Catalina Island Dive Report Jan 2010

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