Diving off the Carib Dancer in early August we got to photograph sharks (above). Lots of sharks. Up close with as many as 20 at a time. This short film includes Caribbean Reef sharks and Lemon Sharks.
Please note that each of these films is best viewed at the highest resolution your equipment will allow (choose the gear icon on the lower right of video) and expanded to full screen viewing (choose the rectangular icon on the lower right).
Night & Reef Diving off Carib Dancer
We also did some great night diving (above left). A couple of dives on a very nice shallow wreck that was full of critters and another on a deeper reef.
And, of course, there was some super reef and wreck diving (above right). The water was clear, currents mild. Outstanding. Hope you enjoy.
Welcome to diving aboard Carib Dancer. This is my first official video production.
I’m still learning but hope you’ll enjoy a peek at some of the dives we made from the Carib Dancer off Freeport, Bahamas, the week of August 3 -9, 2013.
The focus of this live-aboard was shark diving at sites known as the Tiger beaches in The Bahamas but we did some extraordinary reef and wreck diving, too.
This first film includes high-action dives with many lemmon and Caribbean reef sharks, some very close. The other films include dives on a hundred-year-old molasses barge called The Sugar Wreck in shallow water on the East End and the Little Bahama Bank, as well as reefs like Shark Paradise, Hogfish Reef and Mini-Wall. You’ll see a variety of reef critters like Carribean reef sharks, Nurse sharks, Loggerhead and Hawksbill sea turtles, trumpetfish, invasive lionfish, angelfish, snappers and grunts among beautiful tropical reef settings. And you'll see night dives from these same spots.
Each of these films was made entirely with a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition, using a Snake River Prototyping’s BlurFix3 SO with URPRO CYD Filter to correct color at depth.
I shot both stills and HD video with this amazing little camera. I haven’t been this impressed with a new technology in many years. Normally, I carry Nikon cameras, lenses and accessories, as well as a complete Titan underwater housing with both flat and dome ports. Altogether that equipment probably weighs more than 70 lbs and I shudder to think of the investment I’ve got in it all. The GoPro is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and makes high-quality images. And I think I have less than $400 invested in the camera and all accessories.
Because it is so small, it is less intrusive to the animals, allowing much closer approach and natural images. And it’s easier to use in current or surge.
Photographed and edited by Ken Riddick
Shot entirely with GoPro Hero3 Black Edition
A little video slide show to music
Ok, this is a little video editing test. On my quick dive trip to Palm Beach last week I bought a GoPro Hero 3 video camera that I'll be using going forward. But I don't have a clue about editing video. So, as a chance to learn a little about my editing software, I pulled this simple multimedia "gallery" together. Please note that after you push the play button at left, you'll need to hit the "full screen" button to watch comfortably.
We're back in Bonaire. After 10 years. Bonaire hasn't changed much. The reefs are still beautiful with lots of small critters. The 112-square-mile Dutch island remains among the top destinations for diving because of the ease and freedom of numerous shore entries, the normally-oustanding visibility and the well-protected reef system.We had great trip.
We made 17 dives in 7 days, as many as 4 in a single day. Here are 30 images from the trip. I hope you enjoy your return trip.
The Exumas comprise a group of remote Bahamian islands that are heralded as "the most pristine area in all the Bahamas." On one side of the island string is the shallow Great Bahama Bank, on the other is the 5000-foot-plus deep Exuma Sound . Brad Reynolds and I made an intense dive cruise aboard the 102-foot luxury catamaran between June 6 and June 13, 2009. We made 23 dives in 6 days, the most intensive diving I've ever done. The visibility was never more than about 50 feet. Some of the reefs were covered in fleshy algae. But we still had an excellent time, with plenty of variety and bottom time. There were many sharks, a wide variety of active reef life and easy but fast-paced diving. These are 36 images from the trip. I hope you enjoy them.
A week in August of 2008 my long-time dive buddies, Brad Reynolds and William King, and I dove the reefs and walls of Roatan, among the Bay Islands of Honduras, during another remarkable trip. This was our ninth trip together. We made 17 dives and barely got to know the place. Diving is accessible 24 hours/7 days a week. We had unusual encounters with a fearless and colorful (and large) octopus as well as some frisky chubs, a large grizzly-bearded big-eyed toad fish and all manner of small marine critters. We averaged a little over 61 minutes bottom time on each dive and managed 3-5 dives each day. I hope you'll find the images compelling.
Little Cayman is the island-time version of the Cayman Islands and the spectacular diving around the smallest of the Caymans and world-famous Bloody Bay Wall is worth the small effort to get there. The island and the diving are at once relaxing and exhilarating, with diverse coral and fish populations on pristine reefs in relatively shallow, calm water that gives way to a dramatic and almost vertical wall plumetting to six thousand feet. We dove the reefs and wall during a remarkable week at the end of June 2007. We had encounters with a tenacious shark sucker and his reluctant parrotfish-host, dozens of mating mid-water squid and even a pair of Nassau Grouper that were more like puppies, following and nudging divers for attention and pausing to have their chins scratched.
Six hundred miles off the Pacific coast of Ecuador a unique confluence of ocean currents, volcanism and wildlife create a dive trip like none other. Considered by many to be the best diving in the world, it certainly is among the most rigorous. We dove the archipelago during eight days aboard the 105-foot live-aboard yacht M/V Deep Blue. We encountered dozens upon dozens of four different species of sharks, we wore ourselves out fighting sloppy seas and extreme currents, we made a few new friends. We had a ball. The water was relatively cold, the currents strong and often dangerous and the visibility no better than some lakes. It was not a trip for beginners. We were in the water by 7 a.m. each day and could make 4 dives each full day of diving.
Here you'll find thirty images and comments from a trip to Saba Island, also known as the Unspoiled Queen of the Netherlands Antilles. We spent six days diving the various reefs and managed to squeeze in sixteen dives in that short time, some days with as much as three hours under water. We visited Saba's famous pinnacle reefs, its shallow lava-flow reefs, even its rarely visited windward side reefs. It is a charming island with quaint villages and a pristine and protected marine environment. We saw many familiar sea creatures and several new ones. Hope you enjoy the pictures. And don't forget to take the test at the end and see how much you learned.
This gallery of 27 images is from Bonaire Island, Netherlands Antilles. About 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean, the island is famous for "diving freedom." With more than 60 dive sites easily accessible from shore and incredibly accommodating dive shops, the pristine reefs can be visited whenever the divers' schedule or habit requires. Along with Curacao and Aruba, Bonaire is part of what is known as the ABC islands. Grab your tanks, plop them in the back of the rental car and choose one of the well-marked sites along the main road. We made 13 dives on 12 reefs in 4 and 1/2 days. And we only saw a fraction.
We did the diving in February 2002. Most of what I shot was close-up images of the sea life.
Welcome to Moorea, French Polynesia. About half way between Hawaii and Australia, the island is famous for clear water, sharks and short boat rides. It is one of Society Islands, which include Tahiti and Bora Bora. We visited in June of 2001 for the sharks and encountered them as soon as we rolled into the water on our first dive. Before the week was over, we saw many, many sharks of several species -- blacktips, lemmons, gray reef sharks -- and as many as 30 individuals on one dive. Exhilerating! But we saw so much more. The reefs were as pristine as any I've dived in 30 years. And these 25 pictures illustrate that diversity.
We traveled to the small Central American country formerly known as British Honduras late May of 2002 to dive the second longest barrier reef in the world. We chose the dates to take advantage of the full moon phase and, hopefully, see the largest fish in the ocean -- the whale shark. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to tell the sharks we were coming. We were very disappointed. But Belize offers much more than whale sharks. Brad and I spent two days diving the convenient sites off Ambergris Caye. Then, we met up with William in the southern end of the country at Placencia for our shark diving. Finally, we ended the trip with four days at Hamanasi resort near Hopkins and the amazing diving around the atolls and central barrier reefs.
Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, is what I imagine when I'm conjuring images from a Jimmy Buffett song. Truly, changes to these latitudes will change attitudes. From June 25 through July 2nd, 2005, my close friend, William King, and I made our annual dive junket. The Turks and Caicos are a small cluster of British protectorates between the tail bone of The Bahamas and Hispa𮫡. Grand Turk is the capital of the group, but certainly not the most developed. With a population of less than 4,000, the island is only about seven miles long and a mile and a half wide. Here you'll find thirty-some-odd pictures of the reefs, fishes and folks of this old-time Caribbean Island. So pay attention, there is a quiz at the end.
Ken Riddick was trained as a photojournalist at the University of Texas and has been diving more than 30 years. He made the images and videos on these sites. There are technical notes on the home page of each destination site but generally the early pictures were made with a Nikonos V and either a 15mm or macro lens on Fujichrome 100 film. Beginning with the trip to Galapagos in 2006, he switched to a D100 digital Nikon housed in a Light and Motion Titan D100. Finally, in 2013 he left all that expensive and heavy equipment at home and opted for the simplicity of GoPro Hero 3, a very small, relatively inexpensive alternative to his previous equipment. The results begin with the videos and images from The Carib Dancer in The Bahamas in August of 2013.
Brad Reynolds is an accomplished technical diver and skilled photographer and videographer in his own right. An experienced cave diver, Brad has been photographing the cenotes and caves of the Yucatan for several years and is working on a book of his work.
William King and Ken worked together for years at a newspaper in Central California and began diving with the group on a 2001 trip to The Sea of Cortez. He has been diving more than 20 years. He recently became a grampa.