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 the ‘Dolphins + Whales’

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

Oct 6, 16     Comments Off on Baby Bottlenose Dolphins, Newborn Baby Dolphin Calfs

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Aug 18, 16     Comments Off on Dolphins in the Open Ocean, Dolphin Academy

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Hi all, it’s finally friday!! We had a busy week at Substation meaning I just can’t find time for blogging but am still able to do my Tweet. If you do have Twitter and want to find me and follow that page check me out @SquidLover3 it’s for sure a much faster way of blogging. 

So as some of you already know Dolphin Academy is taking their dolphins out onto the reef and leading by boat to the reef in front of Substation and in front of Mambo beach everyday at around 2:00. This is Caiyo doing a behavior called a Cannonball out in the open ocean with the mega pier and Punda in the background. When I say open ocean I mean there are no nets, no fences, no barriers, no nothing, just open ocean and the dolphins can do what they want, it’s quite the sight to behold. During this 15 minute excursion the dolphins stop out in front of Mambo beach for hundreds of tourists on the beach to observe, that is if they are observant enough to notice what is going on?? Most days I have observed tourists grabbing their fins and mask and swimming out into the sea to try and get a better view but if they get to close the boat will just lead the dolphins away from the people, I mean really folks have a little respect out there.. Any ways, I am enjoying the free show and will continue to try and get some new shots, maybe Aimee can do an open ocean rocket ride for us??

Have a wonderful weekend..

Barry

Jun 3, 16     Comments Off on Free Diving, Snorkeling with Bottlenose Dolphins

Woman free-diving with bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Hi friends, today is our 16th wedding Anniversary and thought it would be best to post a fun photo of my bel oved one doing what she loves best, spending her days with dolphins! Aimee and I have been here in Curacao since 2004, who would have known one little phone call would have led to such an adventure?? As most of you know my woman can hold her breath for a crazy long time and do it over and over, I on the other hand would be lucky if I could hold my breath for a minute!! As you can see from the photo above she’s as comfortable underwater as above and this is most likely why the dolphins love her so much, I mean who want to swim with a frantic snorkeler?? 

I also apologize for the lack of activity on the blog these past few days but I finally found a man to help me fix and update my website. Things we have already changed or fixed are updating our About page,  putting “Driftwood Creations”, “Educational Talks”, “Help Save the Nautilus”, “Peru 2014” and “Published Works” back on the front page under GENERAL, those links have been missing for years! We are also in the process of building an “Educational Talks Page” for schools, collages and museums who wish to hire us to do talks, should be a lot of fun!

I have the hardest race of the year tomorrow, 3 loops around the salt pond and it’s all uphill, it will be 25 miles of pain!!

Have a great weekend!

Barry

Apr 18, 16     Comments Off on Underwater Dolphin Photo, Bottlenose Dolphin

BAR-

Good morning all. Mondays are for sure the hardest day off the week! I’m sitting here trying to remember what I did this weekend and wondering where it went, I think a three day weekend would be way better! After my long dog walk saturday morning I went into work to photograph three swimsuit models for a bikini company who contacted me asking if I could do the underwater shots with dolphins, how could I say no?? So I ended up being in the dolphin pools or under them for quite awhile trying my best to get the photos they wanted, not as easy as you would think. While underwater I was visited countless times by our resident dolphins who always find me and the camera very entertaining, I usually just find a spot to sit so they can come to me and I’m not chasing them around. Most of the dolphins are pretty used to my camera and the flashes but some of the babies say no way and take off at high speed but will always return to see if I am still there. 

Yesterday I got in a nice relaxed three hour mountain bike ride on my new carbon Epic that I have been working on for a year trying to get parts for it. 

Have a great day all….

Barry

Mar 9, 16     Comments Off on Diving with Bottlenose Dolphins on the Reef

BAR-

Good morning, Aimee here. I have a fun and wonderful photo of Tela and Serena on our open ocean dive yesterday. I have spent the last several months working on this with them and now we are all enjoying the “fruits of our labor”! Almost every day, before the sea gets too rough, we take them out for their boat following, on the reef just alongside Dolphin Academy. The idea is that every session we travel just a little bit further, getting them used to the area and letting them map out the reef in their memory. It is very similar to how you would explore a new neighborhood you just moved in to. Many times Tela, being a good momma, surveys the area, scanning out to the deep, and Serena gets to hang out and chase fish and explore the area with me. Tela is now 15 and if you remember from many years ago used to do this dive with her son, Pasku. Serena is almost 4 years old, and is not nearly so brave as Pasku, and until recently has not been bold enough to want to dive on the reef. Well, Serena has recently changed her mind and is now ready join in the fun. It is very exciting and we all love it. Lucky for me, yesterday Barry was available to dive and take some photos of my beautiful ladies. 

We came home yesterday to find our power had been out all day and apparently won’t be turned back on until we go down to see what is going on. So we moved everything out of the fridge and freezer to Substation and spent the night there on the floor! This is just one of thousands of weird things one must adapt to if you want to live in the Curacao, we call it…dysfunctionally at it’s finest! 

Have a great day!

Aimee, Tela and Serena

Feb 29, 16     Comments Off on Snorkeling with Dolphins and New Ikelite Toys

Ikelite-Dolphin-1-blog

Good morning friends, how was your weekend out there??? Still no rain here and the stupid wind is still blowing like an approaching hurricane, I say, “give us a break already”!! I did a fun dolphin dive with Aimee yesterday she was free-diving while yours truly cheated and had a tank, there’s no way I can my breath as long as she can! Our goal was to try and get some photos of Aimee using the new state of the art, shallow use, underwater housing from our friends at IKELITE. Many times taking anything new in the water with the dolphins means good luck finding the dolphins as they are not big fans of new technology. So as you see here Aimee is training one of them to stop in front of the camera and pose for a photo but not without a little attitude as you can see from all those bubbles coming out of her blowhole, she looks like an erupting volcano.

I’m taking Mark from the World famous Dive Bus Hut on a dive at 9;00 so I need to kick it in gear, have a great week….

Barry

Jan 15, 16     Comments Off on Baby Bottlenose Dolphin, Baby Dolphin Photos

Baby bottlenose dolphin, six months old. Tursiops truncatus. Dolphin Academy, Seaquarium, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. Unaltered/Uncontrolled. Digital Photo (vertical). Model Release: Not Applicable.

Good morning from Curacao. So I have heard that everyone and their mother is now sick on the island with this stupid crud, I’m going on a week and a half of fevers, coughing and nose blowing. Yesterday Aimee started feeling bad and immediately came down with it unlike mine that came on super slow and I really thought I could beat it. We have a few sub dives today but I will be unable to go underwater, good thing we have a backup photographer to help a sick little man out.

I have an “oldie but a goodie” dolphin photo for you all today, this is baby Lina when she was less than a year old, any of you remember her?? Lina was sure one of the most beautiful babies I ever photographed, it was a clear case of “girls just wanna have fun” and she did 24-7.

Sorry so short, have a great day..

Barry

Jul 14, 15     Comments Off on Baby Dolphin, Bottle-nose Dolphin Pod

Two adult females and a one month old baby Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Hi gang, well we made it through one very busy day yesterday with three sub dives and 12 collage kids from Bonaire, all doing some kind of studies in marine biology. Our ocean is currently super dirty meaning it’s like diving in pea-soup with different species of jellyfish everywhere! We also have had some raging currents flow through here this past week making diving very difficult and I am sure is responsible for much of this cloudy water. For me taking photos of our submersible in this pea-soup nasty water is about as difficult as underwater photography gets and not even Photoshop can this kind of photo look good again. 

For my poor neglected dolphin fanatics out there, I have a few fun dolphin facts from our friends at www.sciencekids.com for you all today, read on…..

Compared to other animals, dolphins are believed to be very intelligent.

Dolphins are carnivores (meat eaters).

The Killer Whale (also known as Orca) is actually a type of dolphin.

Bottlenose dolphins are the most common and well known type of dolphin.

Female dolphins are called cows, males are called bulls and young dolphins are called calves.

Dolphins live in schools or pods of up to 12 individuals.

Dolphins often display a playful attitude which makes them popular in human culture. They can be seen jumping out of the water, riding waves, play fighting and occasionally interacting with humans swimming in the water.

Dolphins use a blowhole on top of their heads to breathe.

Dolphins have excellent eyesight and hearing as well as the ability to use echolocation for finding the exact location of objects.

Dolphins communicate with each other by clicking, whistling and other sounds.

Some dolphin species face the threat of extinction, often directly as a result of human behavior. The Yangtze River Dolphin is an example of a dolphin species which may have recently become extinct.

Many fishing methods, such as the use of nets, kill a large number of dolphins every year.

We did get a tiny bit of rain but nothing that is going to really help, we need much more…

Have a great day.

Barry

Dec 18, 14     Comments Off on Bottlenose Dolphin Photo, Dolphin Photos

BAR-

Hi friends, I’m in and out of the water today photographing tourists going down in the submersible and you might be able to see us at www.seesubmarine.com just remember there is a one hour time delay in what your seeing.

For my poor neglected dolphin friends out there I have a beautiful bottlenose diving out in the open ocean for you today. Many who have been connected with us from the start (2004) remember the days of me sending out dolphin photos just about every day and for sure every week. But since I moved over to work with the submersible (4 years now) the dolphin photos are getting less and less, I just don’t take the time to go over and swim with them like I used to, that’s Aimee’s job!

Having a busy day!!

Barry

Oct 13, 14     Comments Off on Baby Bottlenose Dolphin, Newborn Bottlenose

BAR-

Good morning one and all, how are we doing today?? I have a photo from Aimee that she took with her GoPro for you all today of her new baby bottlenose dolphin that was born about two months ago. Is this little thing cute or what??

The 2015 NANPA results are finally in…What is NANPA? NANPA is “North American Nature Photographers Association” and this year I was one of the top 10 prize winners with a blue-light photo, here is the link to that photo. Underwater Blue Light Photos, Blue Light Photography  For the 2015 photo contest I sent in a bunch of bird photos and one blue-light photo. My one blue-light photo made it into the top 120 and one bird photo made it into the top 250, very happy with those results as this is a tough competition. Here is the NANPA link, www.nanpa.org

We are finally getting rain and the island is really starting to green up again, it’s such a welcome sight. We had friday off because of “Curacao Independence Day”, there were parades during the day and a big one that went by our house at night and WOW was it ever loud! I spent a good part of the weekend building a new trail at Vaersenbaai but am still far from getting it done, talk about a lot of work. Saturday afternoon at 3:00 I took off into the wilds of Curacao in 100 degree heat and crazy humidity and got in a 30 mile mountain bike ride and was soaked to the bone when I got back home at night.  Not much else going on, we continue to run our little animal shelter at home with 4-turtles, and 2-birds and everyone so far is doing well.

I am off to the sea, have a great day.

Barry

Sep 1, 14     Comments Off on Bottlenose Dolphin with Calf, Dolphin Academy

BAR-

Good morning friends, how was your weekend?? Mine was weird to say the least, it’s so hot here right now that being outside really isn’t an option.

I have a dolphin photo for you all today that I took a few weeks ago, this is our newest baby and her mother Ritina. This is Aimee’s primary dolphin and baby so to say she spends a lot of time with these two would be an understatement!

We all worked on Saturday, Rod Stewart (the singer) was supposed to come in but never made it so we ended up entertaining his band members and some big wig from Mojo Records. I have been trying to take our other dog Indi on as many walks as possible, poor Inca still has to stay home because her foot is just not healing. Aimee arrive back into the Caribbean tomorrow night and will be hating this heat as well, a week in Michigan can really spoil a person. I pretty much took the whole week off from cycling, that’s the first time this year, a little break will do the body good! Not much else going on, I continue to feed and water the birds in the desert each day and our little parakeet is doing fine.

Sorry so short, I have to get ready to dive.

Barry

Aug 4, 14     Comments Off on Baby Bottlenose Dolphins, Newborn Baby Dolphin

BAR-

Good morning friends, it’s monday morning and back to work!! So let me ask you guys, have you ever been to the grocery store and find out at the checkout you don’t have any money?? Well we had this happen to us friday evening. I don’t know why but we never once checked our card for an expiration date and we never got a new one in the mail? So there we were, full cart of food all bagged up and no money to pay for it!!! What a horrible feeling! I told Aimee, wait here and I will race home (no speed limits in Curacao) and get our Visa card because we have to have the groceries! We live pretty far away from the store and it was going to close in 45 minutes so needless to say, I drove like the wind and made it back just in time. So without our normal bank card I was unable to do anything the whole weekend, I had to run to the bank this morning to get that mess taken of.

I ended up doing a short two and a half hour bike ride yesterday morning and working on the new bird cage the rest of the day, kind of a boring weekend. We are looking for a name for the little parakeet that we rescued, if you think of a fun name please let me know, he’s bright green and very loud!

Here’s a little baby dolphin for your viewing pleasure today. Dolphin babies are always born pretty dark, and remember Papito, (he is now 8 years old), he was practically black. Well, they are born dark and then over about 2-3 weeks become blotchy as they begin to “sluff their skin” and get a lighter color; more the “normal grey” that we are all used to.  You can slightly see the fetal folds on this little one if you look closely. They are the light stripes going from the belly to the back. As the baby is tucked in momma’s tummy they are curled, or folded up; similar if you bend your arm and get a bit of a sunburn, as you open your arm up it looks as if you have a stripe. Well this is what happens to the baby, they are folded up and when they are born, they have these light stripes, called fetal folds. As the baby gets lighter they actually become the same color as those stripes. This little one is right beside the mother’s dorsal fin in the “slip stream”.  This helps direct the baby, keeping it safe from any obstacles as well as it is energy saving. Consider if you are driving a car and drafting a larger truck, it is the same thing, you sort of get pulled right along. It usually takes 3-4 weeks before the calf becomes pretty independent and is swimming farther away from momma on its own, but it quickly gets back into this position at any time for both safety and comfort. The baby will be only nursing for many months, usually for 5-20 seconds a couple times an hour, around the clock.  At around 6 months they usually begin eating a bit of fish here and there, but will keep nursing for several years. When the female is once again pregnant and far along in the pregnancy, she will begin to break away from her calf (now several years old), in preparation for the new one coming. Well, there you have a few fun facts, hope you like it!

 

Lots to do, have a great day!

Barry

Jun 3, 14     Comments Off on Bottlenose Dolphin Photos, SCCN, Baby Dolphins

Amigoe 31 mei Frontpage SCCN-web

Good morning friends, I had a dolphin photo on the front page of one of our local Curacao newspapers this weekend and figured it would work for the photo of the day. As most of you already know we live on a “Dutch” island thus everything is written in either Dutch or the local language of Papiamentu. The headline for this article reads; “Tuimelaardolfijnen met baby gespot” which translated means; “Bottlenose dolphin spotted with baby”. The article is about wild dolphins that are frequently spotted swimming around the island and an organization called SCCN that is currently trying to document these animals by photographing their dorsal fins.

SCCN is on a mission to promote knowledge, research, and protection of all Cetaceans like whales and dolphins worldwide; with an emphasis on the populations and habitats of the Southern Caribbean. http://sccn-curacao.org/

You may ask . . . What is a Cetacean? Cetacean is the name used to classify the scientific order of all whales and dolphins. The origin of the term is from the Greek word cetus meaning large sea animal.

Cetaceans actually have quite a lot in common with us. In fact we occupy many of the same scientific classifications. We are both members of the Animal Kingdom . . . the Vertebrate Phylum . . . and the Mammal Class.

The next level of classification is Order . . . and that’s where we part company. We humans are of the Primate Order, not Cetacean.

Despite the separation, humans and cetaceans interact in similar ways with the environment. We both live long lives, we both are on top of the food chain, and we both accumulate pollutants in our bodies  often directly from the foods we eat.

Humans and Cetaceans swim in the same waters, breathe the same air, and are vulnerable to many of the same toxins and disease-causing organisms. This is why people often refer to whales and dolphins as sentinel species.

By definition, a sentinel species is one which, through its numbers or general health, can provide advanced warning of environmental dangers. Thus a decline in populations or overall fitness of whales and dolphins sends a dire warning to humans.

Much of the human population on Earth inhabits coastal areas. Of course, while people can choose to limit their exposure to the ocean or seafood . . . cetaceans have no choice in the matter. They are exposed to our pollutants continuously throughout their life.

We have already witnessed large-scale die-offs of marine mammals repeatedly around the world. Many such incidents have been found to be directly related to human activities. This, of course, leads to some difficult questions.

Is it wise to adopt a wait and see attitude  hoping the situation in our seas improves? Will it take the loss of a few cetacean species to prompt more attention and effort on our part? If we fail to protect them . . . can we truly expect to protect ourselves?

My wife Aimee is involved in this organization and is one of the main people to contact if wild dolphins are spotted around Curacao. Once they get word dolphins are spotted they head out on a small boat with a photographer and try to take as many photos as possible of their dorsal fins as they surface for air. She will then compare these dorsal fins with other photos from Curacao and surrounding islands hoping to figure out a little more on where these animals go and how far they travel. The reason for photographing the dorsal fins is every one is different thus easy to identify them wherever they are spotted.

Have a wonderful day!!

Barry

May 20, 14     Comments Off on Free-diving, Freediving with Bottlenose Dolphins

Annie 5-web

Good morning friends, I did a super fun underwater photo shoot yesterday with our long time friend and co-worker Thalitha and her favorite dolphin Annie. As you can tell from the photo Annie LOVES Thalitha!! You can’t do this with just any dolphin, you have to build a trust which takes years and years!! Annie has been one of our top animals since we have been here (10 years) and is one of our main dolphins we take out onto the reef on a regular basis for interaction with divers. Here are a few fun dolphin facts from our friends at www.sciencekids.com

Compared to other animals, dolphins are believed to be very intelligent.

Dolphins are carnivores (meat eaters).

The Killer Whale (also known as Orca) is actually a type of dolphin.

Bottlenose dolphins are the most common and well known type of dolphin.

Female dolphins are called cows, males are called bulls and young dolphins are called calves.

Dolphins live in schools or pods of up to 12 individuals.

Dolphins often display a playful attitude which makes them popular in human culture. They can be seen jumping out of the water, riding waves, play fighting and occasionally interacting with humans swimming in the water.

Dolphins use a blowhole on top of their heads to breathe.

Dolphins have excellent eyesight and hearing as well as the ability to use echolocation for finding the exact location of objects.

Dolphins communicate with each other by clicking, whistling and other sounds.

Some dolphin species face the threat of extinction, often directly as a result of human behavior. The Yangtze River Dolphin is an example of a dolphin species which may have recently become extinct.

Many fishing methods, such as the use of nets, kill a large number of dolphins every year.

We have a Dutch television crew showing up here in about 30 minutes meaning I need to get ready for a dive.

Have a wonderful day!

Barry

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