All posts tagged: underwater photography

sharks

Epiphany: How A Family Of Explorers & Conservationists Overcame Their Fears

  View Epiphany Movie Trailer A popular definition of epiphany as defined in the Oxford Dictionary is: “A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.  For me, an epiphany is a sublime moment.  It is an awakening, when your thoughts come into focus and there is a moment of clarity.  The opportunity presents itself as an illuminating thought.  A moment of such great revelation can bring forth incredible things. I have had the privilege to get to know award-winning filmmaker and wildlife cinematographer Michael Maes and his wife Ellen Cuylaerts, an award-winning wildlife photographer.  They are truly two of the most amazing people I have ever met.  They are inspiring, compassionate, kind, generous, brave and humble people.  I am grateful to know them.  As a family they live intriguing and extraordinary lives as explorers and conservationists.  They explore the world and use their gifts and talents in film and photography to share their passion for conservation with the world.  An underlying message in their documentary Epiphany is the power of film and photography.  I …

The Cayman Islands: A Haven for Sharks & Rays

Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts The Cayman Islands has built its name and reputation primarily on being a renowned diving destination.  Pioneers in our local diving community over the last few decades contributed to building our diving industry into the premier operation that it is today.  They recognized the exquisite beauty our underwater landscape had to offer and have since then made it accessible for locals and tourists to recreationally experience and explore the beauty that lies below the surface for themselves.  With a desire to showcase our natural resources comes with a commitment to preserve them.  Our duty towards conservation for both land and the ocean is beneficial not just from an environmental perspective but also an economic one.  Our tourism industry is strongly tied to our island’s natural resources.  Ergo, an obvious reason to ensure that our natural resources are protected.  Last year on Earth Day (2015), the Cayman Islands officially became a Sharks and Rays Sanctuary.  The sanctuary expands across all three islands.  This is a positive step towards ecotourism as many tourists …

eden rock

Hope On The Horizon: Cayman Islands (Mission Blue Hope Spot)

Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts I am so excited to announce that today I was published in Mission Blue’s Ocean Stories.  It was such an honor! I am so humbled by this moment.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with Mission Blue and Ellen Cuylaerts.  Thank You Ellen for allowing me to use your spectacular pictures for the article. Recently, the Cayman Islands, George Town Harbor was designated as a new Hope Spot by Mission Blue. To read more about my article please visit Mission Blue’s website, or click here. Content Update: 7th January 2017.  Below is my article in full.  Originally published in Mission Blue’s Ocean Stories.  Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts Recently, the George Town Harbor in the Cayman Islands was named a Mission Blue Hope Spot- one of fourteen newly designated Hope Spots.  This is incredible news for environmentalists both locally and internationally.  A designated Hope Spot is an area considered to be “critical to the health of the ocean”.  These special areas are recognized by Mission Blue and respectively conservationists around the globe as …

“And the heart must pause to breathe”

  Photo Credit: Michael Maes “And the heart must pause to breathe,” words of the legendary poet Lord Byron. These poetic words capture the experience of watching the artistic work of Michael Maes short film “Byron Beholds Kona.” This short film will capture your heart from the start, as you will become immersed in the purity and the spellbinding beauty of the ocean and the wildlife. Most importantly, you will become enthralled by the poetic connection between the ocean and film. Maes, has chosen the words of Lord Byron’s So We’ll Go No More a Roving to accompany the stunning cinematic journey viewers are taken on in the waters of Kona, Hawaii. It’s safe to say Mr. Maes, has created an interesting genre of film called “Poetry eMotion.” Poetry eMotion: How it came to be… Michael Maes says, his wife, Ellen Cuylaerts, told him that “some of his footage is poetry in her eyes” and she, “encouraged him to reach out to poems through his films.” Through the diligent process of filming and editing, Maes …

Sea Trek In Grand Cayman

  On New Year’s Day, I started it with a splash!  I took the plunge in trying something new, and I dived right into an ocean adventure with my bestie.  We had an epic time going on a Sea Trek tour right here in the waters of Grand Cayman.  We had the opportunity to explore Sotos Reef named after a pioneer in the Cayman diving industry, Bob Soto.  This beautiful landscape of coral is located in the George Town harbour.  Sea Trek Cayman was pure awesomeness! The whole crew was a lovely group of people and so much fun to be around!  It was such a surreal experience to dive down 30-40ft and discover the beauty of the coral reef and fish which reside there.  I felt completely safe the entire time, and walked around the ocean floor absolutely carefree.  It was such a dream!  I loved every minute of the guided tour.  The divers escorting us on our underwater journey, put on a fantastic dive show during our sea trek tour.   While I am not …

Eco Documentary: Fragile Cayman

Photo Credit: Michael Maes (Spotted Eagle Ray) Yesterday I had the privilege of watching an incredible Eco Documentary called Fragile Cayman directed and produced by Michael Maes, a fellow environmental enthusiast.  Michael  is also a diver and photographer extraordinaire, here in the Cayman Islands.  His short but powerful documentary, which was featured in the Cayman Islands Underwater Film Festival of 2012, is comprised of  absolutely stunning cinematography and a montage of incredible shots, which truly capture the essence and beauty of our ocean- specifically in Cayman waters.  The scene with the stingrays at Stingray City was just lovely! The Spotted Eagle Ray just gorgeous, my absolute favorite scenes. For me, it was like watching a silent movie, just a story told through motion pictures accompanied by instrumental music.  Watching the film you can’t help but question, why on earth would anyone not want to save the environment and protect the ocean.  Just watching the amazing footage you are completely mesmerized by the fundamental beauty that is our ocean and the marine life which resides there.  …