Hello all, Just got back in and cleaned up from today’s adventure! For this week I have a custom trip planned with an outdoor enthusiast, and an aspiring and inspiring young underwater photographer, Drew. It was a great day on the water and I was with great company! We had fabulous visibility, perfectly calm seas [...]
Just got back in and cleaned up from today’s adventure! For this week I have a custom trip planned with an outdoor enthusiast, and an aspiring and inspiring young underwater photographer, Drew. It was a great day on the water and I was with great company! We had fabulous visibility, perfectly calm seas and the opportunity to explore some new areas. We had not been in the water more than a minute or two before we spotted a small nurse shark slowly foraging along the bottom below us. I watched as Adventure Drew zoomed in for the shot and hopefully will be rewarded for his efforts with a nice image. We continued down the rock jetty and stopped to photograph long-spined urchins, slate-pencil urchins, fire coral, Christmas tree worms, neon gobies, sea-weed blennies, bluehead wrasse, parrotfish, porkfish and an assortment of other tropical fishes. We gently captured a smooth trunkfish and a lobster barehanded and took turns taking a few photos before releasing them unharmed.
It was great to watch Drew go, and reminded me of the days when I was first learning underwater photography and how easy things seemed to be but how difficult they truly were. Even the very best photographers keep just a few from the hundreds they take and it reminded me of what I was told many years ago by John Shaw, one of the worlds best nature photographers of our time. I will never forget as it has come true so many times since then. He said, “I have learned from my mistakes and I can repeat them exactly” and when he came to describing how many images he kept out of how many he took he said, ” I have about a 5% success rate and a 95% failure rate so if you can live with failure and still be happy, you too can be a wildlife photographer”. I often laugh when I think of this, 25 years into being a professional freelance wildlife photographer, and how true that statement was. So Drew, don’t let the missed images and lost opportunities get the best of you, have patience and determination and you will be rewarded. This I can guarantee! Underwater photography has been the most rewarding and frustrating thing I have ever done in my life, all at the same time! I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I couldn’t live without it . Good luck!!!, and show your friends only your very best stuff, and everyone will think everything you take comes out like that and go with it.
From here we left on our custom adventure to explore further down the beach along another rocky out cropping. As soon as we entered the water Adventure Drew called my attention to a nice school of reef squid and shortly after that we came upon a huge Barracuda sitting quietly in a “cleaning station” with his mouth agape. We watched as a juvenile French angelfish swam in and out of his mouth and gills, intent on cleaning away any parasites he could find. All I could think about was, “My what big teeth you have” It was fascinating and wonderful to watch!
As we snorkeled along the shallow reef I was amazed at the quantity of juvenile French Angelfish we saw. There had to be hundreds. The most I have ever seen here by far and I hope its a sign of good things to come. I watched as Drew photographed both mature and juvenile French Angelfish, spot tail pinfish, an assortment of parrotfish, more urchins and a beautiful young spotted moray free swimming along the reef in search of an easy meal. An unusual site to see in the daytime since they are mainly nocturnal. Adventure Drew discovered a bearded fireworm and was quick to learn how it got its name. Yep, reminded me of myself, just had to touch everything and learn the hard way. Right on Drew, been there, done that, and let me say, “I can feel your pain”. I was a slow learner. Oh well…
From here time was running short, and we decided to call it a day and head back. Hopefully we will be rewarded with some nice images and video footage that we can share. Looking forward to tomorrow and a new day of discovery on our custom adventure session. I’m ready, How about you? Lets go have some fun!!!