Logan Mock-Bunting Captures Freediving Competition by Felix Leander

Came across a Wired article about freediving yesterday that features the photography of Logan Mock-Bunting.  Logan was in the Bahamas late last year to document the 2014 Vertical Blue freediving competition.  He captured the ups and downs (literally and figuratively) of the participants - from the celebrations to the black outs.

Shallow water black-out.  Image by: Logan Mock-Bunting

Be sure to check out his work at www.loganmb.com.

William Winram The Watermen Project by Felix Leander

William Winram freediving with South African Tiger Shark.  Image by: Felix Leander

William Winram has been around for a while in the freediving world and over time (last six years) he has been reinventing himself and using his skill set to positively impact the ocean through education, setting up a foundation, speaking engagements, photography among others - oh and by the way he is still setting freediving world records.  

Good for him - I met Will in South Africa in 2008 while freediving Aliwal Shoal - at the very start of his transformation.  I have been following his adventures ever since - his projects have lead him from Mexico (tagging white sharks) to the Bahamas (tagging great hammerhead sharks). William is genuinely a nice guy and great to be around - his heart, mind, and soul are in the right place.

The Watermen Project is a NGO founded by William that is centered around "to be involved with any activity aiming at marine conservation. Our NPO therefore actively contributes to scientific and empiric research whereby the goal is to study the marine environment in order to protect and conserve it. More specifically, any activity aiming at protecting large marine species such as sharks, whales, etc. " - complete mission statement and goal.  Most of the work at the moment seems to be centered around scientific expeditions / helping the scientific community tagging sharks.

Will is currently in Bimini tagging hammerheads, hanging out with Richard Branson, and he finally had the opportunity to meet Doc.  Keep up with Will on Twitter or Instagram

William Winram  Image by: Laurent Egli

Crystal River by Felix Leander

Three Sisters - Manatees and Noodlers. Image by Manuel Menendez

Just 4.5 hours north of Miami, Crystal River becomes the home to hundreds of manatees during the Florida winters.  Last weekend a group of us ventured up for a quick getaway and interactions with the sea cows.  Raul Boesel Jr., Manuel Menendez and I packed our better halves, children, dogs, and of course equipment to capture what we thought would only be manatees.

There are two ways to dive in Crystal River - guided tours (with a bunch of "noodlers" - people that have never been in the water that use pool noodles to float) or renting your own boat / pontoon, of course we went with the latter.  There are several locations worth visiting - the most popular being Three Sisters.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife has a strong presence there to ensure the manatees are not molested by the noodlers + control the access to the spring.  We were lucky enough that access to the springs was granted as it has been closed for most of the season since there has been such a large gathering of manatees.

Each of us had an idea of what we wanted to capture:

  • Raul testing rear sync flash set-up motion blur (more on that soon)
  • Manuel to get aerial pics with his drone
  • Me - video of manatees / other

And while we did capture what we wanted to - we also found subject matters what we never expected to see such as a school of hundreds of Snook, mangrove snappers, and morning fog.  The results of the trip are below...

Mangrove snappers.  Image by Raul Boesel Jr

Video of Manatees, Snapper, and Snook while freediving in Crystal River, FL using a GoPro.  Video by Felix Leander

Manatee and Lala.  Image by Manuel Menendez

It is definitely worth a trip up and expect great southern hospitality when you go out to eat.