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Video: DPG Expedition Report, Socorro
By Jason Heller, April 6, 2009 @ 01:00 AM (EST)

The first of our DPG underwater photography & video expeditions for 2009 was to the Revillagigedos Archipelago, more commonly called Socorro, known for its large resident groups of friendly giant Pacific manta rays. Also on the expedition agenda were humpback whales, dolphins, and sharks.

The Revillagigedos Archipelago, located in the eastern Pacific Ocean approximately 250 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is comprised of three islands. Well, actually two islands and a rock tin the middle of the open ocean. San Benedicto & Socorro Island are actual land masses, while Roca Partida is a pinnacle that breaks the surface, 65 miles from Socorro.

I've compiled a quick video of the highlights from our trip, both underwater and topside, with images from many of the expedition participants and myself (we aad also posted a pre-trip coverage page from Cabo). We had a really great group and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to spend nine days on the ocean with. The Solmar V was well equipped for our  excessive amount of underwater photo & video gear and our nightly  image review sessions and seminars. Congrats to all the participants for the great images and video captured during the week.

 

San Benedicto, Socorro
Volcanic San Benedicto Island, home to large groups of manta raysHumpback Whale Calf - Socorro
We planned the expedition around humpback whale calving season. They were all around us
topside. Underwater we could hear their beautiful songs on many dives. But underwater
encounters were ellusive. A small group of us had one lucky encounter on snorkels. Here the
baby leviathan is escorted to the surface by its mother, shot from a distance.
Manta Ray, Socorro
One of the giant manta rays of San Benedicto IslandWhite Tip Sharks - Socorro
White tip sharks appear to be snuggling in this small cavern on Roca Partida. Underwater Bubble Reflection Photo
A reflection of a divers getting into a panga above me. You can see the reflection of my
strobe arms and TTL converter too.
Underwater boobie
An inquisitive boobie peeks below the surface to check out the underwater photographer belowSchooling sharks -Socorro
Hammerheads, silkys and galapagos sharks all schooling together just outside the fringe of
visability. It's a beautiful sight to see considering the plight of sharks today.
Hogfish & Coral
The first diving day was photographically uneventful and I resorted to shooting some reef fish.
The big stuff was staying outside of photographic range -
big animal photography is hit or miss.
However, there was at least one manta, a few hammerheads, and a pair of dolphins on every dive.
Underwater Photographer, Victor Zucker
Victor Zucker - focused and ready for some underwater photography actionUnderwater Video - Roca Partida
Geoffrey with his underwater video rig at depth against the backdrop of Roca Partida's vertical wallSunset at Roca Partida, Socorro
Sunset at Roca PartidaSunrise at Cabo San Lucas
I had included this image in our pre-trip coverage from Cabo, but I love it - so here it is again -
Sunrise at Cabo San Lucas
Common Dolphins Cabo San Lucas
A pair of what must have beeen several hundred common dolphins that intercepted us during our crossing back to Cabo San Lucas. It was quite a sight and the perfect way to end a great trip.DPG Expedition Socorro Group
The wonderful group from the DPG Socorro Expedition

 

 

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Kay Burn Lim
Apr 6, 2009 4:30 AM
Kay Burn Lim wrote:
Incredible photos Jason! Sounds like a trip of a lifetime! I definitely need to go on one of these trips someday. Congrats to all the participants!
margo sanchez
Apr 6, 2009 7:33 PM
margo sanchez wrote:
This is truly incredible...the video makes you feel like you are there and boy...do I wish I was there! The pictures are spectacular, my favorite being: A reflection of a divers getting into a panga above me. You can see the reflection of my strobe arms and TTL converter too. The amount of camera equipment on board was incredible! Thanks for sharing!!!
Scuba Diver Girl Margo
Nancy Boucha
Apr 7, 2009 11:53 PM
Nancy Boucha wrote:
Great shots!!! The colors and sharpness really pop off the screen. What are your tricks?
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