Decades of travel and long residencies in other countries have been huge influences on our photography. Because of COVID-19 none of us can travel, so we’re all trying to recreate the pleasure we normally derive from diving and underwater photography. About a month ago, Burt started posting a picture a day on his personal Facebook page and sharing it to our company’s page, Secret Sea Visions. The response was almost overwhelming.
Nostalgic for dive travel, people asked questions about the how’s and where’s of pictures they liked. The questions made us realize that underwater photographs are rarely just about marine life. They are about set and setting, about sharing an amazing experience, or, as in our case, about a life largely shaped by pioneering new dive destinations. These images tell the story of our transition from1970’s era hippies living on a deserted beach in Mexico to the people who were fortunate enough to manage the first liveaboard in the Solomon Islands, pioneer a huge number of sites in Komodo National Park, help Larry Smith discover sites and “critters” in Lembeh, and develop Raja Ampat and the Birds Head Seascape into arguably the premier destination for tropical reef diving worldwide. When the two guidebooks we authored, Diving Indonesia’s Raja Ampat and Diving Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape, sold out, we went digital with the information and now mange www.birdsheadseascape.com for Conservation International.
We did not use digital cameras until 2006; the Mexico, early Sipadan and some of the images from the Solomons and Lembeh were shot on film and later scanned. So, join us on a dive down memory lane, looking back on decades of travel and image making. Hopefully we’ll all be able to get back to these inspiring underwater destinations soon. Until we do, may these images bring you joy.