Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More Pictures For A New Book

I'm far from a professional photographer, but I do have a lot of fun with it, especially underwater. One of the things that makes it so rewarding is when people notice and really appreciate your pictures, it just makes you want to find more and more subjects that they will enjoy. But so far to me the ultimate thrill was when I was contacted last year by two renowned underwater photographers and authors about using my pictures in their upcoming books. Rudie Kuiter and Neville Coleman both asked to use some of my nudibranch pictures in their books. To have either of them think that my pictures were even remotely good enough to be in their books was a huge honor. This past weekend I just got another e-mail from Rudie telling me he is putting together an even bigger and more exhaustive book and would love to have a bunch of my shell and nudibranch pictures in it. When I told the news to my son, his first question was, "how much is he paying you for them?" The answer is nothing, it's not about the money, it's about contributing something worthwhile and leaving behind something of value. I can't even begin to tell you what an honor it is to have these professional underwater photographers not only recognize my work and appreciate it, but then to ask to include it in their own books, giving credit to me for the pictures of course. It means that what I'm doing is worthwhile and someone else appreciates it. Could there be any higher reward? The picture above is of a Tritan's Trumpet climbing down a wall on a night dive in the Grotto.
This picture is of a live Strombus Dentatus working his way through the sand and rubble in one of the sand fingers on a night dive at Lau Lau. I am just completely mesmerized by these cool creatures and love capturing them with the camera to share with the rest of the world. It's true that I'll never die rich, I'll have wound up giving away far more than I ever managed to hang on to, but hopefully people will have enjoyed my pictures and contributions as a result. And if I can manage to inspire even a couple people to fall in love with the underwater world and to catch the passion to protect and preserve it then it will have all been worthwhile.
This guy is commonly called a silvertip and you will find them crawling through the sand fingers at Lau Lau. They have great camouflage and most people would never even notice them. Their top is mossy and plain and looks just like any of the other mossy rocks out there.
This guy is one of the most feared hunters in the ocean, it is a Geographic cone and is the #1 most deadly shell in the water. It shoots tiny little harpoons out of the tube at the front end which contain very deadly neuro-toxins. This shell has been known to have killed quite a few people who either didn't know any better or were careless when handling them.
This is the only Casmaria erinacea I have ever seen. It was also on a night dive in the Grotto. If you want to see live shells and get some outstanding pictures, you need to go night diving, it's when the shells are out roaming around.
And I'll end for today with one of my favorite shells, this is a Laqueatus, and is considered a rare shell. I have managed to get some pretty cool shots of the animal actually coming out of the the shell and flipping himself over. These pictures are all heading for Rudie's next book, along with a bunch of others. I'll share a few more live shell pictures on tomorrow's blog. I hope you enjoyed!