Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Not proud, just totally amazed...

Wolfie just turned two, and he is already quite proficient handling his grandmother's I-Pad. But it's not only downloading the stuff he likes, such as melodious alphabet songs and learning all about shapes (including decagons); he also discovered the joy of taking photographs.

Here the first image little Wolfgang has ever taken of himself with his Opa.

Brilliant - what else can I, or you, say??......

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shark Photography - It Never Gets Boring...

... unless you settle with the mediocre stuff.

Wanna improve your skills?  Easy - never stop practicing, and, more importantly, never be fully satisfied with your results.

Here is an article you might find interesting.

I wish you fabulous shark dives with 'big ones'....   :-)
Galapagos Sharks, Galapagos Islands (2001)
Photo: Wolfgang Leander

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blackfish - Must See Movie

If there is one movie you watch this summer (what is left of it) go see Blackfish.  I just saw it today and it definitely struck a chord.  Many people know about the inhumanity of keeping orcas captive - this documentary focuses on the psychological effects it has on these highly intelligent and sensitive animals.

What hit me the most was the story of one of the boat drivers that captured orca calves in the 70s (sanctioned by Sea World)...he basically broke it down to kidnapping children from a family.  Now Sea World breeds the whales and separates them from their mothers at an earlier age.  In the wild, orcas never leave their mothers pod.

Watch the movie, and do not go to any more orca shows...

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Ila France Porcher on this year's "Shark Week" by the Discovery Channel.

It's going to be the same old sh...t - pardon me: I mean the same old story. Ila France Porcher - an accomplished shark ethologist, author*), relentless conservationist - has posted on her blogspot a disturbing "Shark Week" preview that shows how the Discovery Channel (DC) people keep riding the "Jaws" wave in a most shameless manner.

The trailer features "Emma", probably the most popular tiger shark world-wide, as a "monster shark" being abused by some moronic DC people. Just to watch, and listen to,   that primitive tatooed guy who 'wrangles' "Emma" is sickening...

14 ft "Emma" is one of the most gentle sharks I have ever encountered. Everybody who knows her loves her. To abuse "Emma" and her gentleness is as perfidious as only humans are capable of being. 

Divers kneeling in front of "Emma" -  that's the way to treat a dignified lady!!  :-)
Photograph: Wolfgang Leander (2009)
Click to enlarge

OK, as many people say, the "Shark Week" executives offer entertainment, and are not out to educate their viewers as an TV enterprise like PBS would. Fair enough. Yet, it is still deplorable to see again and again that their only objective is to 'sell' sharks as extremely dangerous animals. 

Shark divers know that sharks are NOT dangerous per se, not even the maligned Great Whites, tigers, and bulls which some 'experts' refer to as the 'most dangerous' sharks.

When you enter the ocean you just have to be circumspect and apply common sense. Swimming, diving or surfing in murky waters where sharks are known to be is simply foolish - if attacks occur under such circumstances it's not the sharks that should be blamed. However, "Shark Week" always blames the sharks, explicitly or implicitly. That's their business, that's how they make money. It's as simple as that.

Personally, I do not believe that the DC people will ever change their 'mission statement' which is to engross, and scare, the masses. So, I wont bother writing them letters of protest or even boycott the show. No, I will watch this year's "Shark Week" if I can. Just to see once again what a wretched lot we humans sometimes are...  :-)