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Atlantic Stingray

Currently on display at Carnevale Gallery in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

For years I have wanted to visit the Cayman Islands for its tropical jungle beauty, crystal blue reef waters and indigenous rum cake. But one adventure I have always cultivated in my bucket list was swimming with stingrays. Being both a photographer and a biologist, this aspiration seemed well placed. Twenty five miles out from the island, but partially surrounded by Grand Cayman as a large bay, there are vast shallow, sandy and pure water sandbars that are perfect for stingrays. Known as "Stingray City", this is where ocean lovers can mingle with marine life in three to four foot deep water. By wading among the friendly aquatic life that gather on this sandbar, you get a once-in-a-lifetime experience to get up close to some of the most magnificent marine creatures of the Caribbean: the Southern Atlantic Stingray. In preparation, I brought along my underwater camera with a large dome attached to the front to create underwater captures - definitely not as easy as it looks. I swam around and outside of the tourists to patiently compose and capture these beautiful animals moving to and from the mingling event. The sun was diving intermittently behind clouds which added exposure complications. Even in shallow water, the light needs to be bright for good shots. Many of the captures were no good at all, but my experience with other various types of photography helped my planning and expectations in this dynamic photographic environment and held my frustrations in check. In fact, when I first got all my photographic and snorkeling equipment together and sank below the water, a card error made me crawl back out onto the boat and completely undo the underwater housing and camera to address the problem - which is extremely risky on a humidity dripping, rocky and splashy small boat. But still, even with all the planning and readiness, my goal of an underwater panoramic image of an Atlantic Stingray was successful.

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

Limited Editions 25

Artist Proofs 2

Tokyo Int'l Foto Awards 2020/2021 GOLD Award

MPI Master Photo Image Challenge 2020 GOLD Awarded

World's Top 10 Landscape Photographers 2019 Bronze Award

WPE Europe Awards 2020 Silver Awarded

ViewBug Finalist in Social Exposure Photo Contest 2019

             Finalist Aquatic Animals Photo Contest 2020

I-SHOT-IT Double Mark of Excellence 2019

One Eyeland Photography Submissions 2019 Photo of the Day

YouPic Photography Submissions 2019 Inspirational Star

ePHOTOzine Photography Submissions 2019 Top Editor's Choice Award,

                   Guest Editor Award, Reader's Choice Award

ePHOTOzine 2019 Featured "How To Master Underwater

                   Photography With Our Complete Guide"

Fine Art Photography Awards Int'l FAPA 2020 Nominee in Panoramic

SINWP Living Planet Competition Honorable Mention Award 2020

BetterPhoto April & July Finalist 2020

Shoot The Frame Wildlife 2019 Finalist 2019

Siena Creative Photography Awards 2020 Shortlist Finalist

CEWE Photography Awards 2020 August Nature Winner

Int"l Photography Awards IPA 2020 Honorable Mention

Siena Int'l Photography Awards 2021 Shortlist Finalist

14th Color Awards 2021 Honorable Mention Wildlife

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craig bill photography 2021