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Best Of 2010 (January 1st - December 30th, 2010)

Tito Dupret

Refectory of the Nuns

Richard C. Drew

Shipwreck of the Buccaneer

Bottom of Lake Michigan, miles off Chicago, Illinois, USA

July 3, 2010, 2:00 pm CST

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© 2010 Richard C. Drew, All Rights Reserved.



I was a SCUBA diver for over 25 years, and instructed SCUBA for 20 years. Unfortunately I had to stop diving a few years back, but still maintain an interest in diving. So when a friend started diving then became interested in underwater photography, I started talking about shooting underwater panoramas. It took a couple of years, but eventually we started the project. We sat down, designed the basics of an underwater panoramic head, and Jason Wessler (my diving friend – from basic to Divemaster in two years) fabricated it from scratch. After a few test panos, design changes, more test shots, one redesign and some tweaking, the pano head was ready for use. Our goal is to shoot virtual tours of the most popular shipwrecks in Lake Michigan.

This pano is of the Buccaneer, a ship sank in 2010 as an artificial reef and dive attraction. It’s part of a virtual tour of the ship that’s being created over a three year period. It’s also linked to a complete tour I shot before she sank. So you can “stand” on the deck above the water, or float over the same spot underwater.

The diver seen over the top of the wheelhouse is actually a "piece of art" not a diver. Most people consider it a piece of something, just not art.

Jason shot the photos and I stitched and post-processed the images. See our websites for more information and panoramas.

A "little planet" version of this photo was featured in the November 2010 issue of Sport Diver Magazine.

We post our project at DigitalDivemaster.com and are adding new images when possible. It's time consuming and expensive, so will take a few years to complete.

DiveTheBuccaneer.com is our complete virtual tour of the shipwreck, before and after sinking. We're also adding images throughout the dive season to complete the underwater portions.

DigitalDivemaster.com also has photos and details on the custom pano head. Soft steel, aluminum and a car part are just some of the items used.

Jason is also traveling to Bonaire and some other popular tropical destinations. He plans on taking the pano head (it weighs almost 30 lbs) with him. So, hopefully, we'll have some panoramas of tropical waters as well.


USA-Canada / USA-Illinois

Lat: 41° 54' 53.96" N
Long: 87° 32' 46.27" W

Elevation: -70

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Low. Intentionally hazy, due to privacy concerns.


Canon EOS XSi
Tamron 10-24mm lens
Sea & Sea Underwater Housing and dome port
Bogen tripod
Custom fabricated pano head
PhotoShop CS

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