“DOVE THE RED SEA . . . FOUND OUT IT WAS BLUE”
A Red Sea Trip Report by Tony Barros
The Red Sea has captivated the imagination and memories of divers for many decades. Our fellow SFUPS photographer, Tony Barros, recently returned from an exploration combining visits to Egypt’s antiquities on the surface and the magical blue waters below the sea. As a professor of Oceanography and Marine Geology for Miami Dade College, you can expect a very informative and professional presentation with visual insights on the ecosystem of the Red Sea along with fascinating facts on sea life in this part of the world. Tony’s photography is a splendid mix of macro and wide-angle imagery. He has won numerous awards over the years for his photographic artistry. Join us on July 12 as we explore the Red Sea with Tony Barros’ vivid imagery and his insights on the local marine ecology.
Professor of Oceanography and Geology
Miami Dade College
Nature and Underwater Photographer
My love affair with the oceans began when I was about seven years old. My family had a house on the beautiful beach of Boca Ciega, about 30 kilometers east of Havana, Cuba. My oldest brother bought me my first set of mask; fins and snorkel all made by Cressi, and taught me to free dive. We liked lobstering and spear fishing. After watching Jacques Cousteau’s film Silent World I became spellbound by the magical world of underwater exploration and diving. For while I could not do any diving in Cuba, because the government did not allow ordinary citizens to even possess scuba gear. So I took on Spelunking. My interest in photography arose from my desire to document and show the longer, deeper and unexplored caves that my spelunking activities were taking me into. So I began borrowing my brother’s Russian made Kiev 35mm SLR camera and an old wooden tripod. As I finished my Geology degree, photography became part of my job.
Finally, I was introduced to diving and underwater exploration in 1975 by a group of French marine geologists and oceanographers that visited Cuba while I was working as a geologist for the Institute of Geology and Paleontology of the Science Academy of Cuba. It was very interesting and exciting to travel all around Cuba on a ship exploring the submerged insular shelf or “Cuban Platform” a dream came true!
In 2010 Amaury Cruz introduced me to SFUPS, I became a member and being tutored by him and Suzan Meldonian helped me a lot to improve my UW Photo skills. In 2012 I won SFUPS’s Challenger of the Year Award. In addition I won two First Place Award in the recent RSMAS Contests.
I work at Miami-Dade College, where I hold the rank of Professor. I teach Oceanography and Geology, which gives me an opportunity to describe and showcase the beauty of the Natural World as well as to warn the students about the threats it faces. Nature and Underwater photography have both provided me with a tool to document the changes taking place in the natural world. My first photography interest was Nature Photography the Landscapes and Wildlife of the National Parks. However, lately I have found myself dedicating more and more time to capturing the wonders and beauty of the underwater world, in particular the ecology of coral reefs.