Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nice shot, Felix!

Photo: Felix Leander (Key Largo/ Florida)
Click on image to enlarge

I know, I know - you will tell me it was pure luck. Well, yes, of course you need luck - like in this case just two barracudas facing each other. But you squeezed the shutter at the "decisive" moment (Henri Cartier-Bresson) - decisive because you had one 'cuda against a light background, and the other one in front of the dark coral wall.

Felix took the photograph on one breath of air with a manual analog camera, a good old Nikonos V, and the blessing of available light.

With images like this one - is there any reason to switch to digital?? :-) :-) Felix will, eventually, but I won't...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tiger Shark Killers in US Virgin Islands

Just finished reading the two posts by Shark Diver about the recent killings of Tiger Sharks in the US Virgin Islands.  Shocking indeed - particularly watching the video.  As mentioned by Shark Divers - hopefully there are some local dive shops, government officials, or just people passionate enough about sharks that will put an end to this...pretty damn cruel.

Please read the posts here.

I miss my South African friends ....

Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2010)
Click on image to enlarge

.... here are two of them: Jifa, aka Jean-Francois Avenier, and a tiger beauty of Aliwal Shoal.

I know Jifa is alive and well. But the striped girl?

Aliwal Shoal is a Marine Protected Area - yet she and all the others sharks are not because of the nearby shark nets and fishermen who go for their fins clandestinely within and without the MPA.

I haven't heard anything about the shark net situation in Scottburgh / Umkomaas lately.

In this case no news is bad news, unfortunately...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When my one and only niece Dinah was eight she already knew she would become a vet......

"Dinahlu" when she was eight (Rome, 1988)
Photo: Wolfgang Leander
Click to enlarge

.... now she is one, and not only that: Because of her lifelong dedication to the cause of animal welfare, and her professional background, she has been elected first patron of the UK-based Worlwide Veterinary Service (WVS), a large organization she joined as a member back in 2007.

Chapeau, Dinah! All those who love you are mighty proud of you!

Allow me a mental leap: Dinah's mother, my sister Renata, was recently in Bolivia to visit and unearth half-buried childhood memories. Given our stirring family history it was a very emotional trip for her, but what impacted Renata most, and got her deeply disturbed, was to see so many undernourished and ill-treated street dogs in Cochabamba.

Renata was so depressed about the situation of the stray dogs that she decided to come back for a three-months-stay toward the end of this year to see what she can do ameliorate the
lives of at least some of these unfortunate creatures.

However, Renata thinks bigger than that. What she has in mind is to establish a contact with the municipality of Cochabamba and a group of concerned vets, and present them, hopefully, a WVS sponsored large-scale neutering program to help solve the problem nobody has even tried to tackle as yet.

Renata and Dinah are very determined individuals which is not surprising as they are cut from the same cloth. With them, and the WVS behind such a worthy initiativ
e, a "Cochabamba Street Dog" project is bound to be a viable enterprise.

Here are two dogs who were lost in the mean streets of Cochabamba before I "snatched" them and made them mine:

"Chiara" (above) and "Lupi"
Photos: Wolfgang Leander
Click to enlarge

Monday, April 18, 2011

Children Urge Greater Shark Protections in The Bahamas

Saw this video while reading The Dorsal Fin - nice video created by The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), in collaboration with Pew Environment Group, in support of a grassroots petition to protect sharks in Bahamian waters.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't know what to get or give for Easter or Pessach?

How about a book? A book about sharks?

The best shark books I have read in many years, if not ever, are, by far, Ila France-Porcher's new publication and Dean Crawford's slim, unassuming oeuvre.

As a photographer, I believe it is difficult to convey the (almost) indescribable fascination of sharks other than with an image. But, of course, I say that because I am not a skilled craftsman of words. Ila and Dean are.

Tiger shark emerging from the depth of the Indian Ocean.
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (2008)
Click to enlarge

When a writer combines passion, knowledge, and talent, as both Ila and Dean do, you have what ideally, but rarely, every book should do: Give you an immense intellectual and emotional pleasure that is hardly matched by anything else - no, no, don't think I am that bookish or beyond good and evil, and not fond of other earthly delights - I said "hardly", OK? ..... :-)

So: ENJOY the books as much as I did.

By the way: I am not 'promoting' these books - I am just recommending them as a fantastic read. I get no commissions, and I am not trying to do Ila and Dean a favor - with the tremendous amount of work and dedication they have invested in their literary projects, they know better than anybody else what their books are worth. They have written them with what we call in German:
"Herzblut" (= Heart Blood).

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Dorsal - Shark Clothing

People like to wear what represents them.  I have been a fan of Seven Tenths for a while, just because as a clothing company they somewhat catered to the freediver.  Now there is something else, something new, something SHARK

Dorsal was started by Chris Milnes, it is best described as: "a new clothing brand created specifically to help efforts being made to research and protect sharks around the world." Dorsal supports various shark projects and hopes to expand their involvement as more people sport their gear.

Have a look at their catalog and cool surf-style wear.