Saturday, November 13, 2010

When the weather doesn't cooperate...

We've had a rough week of snorkeling in Grand Cayman. First it was the wind, then it was the chop. The waves at the sandbar were over Terry's head (and he's 6 ft) so, you know I was doing a lot of bobbing up and down!

Then there's the silt. It can really ruin a good picture. Makes the subject look like it's behind dirty glass.

And, things seem to be heading in the wrong direction for some of the reefs that used to be very healthy. The new growth in front of the Tortuga Club has disappeared. We did relocate a spot in front of the Grand that has lots of healthy soft corals, but no fish! This used to be a great place to see spotted eagle rays, but not this year.

The biggest disappointment was Cemetery Reef. Very little live coral. Algae everywhere. No sponges. Very few fish other than sargent majors and Bermuda chubs. No creatures either.

Still we did get some good stingray and moral eel photos, so it wasn't a complete bust. I'll be posting more about those, once they are ready for prime time!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Purple Lace

This is another lovely photo taken by Terry in Belize. He timed it with the waves to show off the beauty of creatures as common as a colony of purple fan coral (gorgonian). This coral is very healthy with no signs of bleaching or algae. I think its a great reminder of why we need to do everything we can to save the oceans coral reefs. Snorklers and scuba divers throughout the Carribean should always be able to enjoy seas full of waving fan corals while searching for more exotic sea life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Feather Duster and Friends

I took this photo in 2008 in Belize. This is one of my favorite photos because it really seems like you're seeing through the eyes of a fish in the school. And, major's a picture of a feather duster worm! Slippery dicks are not a rare fish, but most snorkelers don't see them this close up. Same with the fairy basslet. Just wish I'd had a better camera when I took this. Hopefully, I can make up for that on our next snorkeling trip.

This photo also translates well to our art-accessories (ornaments, coasters, keepsake boxes) which can be found at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Perfect Camo

Terry took this picture in the British Virgin Islands with a 5 meg Sealife camera. The critter who is trying to blend into the encrusting coral is a trumpet fish. Most divers and snorklers see trumpet fish at the surface of the water. And, you can often spot them from the shoreline. So, it was unusual to find this one on the sea floor. I think a closer crop would show case his camo even more, but unfortunately that's not really an option with only 5 megs to work with. Let's hope we find one of his friends on our next snorkeling trip!
Prints of this and our other underwater photos are available at We hope you enjoyed this post enough to follow the blog or follow us on facebook! And, don't forget we have many of our photos available on art-cessories or art-ware from CafePress.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I took this photo in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I like it because it works on both macro and micro levels, which is unusual for a photo taken while snoreling. The overall photo shows a huge colony of coral. But, if you look more closely you start to see all the creatures that call this colony home. The magenta split crown feather duster worms are the first creatures to catch your eye. Then you start to notice the light blue encrusing sponge. Take a closer look and you'll see the flame clams behind the worms, the slippery dicks or the very young rock beauties. This picture is just teaming with sea life!

Limited edition prints of this photo (and other photos from HSWT Photography) are available on Artware by HSWT Photography is available from CafePress. And, you can join us on facebook. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I've thought many things about underwater photography: it's beautiful, it's interesting, it makes me want to go snorkeling asap. But, I've never really thought "it's fun!". This picture changed all that. Everytime I look at it, it makes me laugh. How can this orange blob with black spots be an animal? And, one that lives underwater?!! Sea cucumbers are just funny. Where is their mouth? Where are their eyes? What do they do in their spare time? Answer: clean up the bottom of the ocean. How cool!

Terry took this picture in the Bocas del Toro region of Panama. You can see a bit of the cool blue sponges that grow in Spot's home waters at the top of the photo. The funny thing about the water in this area is that it doesn't have that carribbean blue look from above, but it is just as clear as the waters in the Carribbean and covers the most dazzeling array of underwater colors I've ever seen.

As always, you can order limited edition prints of this or our other photos from Panama (and other locales) from, by searching for HSWT Photography. Or order artware at And, of coarse you can follow us on Facebook! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Favorite Southern Sting Ray Photo

Terry took this stunning picture of a female southern string ray on our trip to Belize in 2008. I think the detail is amazing. You can almost see the velvety texture of her skin. The scars on her face appear to be from to propeller of a boat. Luckily, for us you survived her prior encounter with humans.

We love snorkeling with sting rays. They are so friendly (especially if you have squid) and seem to really enjoy interacting with people. The hard part is getting far enough away to fit the entire ray in the shot. Terry is better at that than I am. I'd rather interact with the rays, than photograph them. ;)

This limited edition photo is available for purchase thru or at Gallery 26 in Easton, MD.

We also have prints and art ware available from Cafe Press:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Paradise Found

I've decided to share my thoughts about some of our limited edition fine art photographs one post at a time. Starting with "Paradise Found" which is not an underwater photograph, but certainly showcases the beautiful Carribbean waters of Belize.

When I first saw English Key I thought of a Disney set. Too perfect to be real. But, it's a real working light house. The only one in the vicinity of Ambergris Caye which in and of itself is amazing because of the shallow waters off the coast of Belize.

And, not only are these waters beautiful, they are home to gorgeous large coral heads and awesome sea creatures. If I were the lighthouse keeper I would spend all my time in snorkling gear with camera in hand.

Everytime I look at this photo I'm transported back to our week sailing with Tradewinds Cruise Club in the vicinity of Ambergris Caye. And, dream of the day I can return.
If you'd like to be transported too, limited edition prints of this photo are available at

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Who to please

I'm starting to think that I should have used a different title for this blog. I haven't had a chance to do any snorkeling lately, so no new photos to discuss. Did find out about a feature (content aware fill) of Photoshop CS5 I can't wait to try. Just need to find the bucks to purchase the upgrade!

So, on to the title of this post. I've been taking a lot of "above ground" photos lately. Living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this seems to be what sells. I'm currently shooting pics to enter in Easton Plein Air's photo contest. And, I'm starting to wonder if I'm taking these pictures because it's what I want to do or because I'm trying to please other people.

I hope I'm doing this because I enjoy it or else this is going to turn into a second job...

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Friend's blog

Terry White is one of the Wednesday Morning Artist's in Cambridge Maryland. She has made me feel very welcome in my new home. This is her blog about her books and music. Check it out!

Terry L. White's Book Blog: Ancient Memories#links#links#links

Back to Photography!

Just finished my refresher course on Lightroom including the updates of LR3 and I'm wondering if I'll ever need CS4 again. LR3 adds overall sharpening for printing and the ability to do basic contrast curves, which are pretty much the only things I was still doing in Photoshop. So, if I can master printing from Lightroom I think my CS4 may start collecting dust (can software do that?).

Unfortunately, my camera was at Nikon being fixed while we were on vacation in Missouri, so I don't have any pics from that trip that were shot in RAW format. But, Terry's taken a few around our condo in Cambridge. The one above is the one I worked with in class. If only we could have rearranged the nest so that branch wasn't in front of the Osprey's face!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Westward Ho!

Just got back from a family trip to Osage Beach, Missouri. Not good for underwater photography, but great for fishing (my husband's first love). Unfortunately, we were there during a heat wave (heat index of 110 most of the days we were there). So, to get a break from the heat we toured several of the caves in the area. Our first cave was Meramec Caverns. Meramec has several unusual formations: the third largest stalagmite in the world, the largest ragonite formation in the world (see pic) and a "theater" curtain in a room large enough for concerts. The next cavern we toured was Bridal Cave which is advertised as one of the most scenic caves in the country. I'd have to agree. There were stunning formations around every turn. The cave got its name from the native wedding ceremonies that were performed there long before Europeans ventured into the cave. The final cave we toured was Ozark Caverns. This cave is run by the state of Missouri. All of the electric lights have been removed in order to protect the formation, so we toured by lantern light and I'm hooked on this type of lighting. The difficulies of taking photos under sporadic artificial light are completely eliminated.

I think I got some good shots and if they're good enough I'll be posting them on

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After Glow

We survived our first gallery opening! Which is pretty good if you know what social butterflies Terry and I are not!!!

It's more nerve racking than I thought it would be to have our work on display and receive immediate feedback on it. At least it is for me, it doesn't seem to phase Terry, but then again, not much does.

We're now working on finalizing our photos for Chair-ity, a fundraising party in Cambridge, MD at the Main Street Gallery that benefits local art programs (particularly for children). I've been having a great time photoshopping a picture of one of my dolphin chairs (left) into underwater scenes and trying to think of iconic chair related things (like musical chairs) to photograph.

I recruited my grandnephews and grandnieces for a musical chairs picture, but my camera was on the fritz so I didn't get a good enough shot. But, my stepson somehow caught a star-nosed mole and managed to get it to stay on a small chair long enough for me to get a picture of it. My husband took a picture of a conference room table, so next on the agenda is creating our "Chair-mole of the Board" picture. Hope it turns out!
FYI - The opening for "Chair-ity" is July 9th and tickets for the opening are $25. I think they can be purchased from the Main Street Gallery, the Dorchester Center for the Arts or at the door.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

So many things to report

Well after what seems like endless unpacking, we are finally moved and I'm getting back into working with and promoting our photography. I'm very excited to announce that HSWT Photography will be one of the artists featured at Easton, MD's newest art gallery, The Little Yellow Paint Brush, 10 West Dover St. Some of our latest Limited Edition photos will be on display and for sale.

We will also be displaying/selling some of our Limited Edition prints at the Cambridge Yacht Club in Cambridge MD starting next Monday. And, we've shut down our Etsy store and moved our on-line retail of Limited Edition prints to, where our work can be found by searching HSWT Photography (of coarse!) :).

And, we joined a great artist group called the Wednesday Morning Artists in Cambridge, MD. So, I guess I have a little bit of an excuse for not posting lately. I promise to keep up with this better now that we're settled in.

Friday, January 8, 2010

T-shirts and More

Not having much luck with etsy so far, so I thought I'd try something different. I uploaded this pic and another non-limited pic to Where it can be printed on "art ware" such as t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads and other useful stuff. Ordered a t-shirt for myself to see what they are like and to wear to shows. I think this pic will look good on a white t-shirt. Hope I'm right!
I'm probably trying to avoid working on the pics from the Bahamas. Can't seem to get excited about them. I'm not trusting my own judgement for some reason. I think I need to go back to my notes from my Lightroom class and start over with them. But, they don't seem worth the bother. Guess I'm in a rut...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Not So Good

I keep working on the pics from our Bahama's trip and I think I've finally figured out why I'm not getting anywhere with them. They just aren't all that good. I blame the water. We've been spoiled by the clear waters of Grand Cayman, Belize and even Panama. The water in the Bahama has a cloudy look that is frankly depressing. Also, we're still getting used to the new cameras. Terry set his ISO to 800 and that created too much noise. I left mine on auto (I know, I know...) and for the few pics where the water is clear, the fish are just a little blurry. Think we're going to have to chalk this trip up to a learning experience.

So, I'm dreaming that we'll get back to Grand Cayman sometime soon where we'll have the luxury of editing pics as we take them so we can get the hang of the new cameras. Keep your fingers crossed that the airlines drop their prices for us!