Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vandenberg Arrives in Key West

photos © Andy Newman

Having been involved in large artificial reef projects in my home town of Key Largo before, the Bibb and Duane in 1987 and the Spiegel Grove in 2002, I had a sense of what our friends in Key West were going through to acquire and finance the cleaning and sinking of this 520-foot behemoth.

It turned out to be an $8 million project with many false starts and tribulations, but now it is actually docked in Key West being prepped for the sinking. To get to this point is a massive triumph of persistence and hard work over the many obstacles that have plagued the process. To the City of Key West and my friends in the local dive community, I say CONGRATULATIONS!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not Key Largo's Christ Statue, Gratefully

The MailOnline reported that "suspected Satanists" cut the lower arms off the Christ Statue in Italy ... the same Statue casting that was used for the famed Christ of the Abyss Statue in Key Largo in my photo above.

Here is their report:

Scuba-diving 'Satanists' hack off arms of submerged Jesus statue
Last updated at 4:24 PM on 17th April 2009

Scuba diving Satanists who hacked off the arms of a submerged statue of Jesus Christ are being hunted by Italian police.

The attack was carried out at a depth of 75ft below the surface of the sea on the statute which is known as the Christ of the Abyss.

It was sent to the bottom of the Mediterranean by Pope John Paul II in December 2000 at a ceremony for the Italian Diving Association and is a well known landmark for divers.

Christ of the Abyss: Police suspect Satanists may have hacked off the statue's arms

Instructor Domenico Battistello, 61, who runs the International Diving Centre at Giglio, an island of the coast of Tuscany, 80 miles from Rome, discovered the handless statue during a dive.

'"The statue is well known to all the divers and it was placed there following a blessing ceremony by Pope John Paul II,' he said.

'The hands of the Christ were raised upwards and it faced out to sea and it was a symbol for anyone who had anything to do with the Mediterranean.

'It's not clear when it happened as during the winter not many people go diving but I found the statue with no hands a couple of days ago.

'I was taking a dive and swam up to the statute but as I got closer I noticed the arms were missing from the elbows down.

'I looked around in the sand but there was no trace of them they had just disappeared - it is a disgrace.

'Someone has deliberately wanted to attack a religious symbol that is held very dearly by fishermen, divers and locals - we hold a yearly procession to the statue.'

A police spokesman on Giglio said: 'Because of the depth it is very unlikely that the statue was damaged by a propeller or net.

'It looks like a very deliberate attack and because it is 25 metres underwater someone was very well equipped to go down there and take off the arms.

'It's possible it could be an attack by Satanists who knew the statue was there and who also knew that it was a very revered symbol for the locals so it is a line of investigation.'

Very, very strange people out there, above and below the water.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cutter in Key Largo

Cutter, a spotted dolphin was discovered in need of rehabilitation near Key West, and now resides at Marine Mammal Conservancy facility in Key Largo. Cutter is a juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin, Stenella frontalis. He has put on 30-pounds since being transferred to the MMC facility, and next week they are doing the evaluation to see if he can hunt on his own, in which case he'll be returned to the wild, and if not he'll be placed in some kind of dolphin facility where he will be taken care of.

My challenge in getting the photos was horrible water clarity, typical of the bayside of Key Largo. The best I could do was to get close ... always a good notion for UW photography. These are with a Canon 1DsMKIII and 14mm lens, and Canon 5DII with a 15mm lens, both in Seacam housings with Superdome.

Thanks to dolphin caregiver Lisa Coakley for modeling, and of course to Cutter for cooperating so nicely.

Random video clip from my Canon 5DMKII

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My New Website


The link above is a temporary host for my new portfolio site, ultimately to reside at www.stephenfrinkphoto.com.

The lead shot rotates randomly among 8 different shots, so it should be different each time a person logs in. Because I can change the images myself, I hope to keep this site reasonably fresh as I shoot new assignments.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New ad for Neosport

Today I received a new ad I shot for Neoport for their triathlete suit. The dolphins were shot on location off White Sand Ridge, West End Grand Bahama; and the swimmer (Cody Wagner) was photographed here in Key Largo in the diving well at Jacobs Aquatic Center. It took the vision and Photoshop wizardry of Neosport art director Billy Boylan to conceptualize and execute the ad. Good on 'ya, Billy!

BTW ... while the winter winds were blowing here in Key Largo, I wore one of the Neosport triathlete suits to keep me warm during my morning swim, and it is indeed a very nice suit. Open shoulders to facilitate strokes like freestyle, and minimal drag & resistance. I look forward to using it for snorkeling with humpbacks in Tonga this summer. The water is cool there, and some thermal protection will be necessary, but as it is all breath-hold dives, a conventional dive wetsuit won't do at all. This is the solution.