Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Steve Drogin Memorial Service

Steve Drogin's memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 29th at The Robert Paine Scripps Center for Oceanography at Scripps Institute in La Jolla, San Diego, California.

If you would like to write to his beloved wife, Hiro or his family, please send your message to his son, Mike Drogin, or to Hiro at home: Hiro Drogin, 5410 Pacifica Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Mike and Hiro also told me that if you live in Kona and would like to do something for them, instead of sending flowers to San Diego, please make a donation on behalf of Steve Drogin payable to: Holualoa Foundation For Arts & Culture, and let them know that you made a donation to them. 

I know that Steve put a lot of his effort and funds into this local charity for people of Kona to promote art & humanity in this small community, so I'm sure he'll be pleased if you make a donation to them.

If you have any questions, please contact me.  Thanks.

Masa Ushioda

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wildlife Photographer Steve Drogin Passes Away

The day started out with a bad news in the morning. My wife broke her heels at work, and asked me to bring another pair. I don't know in the US, but in Japan, traditionally breaking shoes is considered as a serious bad luck, a sure sign of something bad to happen - usually someone very close gets hurt or even dies.

Wildlife photographer Steve Drogin and his wife Hiro along with photographer, Masa Ushioda, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Just as I left my house to deliver another pair of heels to my wife, my friend Susan called and told me that Steve Drogin died of a heart attack in India. I was shocked and couldn't believe such bad news as I was just talking to him a couple days ago via emails.

In his messages he said he's been having a fantastic time in India with Hiro despite the unbearable heat. He sent me a lot of Elephant Festival pictures, too. We were also talking about making a trip together to Cocos Islands for hammerhead shark shooting, etc. as I was telling him about my recent hammerhead shark encounters in Kona.

Wildlife photographer Steve Drogin and Masa Ushioda, Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

My wife is also a good friend of Steve's wife, Hiro, so she immediately called her cell phone but got no answers.

He was a great man, a successful business man, an excellent photographer, an awesome family man, a caring husband to Hiro. I spent a lot of time with him on my boat, so it is very sad to see another one of my boat buddies go so soon after Jim Watt.

To me he was a good promoter and motivator as well as a good friend. Whenever he's around town, we got together and had dinner together talking about his next adventures and photography. He always encouraged me to meet more people and to go to more photo trips.

He left me a big photography to-do list and now I will have to do it without him or his help. I'll miss you, Steve.

Masa Ushioda

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Pictures 0904 Stock Photo Gallery - Be the First to Publish!

I had a good encounter with rough-toothed dolphins, Steno bredanensis, on the other day. It was the day I've been waiting for a long time. I was able to spend hours hanging out with those magical friendly dolphins. Complete behind-the-scene story is posted here: Rough-toothed Dolphin Echolocation - I Was Scanned Thoroughly!

Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, are from this season. Actually all from a single breaching day!  The color pattern of the young humpback whale was very interesting like pinstripes. Never seen anything like it before. Breaching story on the rough day at ocean is posted here: Humpback Whale in Pinstripes Breaching.

New Pictures 0904 - Stock Photo Gallery - Images by Masa Ushioda