The Colors Of Curacao

19 06 2009

We just returned from the 2009 Curacao Dive Festival, where I was invited by the Curacao Tourism Board to present several underwater photography seminars during the week-long event. This was my first time back in the Caribbean in many years, having traveled extensively to  Southeast Asia, mainly Indonesia,  since 2003. I have to say that I forgot how much fun the Caribbean is. Curacao has great diving, some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, amazing landscapes and off roading, rich culture, and is generally just a fun island. I highly recommend it.




Underwater Geisha – Part 3

4 05 2009

Another image from the “Underwater Geisha” series. This is one of my favorite images of 2009 so far.  I enjoy pushing underwater photography as far as it can go. Stay tuned for more…

© Jason Heller

Underwater Geisha – Part 2

1 05 2009

Image #2 of the “Underwater Geisha” series – a beautiful underwater reflection.© Jason Heller

Underwater Geisha – Part 1

30 04 2009

I’ve recently been working with this fantastic model in NYC, Masae. We will be working on a series on underwater conceptual shoots, here is part one of a small series that I have informally been calling “Underwater Geisha”.

Underwater Geisha - Jason Heller

The Perfect Underwater Reflection

10 04 2009

I always set out to create unique images, which as any photographer knows, particularly underwater – is easier said than done. To me what sets aside a iconic image from a great image is the uniqueness factor. Sometimes when the opportunity presents itself, the split second decisions you make can create that unique image, and on my expedition to Socorro, I had one of those moments and created the perfect reflection image.


The image is a reflection in a bubble of divers above me getting into the panga. What I particularly enjoy about this image is that you can see the details of the ripples of the ocean surface above and also the snell’s window created by the refraction of light underwater. You can also see the reflection of me and my strobe arms on the near edge of the bubble.

Scuba Diving Magazines Consolidate Under Bonnier Corp

19 12 2008

sd-logo06Yesterday, Bonnier Corp, the parent of Sport Diver magazine, where I am a staff photographer & author of the IMAGES column, acquired Scuba Diving magazine.  This is big news in the world of scuba diving and underwater photography.  Scuba Diving magazine, for many years owned by Rodale and now F+W, has been an iconic title for some time. As is happening all around us, the new media era has allowed only the absolute strongest to survive and to a degree forced the consolidation of yet another category.  About 5 years ago another iconic dive magazine Skin Diver had folded, and Sport Diver subsequently acquired the remaining assets of their brand and customer lists.

We are observing the result of massive changes in consumer media consumption. Even the niche categories, once protected from the shorter terms shift to digital media, are being affected. The down economy and large infrastructure of primarily print-based media companies have been colliding lately. Unless you live under a rock, you would have heard that even Tribune, the largest newspaper conglomerate in the US, owners of titles such as the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, recently filed for bankruptcy. The print media business is in a state of flux. Many publishers have heard the chants but ignored the mantra of “evolve or die”. We are watching history unfold in so many ways.

On a positive note – congrats to the team at Bonnier and at Sport Diver for a job well done, and for maintaining a position of dominance in an evolving market. I am proud to be involved with the team at Sport Diver.


Digital Workflow Seminar in New York

20 08 2008

I’m presenting a digital work flow presentation to the New York Underwater Photographic Society on Sept 2nd. Although the seminar is geared towards underwater photographers, it focuses on issues and approaches that are common for all digital photographers. More information can be found on the NYUPS website.

Recently I have become a huge fan of Lightroom. The 2.0 release really stepped up the software and it has become my primary workflow and editing tool. Granted, there are still plenty of reasons to go into Photoshop, but I’d say that 75% of my work is now being done in Lightroom.

For me, the less time I can sit in front of a computer editing and the more time I can focus on shooting, the better. I have a 5 minute rule. Basically it goes a little something like this…If in 5 minutes you can’t get your image to 80% of where you ultimately want it to be, then it was not captured properly in the first place. Of course the additional 20% may take a lot longer, but I’ve found that the 5 minute rule is a good one.  Like most things in life, photo editing follows the Pareto Principle (aka “the 80/20 rule”).

The seminar will focus on the steps of workflow from capture through backup, displaying or selling your images.