Back from Baja…

I’ve been back from Baja for about a week now and have been slammed with shoots, print requests and the everything else that kept moving right along while I was shooting in the Pacific.  I have learned over the years to hold on to precious images until the timing is right… until the editing is just right, and the accompanying text is “just right.”

The gasp of a loggerhead sea turtle fighting for the surface…

But thanks to my amazing wife Christine, I have also learned that I am a perfectionist… and sometimes the timing is never ideal.  With that said… everyone keeps asking to see some of the images from Mexico.  I wanted to hold off because there’s an important story here that even I didn’t fully comprehend until I was there… seeing the effort, the waste, smelling the smells and witnessing the hope of some incredibly dedicated researchers.

After wrestling the turtle aboard, it is weighed.

Turtle skull on shell… and sadly there’s hundreds more in every direction.

With the important disclaimer that there IS an amazing story and many more interesting images “in the vault” that will be released as soon as I come up for air, I offer up a little taste of what’s to come.  Stay tuned.  And to Hoyt and the team down in Baja… thank you for the opportunity… more is on the way.

Hauling the remains off the beach.

Another stranded turtle is discovered.

Note: wild sea turtles are not happy when caught, and despite the tranquility of this scene… that turtle was mad, and has it’s mouth open to defend itself against foolish photographers who dare come too close.

Once caught, scientists weigh, tag, measure and take blood samples.

About to be released…

The turtle cemetery.  The Mexican government didn’t quite believe researchers when shown evidence that turtles were being killed at such an incredibly high rate.  Mass graves are used to document the numbers of turtles killed.  All these turtles died during my one week visit.

Who says biologists can’t tear it up?

Shark fins drying at a subsistence fishing village.

Those wonderful Mexican smiles…

After 12 hours out on the boat… the fishermen clean their catch for 4 more hours.  Everyday.  (everyday).

Local girl.

“Rodeo” is the act of cruising in a boat at 10 knots until a turtle is spotted, and then jumped on before being wrestled onto the boat for study.  Here’s Hoyt showing All Star Rodeo form.

The release.

 

The Mexican Press Pool… covering the Governor’s crowning of the Turtle Beauty Queen.  Had to take it!

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  • August 13, 2008 - 1:03 pm

    Lucy - Vibrant and Powerful. What a story- what a life these turtles and fishers lead. Keep us updated about this, I had no idea it was going on!ReplyCancel

  • August 15, 2008 - 7:42 am

    Meg - I had no idea this was going on either. The pictures are so amazing and some are so sad…

    It has to be hard to see this on a daily basis, but it’s great that these guys are trying to make a difference. It takes pretty special people to devote their lives to a cause like this. Thanks for sharing these with us.ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2008 - 8:24 am

    Gretchen Stein - Spectacular photos that work on both levels: as beautiful and powerful images and as first-rate photojournalism, telling and supporting the important story here. I’m very impressed. What is the intended final use for all of this?ReplyCancel

  • August 27, 2008 - 6:11 am

    brianwedge - Thanks everyone for the support and great comments! The intended final use is to spread awareness of the situation. Undoubtedly there will be magazine articles published soon and possibly an exhibition at some point. More than anything though, I just didn’t want to sit on the sidelines when I knew that this story wasn’t being told…

    More is coming (I promise!!)ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2008 - 1:55 pm

    clarissa - Can you lead a trip back there for the rest of us? These are amazing- what a story and amazing pictures!ReplyCancel

  • October 24, 2008 - 3:24 pm

    yvette lloyd - Hi Brian; Dont know if you remember me but we worked together at Bowdoin in th Admissions Office. My daughter-in-law was at your presentation last night and sent me your pictures – amazing!
    You’re a great photographer – and I had no idea that this was happening to turtles.
    Erika, my daughter in law – also graduated from Bowdoin’97.
    My best to you and your family.
    YvetteReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2009 - 9:58 pm

    nicole cook - Hi. I came here after reading your siter’s update. Im so happy for Lea and its obvious that she has you as a huge supporter. Ive been following her Caringbridge for sometime now. My mom was dx with AML July 2006, then relasped, and had a stem cell transplant in Aug. 2008. So far so good. I loved viewing your photos, they are Awesome!! Im getting married this summer, so it was fun to look at your wedding photos.. Keep up the good work, nicoleReplyCancel

  • January 13, 2009 - 1:39 pm

    brianwedge - Hey Nicole! Thanks for your kind words and our thoughts are with you and your mom. We know how hard it can be, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
    BriReplyCancel

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