Category

Mexico

Medano Beach Sunrise, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Mexico, Sea of Cortez

Medano Beach, the beautiful long sand beach fronting the bay of Cabo San Lucas, can be crowded and busy with tourists, but I found that it was peaceful and quiet each morning.

Sunrise on Medano Beach, on the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Sunrise on Medano Beach, on the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28948
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Surf fisherman on Medano Beach at sunrise, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Surf fisherman on Medano Beach at sunrise, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28953
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Sunrise on Medano Beach, on the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Sunrise on Medano Beach, on the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28955
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Sunrise on Medano Beach, on the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Sunrise on Medano Beach, on the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28946
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Resort hotels on the beach in Cabo San Lucas

Resort hotels on the beach in Cabo San Lucas
Image ID: 28954
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Beach chairs and umbrellas line the sand in front of resorts on Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Beach chairs and umbrellas line the sand in front of resorts on Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28947
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Beach chairs and umbrellas line the sand in front of resorts on Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Beach chairs and umbrellas line the sand in front of resorts on Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28949
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Aerial Photos of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Mexico, Sea of Cortez

We celebrated the Christmas holiday in Cabo San Lucas. I had hoped to perhaps make a few good images of pristine, lonely, white-sand beaches, the ones I recall from my last visit to Cabo San Lucas in 1985. Alas, resort development has taken over the coastline. So I hired an ultralight and made some aerial photos of the existing resort development and new resort construction, from the scenic El Arco (the arch) at Land’s End, over the harbor and then along the coast from Cabo San Lucas harbor east and north to Chileno Bay, including long Medano Beach and quaint Bahia Santa Maria. Perhaps these images will be picked up for editorial use. Below are a few of my favorites; if you like these, you can see more aerial photos of Cabo San Lucas on my website. The flight was sure fun! Cheers and thanks for looking!

Aerial photograph of Land's End and the Arch, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Aerial photograph of Land’s End and the Arch, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28890
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Aerial photograph of Land's End and the Arch, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Aerial photograph of Land’s End and the Arch, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Image ID: 28893
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Punta Ballena, Faro Cabesa Ballena (foreground), Medano Beach and Land's End (distance). Residential and resort development along the coast near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Punta Ballena, Faro Cabesa Ballena (foreground), Medano Beach and Land’s End (distance). Residential and resort development along the coast near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Image ID: 28930
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, marina and downtown, showing extensive development and many resorts and sport fishing boats

Cabo San Lucas, marina and downtown, showing extensive development and many resorts and sport fishing boats
Image ID: 28884
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

Hacienda del Mar and Vista Azul resorts. Residential and resort development along the coast near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Hacienda del Mar and Vista Azul resorts. Residential and resort development along the coast near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Image ID: 28928
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico

International Conservation Photography Awards 2012

Environmental Problems, Sea Lion, Sea of Cortez, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

Art Wolfe hosts the biennial International Conservation Photography Awards (“ICP Awards”). One of my images was honored in the 2010 edition of the competition, so I decided to try again this year. My photograph of a young California sea lion entangled in monofilament fishing line, taken in the Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve in Baja California, was selected in the “Natural Environment At Risk” category, which seems quite fitting given the competition is meant to highlight conservation and issues relating to the natural world. Thank you Art and ICP Awards! To see all the recognized images — and you should since there are some spectacular photos in this year’s competition — check out: http://icpawards.com/2012winners.php

California sea lion injured by fishing line, Zalophus californianus, Sea of Cortez

California sea lion injured by fishing line
Image ID: 27419
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Panamic Green Moray Eel

Marine Life, Mexico, Sea of Cortez, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

Photo of Panamic Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax castaneus

While I was in Mexico’s beautiful Sea of Cortez doing some diving last November, I spent time photographing the Panamic Green Moray eels (Gymnothorax castaneus). These eels are quite common, often found underneath large boulders and overhangs. They are typically content to remain in their holes, extending just their heads outside, but once in a while they will swim freely across the reef and only then is their large size easily seen. These are big eels!

Panamic Green Moray Eel, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico, Gymnothorax castaneus

Panamic Green Moray Eel, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico.
Image ID: 27466
Species: Panamic Green Moray Eell, Gymnothorax castaneus
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Los Islotes, Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve, Baja California, Mexico

Sea Lion, Sea of Cortez, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

Los Islotes is a small island at the northern end of Isla Espiritu Santo, near La Paz in the Sea of Cortez. Espiritu Santo Island and Partida Island are two beautiful desert islands, scalloped with gorgeous white sand beaches. Bird nest on their rugged slopes, and cardon cacti grow in abundance. All three of these islands are part of the Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve, named a UNESCO Biosphere due to the area’s biodiversity and beauty. I have had the good fortune to cruise along both shores of Espiritu Santo and Partida but most of my time has been spent at Isla Los Islotes, diving and relaxing. These waters are full of many Sea of Cortez fishes, and Los Islotes itself is home to a renowned colony of California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus). I am a real lover of sea lions and fur seals, and spend as much time diving with them as I can, so when I am at Los Islotes I basically ignore all else and just enjoy my time with these gregarious and charming animals. Here are a few recent photos of Los Islotes, the sea lions, Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo. Thanks for looking!

California sea lion underwater, Zalophus californianus, Sea of Cortez

California sea lion underwater.
Image ID: 27424
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Los Islotes Island, Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Los Islotes Island, Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico.
Image ID: 27364
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Yellow-tailed surgeonfish schooling, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico, Prionurus laticlavius

Yellow-tailed surgeonfish schooling, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico.
Image ID: 27564
Species: Yellow-tailed surgeonfish, Prionurus laticlavius
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Isla Partida, Sea of Cortez coastal scenic panorama, near La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, part of the Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve

Isla Partida, Sea of Cortez coastal scenic panorama, near La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, part of the Espiritu Santo Biosphere Reserve.
Image ID: 27358
Location: Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

Sea of Cortez Underwater Canon 7D Video Footage

Mexico, Video

I recently finished editing still photographs made in the Sea of Cortez in November. While I was shooting photos I also took some time to grab video footage with the Canon 7D that I was using. This is a rough edit that I made from some clips, assembled in iMovie. Be sure to select “720p” in the lower right of the Youtube player. Enjoy …

California Sea Lion at Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Guadalupe Island, Sea Lion

I’ve been photographing California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) for about 20 years and still do not have the perfect image of one. They are a lot of fun to dive with, but are notoriously fickle about staying put and posing for the camera. In addition, the fur of a seal lion can at once absorb all the light my strobes put out and yet can reflect sunlight and produce hot spots in the image. So, I’ll just have to continue diving with them and trying to make more sea lion photographs. This photo is one of my favorites. It was taken at Isla Afuera at the south end of Guadalupe Island in the mid-90s on one of our 10-day exploratory diving trips. We dove all around the island, finding new underwater sites that had probably never been seen before except by fish, turtles and sharks. This was some years before the shark diving that has made the island so popular now. California sea lions and Guadalupe fur seals were our nearly-constant companions on these dives. Here, an inquisitive juvenile lines up alongside Lorna McMurray. This image was used as the frontispiece for the excellent National Geographic book “Wild Ocean” by Dr. Sylvia Earle and Henry Wolcott.

California sea lion and diver consider each other, underwater in the clear ocean water of Guadalupe Island, Zalophus californianus, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

California sea lion and diver consider each other, underwater in the clear ocean water of Guadalupe Island.
Image ID: 02251
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

En Línea con la Ecología – A Photographic Exhibition in Mexico City

Mexico, Photography

En Línea con la Ecología is a major natural history photographic exhibition on display now in Mexico City. Sponsored by Telmex, the goal of the exhibition is to show viewers the extraordinary biological diversity and beauty of the landscapes of Mexico and heighten interest and a sense of ownership in Mexico’s natural wonders. Included in the exhition are landscapes and wildlife portraits representative of Mexico, including rain forests and lowlands, mangroves, grasslands, temperate forests, deserts and coral reefs. I am fortunate to have five images included in the collection, alongside the work of some of the best photographers in the world.

The exhibition is held from February 1 through March 6 at Circuito de Galerías Abiertas de las Rejas de Chapultepec, Entre Reforma y Gandhi. More information can be found here, here and here. Telmex’s Facebook page includes a gallery of all the images.

If you are curious, four of my images can be seen in the above two photos.

Guadalupe Island Diving Trip, July 2011

Guadalupe Island

I’m very happy to announce that our annual Guadalupe Island diving trip is on for July 2011! Skip Stubbs is once again personally leading this special trip to dive remote and unique Isla Guadalupe using the San Diego-based dive boat Horizon as our home-away-from-home. At present this trip is by invitation only (i.e., the entire boat is reserved and Skip is determining who the participants will be). If you are seriously interested in joining us, please get in touch with Skip (or me if you prefer) to discuss it. We have put together a lengthy flyer describing the trip, with links to many photos and lots of information about the island itself. Please read through the PDF brochure first, especially if you do not know anything about Guadalupe Island. You can print out if you wish (it will open in a new window):

Note: this is not a shark diving trip. This is an open water SCUBA and freediving trip designed to offer our guests opportunities to appreciate the unique inhabitants and explore the underwater scenery of Guadalupe Island. This is the only open-water diving trip to Guadalupe Island, this year (or probably ever), that we know of. The dates are July 21-29, 9 calendar days with 7 fulls days of diving and two travel days.

Cortez chubb, Kyphosus elegans, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Cortez chubb.
Image ID: 01020
Species: Cortez chubb, Kyphosus elegans
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

East face and shoreline of southernmost morro, daybreak, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

East face and shoreline of southernmost morro, daybreak.
Image ID: 06152
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island.  Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island. Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography.
Image ID: 09753
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Keywords: Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Isla Guadalupe, scuba diving, free diving, dive boat Horizon, Baja California, San Diego.

Guadalupe Island :: First Impressions

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

First Impressions: Guadalupe Island, Mexico

September 1994. Our early expeditionary trips to Guadalupe Island on the Horizon were wild affairs. Each year Skip assembled a superb mix of skilled spearfishermen looking for giant tuna and intrepid SCUBA divers seeking to explore the scarcely seen underwater environment of remote Guadalupe Island. We would dine al fresco each evening on grilled tuna that had been swimming in the ocean that same afternoon, sipping award winning homemade beers and wine, and sleep well in anticipation of the next day’s adventures. Our diving decisions were guided largely by the weather and our interest in seeing sections of island we had not dived before. Over the years our groups had a few encounters with sharks, but this was long before before the cage-diving trips and we were not eager to see them more than necessary.

After 30 hours of travel, we have reached Guadalupe Island. We spent most of yesterday’s travel fishing, reading, relaxing and talking about what we might find while diving. Would the sharks show up when we entered the water? Anticipation is high. Our first anchorage lies on the east side of Isla Afuera, a spectacular and imposing volcanic plug a few miles south of Isla Guadalupe. The water below our liveaboard dive boat Horizon is so clear it appears almost purple. I hop in, drop underwater and swim over to the wall. A mild current has glassed off the surface above me so that I can see the vertical wall of Afuera from its base some 60′ below me to its towering summit several hundred feet above the water. A group of sea lions which had been perched on a ledge when we anchored swims toward me. I can see their approach from well over a hundred feet away and realize that this is the probably clearest water I have ever experienced. A mild current tugs at the several species of kelp that cover the rock bottom here. Looking about under the kelp I find calico bass, lobster, a few abalone and occasional bat rays. The calicos are large and dark brown, evidence that they are mature adults who may have lived here for 25 years or more.

California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

California sea lion.
Image ID: 00260
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Schools of perch and chubb swim just above the kelp. With my back to the wall I look out into the blue, wondering what might appear. This water is oceanic, without a hint of any coastal influence. I am struck by how alone and how far from my daily routine I am at this moment. If the current were to take me from here my next stop would be Tahiti, a sobering thought indeed. Small jellies float by as if suspended in air. Periodically a group of heavy yellowtail jacks appear from the open ocean, cruising along the wall and frightening the reef fish into their holes before sweeping back out to sea. These yellowtail are big fish, world record size in some cases, and along with yellowfin and bluefin are one of the reasons were are here, so I am pleased to see them swim by. After a while, sea lions have gathered in the shallows above me, frolicking with one another along the wall. Frequently one or two of them descend and approach me closely, always hanging upside down, and we eye each other for a time. Other than the few local hookah divers that work the island, these sea lions do not see many people. Most are juveniles and naturally curious, so there is no shortage of photo ops. I love to photograph with available light only and the conditions here are ideal: plenty of sunlight, clear water, and inquisitive pinnipeds. I drain my tank, staying with the sea lions as long as possible, and finally head back to the boat already thinking about how soon I can hop back in.

Palm kelp, Isla Afuera. Southern sea palm, Eisenia arborea, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Palm kelp, Isla Afuera. Southern sea palm.
Image ID: 01287
Species: Southern sea palm, Eisenia arborea
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island.  Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Isla Afuera is a volcanic plug towering 700 feet above the ocean near the south end of Guadalupe Island. Its steep cliffs extend underwater hundreds of feet offering spectacular wall diving and submarine topography.
Image ID: 09753
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico