PHOTOSNM New Mexico aka CORALREEFPHOTOS
It all started back in 2004. My wife and I were living in Rapid City, South Dakota - a long way from the sea. Out of the blue, Aimee received a call from Curacao (an island we had never heard of), asking if she wanted a job working with their dolphins. This was her prior work experience and passion. We had recently purchased a home; life was good. But, after that one little phone call, all would change. I can still remember the look on her face after hanging up the phone, and me asking “Who was that?” She said, “I was just offered a job in Curacao working with dolphins again.” After very little thought, I said: “You gotta go!” So, like the Beverly Hillbillies, we loaded up the storage units, sold the house and cars, packed what we could, grabbed our Dalmatian puppy, Inca, and off we went to an island in the Caribbean.
Before I left, I researched and ordered my first IKELITE/Nikon D-100 underwater housing and two-DS-125 sub-strobes. It was a thing of beauty, even though I had no idea how to use it. Upon our arrival, it was love at first sight…except for the insane humidity and heat. I think we were both in the water within hours of landing, including Inca. Aimee started working at the Dolphin Academy, located at the Curacao Sea Aquarium, almost immediately. I, on the other hand, didn’t have a job and proceeded to learn how to use my new IKELITE underwater system day and night. Thankfully, there was a man – Gordy Cox – who was an old-time IKELITE user/diver/photographer, who befriended me immediately and helped me find the necessary settings for my new housing. He was a big help. Even though, to this day, he claims he didn’t do much. So, while Aimee worked every day with dolphins, I dove continuously and was completely addicted!
After about a year, the Dolphin Academy discovered I could take photos and hired me as their Photoshop Manager. Life just seemed to be getting better! And now, I was in the water taking photos of dolphins, which was a major bonus for me. When I wasn’t diving, I was building single-track mountain bike/hiking trails all over the island. When we arrived, there was only one hiking trail from the Sea Aquarium to Zanzibar, which got boring real fast. The trails turned out to be a big hit with the locals, although no one other than my friend, Stijin, ever wanted to help work on them. I spent countless hours in the bush/jungle/desert each day with my faithful dog, Inca. She was the best dog a man could have, and I named the first one-mile section of the trail after her. The trails became such a big hit that in 2006 they were used for the UCI MTB World Cup Mountain Bike Race. Our friend and World Champion, Bart Brentjens, was that year’s winner with Julien Absalon coming in second.
In 2010, I left the Dolphin Academy and started working for Substation Curacao, which was also located at the Sea Aquarium. Dutch Schrier, (my boss and owner of the Sea Aquarium) had purchased a 2.5-million dollar custom-made deep-sea submersible from Nuytco, which was custom made in Canada. This five-person submersible was capable of going to depths of 1,000 feet and came equipped with a robotic arm, vacuum system and collecting basket, which immediately turned this system into a scientist’s dream machine. This is how I first met Carole Baldwin and other top marine biologists from the world-famous Smithsonian Institution. My primary job at Substation, was to dive with the submersible to 50-100 feet each day and take photos of whoever was in the sub headed down to the abyss. Upon their return, I would have their underwater photos ready on a flash drive, for them to take home. It was a major hit! The Smithsonian made several trips to Curacao each year in search of new species. They would rent the submersible, and I was the lucky person who photographed their incredible findings, which you can see on my coralreefphotos.com website. The Smithsonian group and Substation Curacao discovered everything from new fish species to all kinds of beautiful invertebrates. You never knew what was going to be found. In order to explore new areas, Dutch (the owner and operator), purchased a used research vessel from South America and brought it to Curacao. He spent several years turning it into a world-class vessel…and could now carry his submersible anywhere. Our first trip was to Klein Curacao; Bonaire the following year and then off to Dominica. Our last trip was to Saint Eustatius – all in the Caribbean. The rest is history.
Over the next 14 years I went from my first Nikon D-100, to the D-200, 300, 300s, 90s, 500, 600, 800 and 810, which I still have. Each time I switched cameras, I had to get a new IKELITE housing. From the start, IKELITE was 100% there for me. The customer service was, and still is, off the charts! I always needed something and my buddy, Mike Rabideau, was always there to help. I owe him so much for all those years of assistance. At some point in our relationship, I started taking promotional photos and testing IKELITE equipment. And, in turn, I became one of their many ambassadors, which was an honor from the beginning and still is. Let’s face it, when you have great equipment, it’s much easier to capture amazing photos. Using the two IKELITE sub-strobes, is one of the key ingredients. The light produced by these strobes is unequalled, whether you are using it for TTL, or on manual, they will not let you down. When I arrived on the island, I think I only had 32 dives under my belt, originally certified in San Carlos, Mexico. I left with over 6000 dives and hundreds of thousands of underwater, and topside, images I still haven’t viewed. Many of my underwater photos can be found on GETTY images, under WILDHORIZONS or on INSTAGRAM under coralreefphotos. If you are looking for something specific, let me know, and we will start digging.
If your wanting to improve your photographic skills or start from scratch contact me and lets get something started, I also teach Photoshop for those interested as well.
PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE; If you see something you really like just shoot me a note and lets get it printed. Any photo can be changed into a black and white if that's what you want and any size print can be made, I usually leave the framing up to you.
Our PHOTOSNM.COM website contains images, text, and designs which are protected by United States and International Copyright Laws, with All Rights Reserved. Photography is our business, so please respect our ownership of the content on this website. None of our images fall in the Public Domain. We ask that you do not modify, copy, reproduce, re-publish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute any material from this website. Violators will be billed no less than three times our normal licensing fee or prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
:: INTENT :: Copyright laws were designed to protect the livelihood of creative people. Stealing work that another person has created is no more ethical than walking into a shoe store to steal a pair of shoes that you’ve taken a liking to.
:: ESTABLISHING OWNERSHIP :: The moment a photograph or other work is created, it is given legal protection under U.S. Copyright Laws; and everyone should respect the owner’s/creator’s ownership rights. In short, if you didn’t create the work, e.g. take the photograph, you have no legal right to use it without permission from its creator, even if you don’t know who he/she is. But we all know that chasing violators can be laborious and expensive. That’s why other levels of protection have been put into place by the Copyright Office.
:: REGISTRATION :: Works that are officially Registered with the U. S Copyright Office allow their creators to collect “Statutory Damages” for violation of their ownership rights. Such infringements can carry penalties up to $150,000 per work (e.g. per photo) plus court costs.
:: REMOVAL OF OWNERSHIP INFORMATION :: Anyone tempted to remove visible watermarks on an image should think twice. Intentionally removing the creator’s ownership marks without his/her permission entitles the owner to collect for Statutory Damages, even if the image has not been officially Registered with the Copyright Office.
:: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:: For tutorials on registering your own photographic work and extensive discussion of Copyright Law, visit the American Society of MEDIA PHOTOGRAPHERS WEBSITE or consult the COPYRIGHT OFFICE directly.
Please CONTACT us if you wish to use any of our images or other content on this website, but FIRST read our guidelines below.
:: USAGE FEES :: We license images on a Rights Managed basis and our rates begin at US$75 for minimal, one-time use, e.g. use in a local newsletter. The greater the exposure an image will receive, the higher our fees. We work hard and purchase state-of-the-art photographic equipment and computer hardware/software to make, process, and deliver our images, so please don’t ask for freebies. We are, however, open to TRADE for goods or services of special interest to us. We have no interest in trading the use of our images for a “credit line.” We attempt to work within everyone’s budget.
:: PHOTO RESEARCHERS :: Publishers and their picture researchers may freely download images for review purposes only, e.g. the preparation of “comps” for in-house discussion.
:: NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS :: Please do not ask for special discounts unless you are an all-volunteer organization. If you pay writers, graphic designers, or editors for their contributions, photographers deserve fair pay as well.
:: ALL-VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS :: If we agree to support your cause, we will usually allow free use of our images, assuming that we are given proper credit.
:: FREE PERSONAL, NON-COMMERCIAL USE :: You do not need permission from us to share one of our low-resolution images with a friend, to use it on your desktop as a screensaver, or to print a small copy for a classroom project or your personal enjoyment. This does not include the right to reproduce or distribute multiple copies of our images without written authorization from us.
:: SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING :: We are flattered when our images are shared with others on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and some of the other social networking sites, IF, and only if, the service provider retains our ownership information with hot-links back to our website. Keep in mind that most photo-sharing sites strip ownership/contact metadata from images during upload to their website, a very bad practice! Visit the CONTROLLED VOCABULARY FORUM for a discussion and on-going survey of this problem.
:: USING IMAGES FOR REFERENCE IN A PAINTING OR DRAWING:: This is a complicated area, and over the years we have learned it’s just best to say “Sorry, but no.”
:: OTHER :: If your questions are not answered here, please contact BARRY B BROWN
at email@example.com or 505-204-1994
:: MY UNDERWATER IMAGES :: can be found on www.Wildhorizons.com