Catalina Dive Report & Underwater Photos

Jan 30th, 2010

 

We had some excellent diving and underwater photography at Catalina Island in the Channel Islands, Southern California yesterday in Jan 2010.

 

Good photo subjects for macro and wide-angle, great friends on the boat and decent visibility all made for a great day in and out of the water.

 

 

 

Our first two dives were at Ship rock, where I shot wide-angle. Vis was variable at 30-40ft, water temp 57 at all depths. Many blacksmith, opaleye and lingcod were out, although I didn't see any nudibranchs. Two tech-divers who joined us did a 3-hour dive on rebreathers, wow.

 

close-focus wide angle underwater photo, starfish and diver

Dive buddy with Starfish. Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens at 17mm, F11, ISO 200, 6 inch dome port almost touching starfish.

 

backlit seafan underwater

12mm, F8, 1/160th, ISO 250, side/backlighting with strobes out wide

 

underwater photography of lingcod

17mm focal length, F9, 1/80th, continuous focus mode. This large lingcod was swimming towards me fast, unexpectedly. Luckily I was in continuous focusing mode, so as soon as I pressed the shutter the camera fired.

 

catalina kelp underwater photography

15mm, F13, 1/320th, ISO 250, right strobe in close and back, left strobe out wide. Three Norris Top Snails on giant kelp.

 

 

schooling blacksmith underwater at catalina island

Schooling blacksmith. 15mm focal length, F10, 1/80th, ISO 250

 

wide angle kelp underwater photograph

Two Norris Top-snails on kelp & scuba diver. 14mm, F11, 1/320th

 

Our last dive was near Little Geiger, where I used my longer macro lens. I found 4 pikeblennies and 3 mantis shrimp, what a great dive! We also saw an incredible crab that looked like brown algae.

 

pikeblenny underwater photography

Pikeblenny, selective focus on her head. Nikon 105mm lens, F9, 1/320th, ISO 250. Strobes out wide to reduce backscatter.

 

pikeblenny underwater photo at catalina island

Colorful pikeblenny in a worm parchment tube. F13, 1/320th, ISO 250

 

california mantis shrimp underwater

Colorful mantis shrimp, pushing a shell out of it's hole. F16, 1/320th

 

mantis shrimp eyes underwater

Mantis shrimp eyes. F16, 1/320th, ISO 250. Front-lighting, strobes in close

 

Many thanks to my excellent dive buddies Dana, K-Man and Walt, my other friends who joined us on the boat, and great fills, food and service on the Sea Bass.
 

Further Reading

 

Diving Catalina Island

Diving the Channel Islands

Close-focus Wide-angle underwater photography

Underwater strobe lighting - front and back lighting

Underwater strobe positioning

 

Comments

I find myself hypnotised,

I find myself hypnotised, starting into the eyes of the mantis shrimp... "look into my eyes..." Really love the photo looking up the kelp to three top snails. Very cool! Love the pike blenny face with the blurred background, too. Those critters blend in so well with the surrounding. - Dana (SeekNCritters) :-)

Glad to see someone got out

Glad to see someone got out diving this weekend! Looks like conditions were still good at Catalina.

Scott
http://underpressurephoto.com

Hated seeing the lingcod

Hated seeing the lingcod perched on the awful exotic Sargassum filicinum... very cool on the pikeblennies!! Dr. Bill

Excellent Report! Especially

Excellent Report! Especially like the artistic lighting on the second shot from the top. The color burst off the Gorgonian and Kelp is perfect. ~FrankPro1