Friday, May 29, 2009

Vandenberg - First dive!

Dateline, Key West, May 29, 2009 - The USS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg has now become an extraordinary wreck dive. Located 6 miles offshore of Key West, this 523-foot former missile tracker is so massive it will take several dives to even get a sense of it all. Today, in one 35-minute dive I never had to go below 82-feet and found plenty of very interesting photo-ops. Obviously, she will gain more colorful encrustation and marine life aggregation each day she spends on the bottom. It will be interesting to replicate these same photos in a couple of years, just to see h ow quickly the sponge and coral colonizes the ship.

Thanks to dive model Jaclyn Skafas and my good friends at Dive Key West for providing access to this morning's Vandenberg dive.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vandenberg sinks today!

It took 12 years to get her on location off Key West, and a less than 2 minutes to put her on the bottom. Congratulations Key West! Very nicely done.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Key West bound: On my way to Vandenberg sinking

Hit the afternoon light over Bahia Honda Bridge and found a cooperative key deer on Big Pine Key. Then to Mallory Square and the eccentricity that is Old Town, Key West.

Tomorrow they sink the ship.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kiteboarding, My first attempts (at shooting, not doing)

One of my daughter's friends, Tom Fields, is a champion kiteboarder. When I learned what he does, and how well he does it, I suggested we meet one afternoon so I could try some kiteboarding photos.

We rendezvoused at Anne's Beach, on the oceanside off Islamorada. I went out to a shallow sandbar just offshore and stood in waist-deep water as Tom and his sister Jamie ran kideboard passes in my proximity.

I had three cameras working that day. My Canon 1DsMKIII in a Secam housing with swivel-45 viewfinder for ultra-high-res water level and over/under shots, a 1DMKIII for 10 frames per second motordrive capability, and a Canon 5DII for its color rendition and HD movie capability. Lenses ranged from 14mmII in housing, to 16-35II, 24-70, and 70-200 on the topside cameras.

While I'd never shot kiteboarding before, it was quite interesting, and challenging. Next time we'll run the passes to the over/unders a little closer, or maybe go to my 16-35 lens so I can zoom to the action. Also, I'd like to try some slow shutter speed pans next time. Maybe even try it offshore wo we can get in some blue water. But, all in all, fun stuff to shoot and DEFINITELY inspires respect in the skill and athleticism of those who do it well, like Jamie and Tom Fields.

Oh yeah, as for the video. As always it seems I was too busy with the stills to shoot much 5DII video, but here's one clip that worked for me, although Tom didn't like the landing. Needed more wind for that particular stunt.

Not that I shoot much video with my 5DII, it is very cool that it can be done when the subject suggests motion.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My new website is "Site of the Week"

Actually, quite an accolade given the number of websites produced by, and the talent of the photographers they attract. for more info.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On further inspection

The last time I was in Socorro was 2005, and that was to take a rebreather course on Inspiration and Evolution rebreathers. Mike Folwer of Silent Diving was there and I got a nice series of him on his rebreather in a close encounter with a manta. One of the shot is in exclusive distribution with one of my stock agents, and can't go on a web site without fairly significant fees being assessed. That's not what he (or I) had in mind.

So, when Mike asked for a shot for his web site, I knew this one was not available. Which in turn forced me to go back to an archive I hadn't looked at for at least a year. Good thing too, because I found a couple of shots I like, that were invisible to me after I picked the one "favorite" from the series.

Nice to see alternates from that trip once again, and to view a shoot from a new perspective now and then.

Friday, May 8, 2009


They recently had a media day, and I was invited to walk around the Vandenberg as it is being prepared to sink off Key West, sometime late May.

These are some random shots of the vessel. Exciting potential with such interesting structure on the upper decks. Lots of fish habitat and wide angle photo opportunities in reasonable depths, assuming upright sinking, knock on wood.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Clyde Butcher and me

Here is a shot of photographer Clyde Butcher and me. Guess which is which.

Clyde was in Key West for an exhibit of his extraordinary black-and-white large format photos of South Florida's remote wetlands as a benefit for Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys: (I am on the Board of Directors of SFFFK)

A new ad with one of my swimming shots

When I was a kid, competitive swimming might have been the most important thing in my life. I swam for 13-years, and even went to college on a swimming scholarship. OK, I admit is was a small college and a small scholarship, but I was very passionate about the sport.

These days I still swim, in the ocean with scuba gear obviously, but also in the mornings when I'm home in Key Largo, with a group of friends in a Master's swim program. I've also taken an interest in the art of swimming, finding new ways to photograph elite swimmers, some of which can be seen on my portfolio site at, direct link

The ad above is for our local pool, Jacobs Aquatic Center. The photo below is from that site as well, and shows Milorad Cavic, the swimmer that so nearly beat Michael Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly at last summer's Olympics in an ad shoot I did for Swans swim goggles.