Honorable Mention Compact Wide Angle Ocean Art 2018 Jon Anderson

Honorable Mention Compact Wide Angle

Jon Anderson

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

"Sea Nettle Soup"



The Story: Diving in thick Pacific sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens) is an unforgettable experience but it also can be somewhat painful.  Exposure gear necessary for diving in Monterey’s temperate waters protect all but your face and lips from the painful but typically harmless sting of sea nettles.  After several years of absence, sea nettles started showing up in Monterey again in mid-2017 and stuck around through late 2018.  During that time, I was fortunate to get numerous opportunities to dive with and photograph the nettles. This particular afternoon when two buddies and I decided to visit Metridium Fields we quickly found out that the nettle bloom was insanely dense that day.  We crawled along the sand, following a large submerged pipe (remnant from Monterey’s cannery days) toward the Metridium Fields, attempting to protect our faces and stay beneath the dense nettles.  After nearly aborting the dive several times due to the thickening nettles, we were relieved to find a thin layer of nettle free water when we arrived at the Metridium Fields.  Though many of the Giant plumose anemones (Metridium farcimen) were closed, I was happy to find a few that were open.  Horizontal framing just wasn’t giving me the drama I was going for, so I decided to shoot vertical. After dialing the ambient exposure and framing the shot, I had to play with strobe positions to reduce backscatter in nutrient rich emerald green water.  With only a handful “jellyfish kisses” we were all smiles after diving in this beautiful smack of sea nettles off the California coast!

Location:  Metridium Fields, Monterey, California, USA

Equipment Used: Canon G7X, Nauticam housing, Nauticam WWL-1, Inon Z-240 Strobes

Settings: F5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO 400



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