You Would Never Guess Anything Was Amiss

Since my last post, I have been spending more time out on Tampa Bay attempting to document its present state, including some of the marine life now in the area.  This has been one way of addressing my growing sense of concern about the future health of our local waters as today marks day 71 since the beginning of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  In one sense, this terrible situation has elevated my desire to get out and enjoy the local marine environment.  On the other hand, I find it rather sad that something as monumentally disastrous as this would be the impetus behind my wish to document my own back yard.

In any event, I have been taking regular boat trips out to Egmont Key (click here for more info), snorkeling around the old gun battery ruins on the southwest side of the island and photographing anything that happens to capture my attention.  Some days I have been drawn to the bait fish schooling around the structure.  On other days it has simply been the colorful soft corals or the little crustaceans desperately trying to stay out of sight.  Here is a random collection of images from these latest efforts:

Egmont Key Area – Images by James White

For those of you living outside of Florida, I can only imagine it is easy to envision the entire Gulf Coast as an ecological disaster area.  Fortunately, I can tell you that as of today such is not the case for this part of the Gulf Coast.  As far as I have read the oil has still only made it as far east as the Florida Panhandle.  The water here on the central Gulf Coast of Florida is still as beautiful as ever and the fish seem healthy and plentiful.  The oil spill certainly has me contemplating the potential range of damage that may end up impacting this area in the future.  Depending on winds, currents and tropical systems we may or may not see a direct hit from the oil.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the long-term effects of this spill are likely to be significant for the entire Gulf of Mexico regardless of whether the oil ever directly affects this area.  After seeing the incredible amount of life existing in one small area potentially in danger, now more than ever, I hope that I am wrong on this point.

Until next time, take care.


P.S. – Please click here if you would like to view a portfolio of my Underwater Images.

29 Responses to “You Would Never Guess Anything Was Amiss”

  1. Forest says:

    Jimmy awesome work and good words. Particularly like the shot of the egret on the pier watching the fish bellow.

  2. Mac says:

    Jimmy — Charlie pointed me to your site. Really excellent photos. It’s great to see someone going after it!

  3. Charlie says:

    really enjoyed the photos. My favorite was the snowy egret with the bait below. I have only seen the water clarity this good once several years ago.
    I think gretchen should do a show with this water theme. Maybe yours exclusive. want to see more on large prints.

  4. Jen says:

    Wonderful shots! I’m sorry I haven’t commented before now, but I really, really enjoy your blogs and pictures! Keep them coming.

  5. Kerri says:

    thank you for sharing this profound and significant work, jimmy!! it is refreshing to hear that the waters and wildlife are thriving there and i think it is exceedingly more and more important to inform people of the magic to be protected. beautiful work!

  6. Bev Gering says:

    Jimmy, most amazing photos and so beautiful!!

  7. Maria Fraraccio says:

    Jimmy, beautiful work! Thank you for exposing our beautiful waters to those that aren’t close enough to see for themselves how gorgeous our gulf waters are. Let us know when you are in that area again, we go to Ft. DeSoto most weekends with the boat!

  8. SACS says:

    Jimmy great work!!! I love the feeling I get while viewing your images. Soothing!!! Thank you for sharing your amazing passion:)

  9. preston says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    i was looking forward to your next post. this one is even more compelling than the others. each photo seems to represent a world unto itself or in the case of the egret and heron, blended worlds — microcosms within the cosmos — each one so vital, fragile and urgent. thanks again!

  10. Lee says:

    Wow, great pictures Gum! You really can’t imagine anything is amiss looking at such beauty. I pray it will stay as beautiful for future generations. You are doing some amazing work.

  11. Mindy says:

    Jimmy, Your photos are at a new level and it is wonderful. I also have a great appreciation for your writing skills and ability to draw people in to your story! Are you going to Missoula at all this summer?

    • Jimmy White says:

      Mindy, I will say the same about your photography and writing skills. Unfortunately, Missoula is not on the schedule this summer. Perhaps Next??? Hope all goes well for you.

  12. Mike Reems says:


    Really like these photos. Bait is cool. Particularly like egret (?) looking down at bait with bait visible below. Close ups of reef fish & crab awesome.

  13. Emily Murphy says:

    I agree, your photos are beautiful, and I hope you can continue to capture the beauty of our “backyard” for many years to come!

  14. David says:


    Good stuff as always. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Gulf workin and playin. The Gulf towns in the oil spill area will never be the same for a loooooooong time to come. I’m glad I got to visit some of the area a while back in its pure form. Glad to see your still on the move with a camera in hand. Travel safe and stay thirsty my friend…

    Oh yea, I didn’t take the job in Florida… Decided to head back to Missoula for a few months!!! Stay in touch…


  15. Cheryl says:

    Wow Jimmy. Your photos have jumped to a whole new level. So exciting. I wish my fiddle playing would do that. I sure share your sentiments about our beautiful gulf. I’ve never seen it any prettier than it is right now.