Eye of hawksbill turtle
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Saturday January 25, 2014

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Tony Rath
Editorial, assignment & stock photography from Belize. Pictures, images and photos of nature, people, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker & San Igacio, Cayo. Tony Rath is a professional photographer based along the shore of the Caribbean Sea in the picturesque town of Dangriga, Belize. He is a trained marine biologist and has worked as a diver and underwater photographer for the Smithsonian Institution; diving on oil rigs off California; and captaining a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Mediterranean and North Seas. He founded, along with his wife Therese, Naturalight Productions, Belize's premiere Internet marketing company. He now leads the special projects division of the company. The company created and manages numerous award winning websites.
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Eye of hawksbill turtle

" ... Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself... ”

Sometimes good things come from adversity - testing your strength and stamina, learning life lessons, making new friends, or creating something you had no plans to create.

Last weekend, the University of Belize's Environmental Research Institute invited me to their research station at Calabash Caye on Turneffe Island Atoll to document their monthly coral species and bleaching transects and to night dive with the hope of witnessing coral spawning. The weather, plain and simple, sucked. Rain, wind, and yes, cold made working a camera on multiple dives a challenge. In one word, I would describe the water visibility the same way I described the weather.

Fortunately, I packed my macro lens and port, so decided to concentrate on the small things that make our Barrier Reef so special. Usually I have an idea of the quality of images I am producing on any given shoot; but I was taken by surprise at what I saw during my first edit back in the office. Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the images, leaving you to guess what it is I am showing you.

During the end of one of my dives, when my air supply was dive ending low (of course), my body cold and tired, and my strobes taking longer to recycle, one of the researchers spotted a hawksbill turtle lying on the bottom at about 65 feet. Of course, with my macro lens on I didn't feel I had a shot, but still I slowly approached the docile creature till his/her eye filled the frame.

I never checked the image in camera, and when I saw this image back in the office, the eye of the turtle immediately reminded me of a quote I read long ago - not sure who to attribute it to, but it stuck with me ...

" ... Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself...”

Photograph by Tony Rath

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