as trashed as it gets!  Almost everywhere has tires and we call those “Tire Coral” and as you see here a big truck inner tube and these we call “Tube Sponges”.  Tires and tubes, bottles, cans and the worst thing, fishing line is one of those constant reminders that man has pretty much trashed this planet.  And the real down side to all this junk is that it will never break down so year after year we see the same o’l stuff laying around at many dive sites.  The good news is that the folks from the World famous Dive Bus Hut along with other local dive shops have an annual reef/beach clean-up day once or twice a year and this Sunday is one of those days.  Mark said this year his focus was to try and remove or cut as much fishing line as they could as it is wrapped around so many sponges and so many corals!  The reef at Pier Baai used to be covered in tires and bottles but now one really has to search to find new trash, that’s what a team of reef cleaning volunteers can do.  Also some of this stuff has been down there so long that it now has creatures using it as homes or as you see here little corals and sponges growing onto the side of it so you can never remove it.  You would do more damage than good removing this tube so it’s best just to leave it there and hopefully divers will just learn from it. 
Today was a really hot and very humid!!  The puppies continue to adjust to their new home and we are again really enjoying them even if they are peeing machines.  Off to bed, Barry
Mar 2, 10     Comments Off on Diving in Bonaire, O’l Blue, Yellow Tube Sponges


Good evening readers I am back!!!  What a GREAT trip to say the least, the folks in Bonaire ROCK!!  Our friends Sal and Patty who spend 3 months a year in Bonaire met me at the airport and delivered me to the folks at Wannadive where I then stayed for the next 6 days.  Sal and Patty picked me up from the Wannadive Hotel every morning and off we went to some new fun dive spot in search of new creatures and coral reef scenes.  I was also lucky enough to have friends from Rapid City diving here at this time as well.  Their names are Scott and Tammi and they are the owners of Black Hills Scuba, please stop in and say hi to them for me they are such great people!  Everyone I met or ran into was so nice and everyone went out of their way to make me feel at home, so to all of you, thanks for everything!!!  So the first morning Sal, Patty and I met Scott and Tammi at the Wannadive shop at Eden Beach and off we went up the coast for our first dive together.  The dive spot was called O’l Blue and within minutes of arriving we spotted a giant pod of Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins swimming right out over the dive spot headed towards Bonaire at a very slow pace.  Upon seeing this we all quickly got our gear on and raced to the water but by the time we all got out and under they had already passed.  Even though we didn’t see dolphins it was a really beautiful dive.  This is Sal floating over a beautiful cluster of tube sponges which this spot had plenty of, I kind of just raced from one to the next like a man on a mission.  Bonaire has such beautiful diving!  Almost every spot we went to we saw big fish and lots of them, something Curacao has very little of as our reef’s are fished hard!  I think it’s safe to say we all had a wonderful dive here, Scott shot video and Tammi did a little posing for me over a few gorgonians, what else could a man ask for? 
Well more tomorrow, it’s late and I am beat!  Again thank you all, Barry
Oct 10, 09     Comments Off on Wide Angle Reef Scene in Curacao
Reef Scene

Reef Scene

Hello friends, we just got home the airport and our guest arrived in perfect shape!!  Her name is Eva, she is from the Denver Colorado area and she loves to dive, lucky me!!  Aimee just made a great dinner even though it’s almost 11:00 here but we all had to eat!  All of us are very tired, so this will be very short.
I found this photo in my folder from the last dive I did out in front of the Sea Aquarium a few weeks ago.  I remember turning off the flashes because I just wanted you all to see how many fish we have swimming around on any given day,  it’s really amazing!  You can see the tall pillar corals in the distance and a few in the middle, those are my personal favorites.  Without man-made light down here it’s all green and blue, the color red is only visible with a light or with the flashes I use, so why are fish so colorful??  I often wonder do fish see in color?  They must otherwise it would all look like this to them and there would be no need to be so colorful, just a thought looking for an answer??
Off to bed, I am beat!!  Have a great weekend, Barry
Aug 17, 09     Comments Off on Sunken Propeller at Sea Aquarium
Sunken Propeller at Sea Aquarium

Sunken Propeller at Sea Aquarium

Good evening friends, we had such a busy day today!!  My friends from the States have asked about the economy here and as far as I can tell we seem to be fairly unaffected by it.  I have heard that a few resorts around the island were struggling and that some of the new big resorts that are being built have slowed construction but other than that all seems well and busy!  We were again as full today as we could be and even had programs today at 4:00, I have only seen that a few times.
Here’s a shot from out on our reef here at the Aquarium.  This is a giant propeller that is now resting on the ocean floor at around 30 feet and is home to countless creatures!  We have two seahorses that are still living here around this big prop and I heard today someone found a mantis shrimp somewhere here today as well.  This morning there was supposed to be a dolphin dive around the area of this prop but super strong current put an end to that!!  I was at the aquarium this morning taking photos of a dolphin swim when I watched as a dive boat pulled up outside on our reef and unloaded divers into the current.  The divers were supposed to swim to the area of this propeller and meet George and our dolphin Annie but the second they jumped in, before they could even go under they were being taken away by the current, it’s nasty stuff folks!  Most of the divers that come here for a vacation have never been in current and it catches them completely off guard and many of them panic!  Tomorrow I will be back at Pen Resort all day photographing the reef again, if anyone wants to help or join please give me a call (661-5795) I always need extra help!
That’s about it, Aimee just got home, it’s 8:30 she was helping do something with the whale again while I took the dogs on a nice long walk!  See ya, Barry



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