The Art of Kelp III
I never get tired of photographing giant kelp underwater. The golden blades and smooth bulbs create amazing contrasts and patterns.
Through a Kelp Window
While SCUBA diving on San Clemente Island off southern California, I got extrememly close to this giant kelp plant and used the curving blades to frame the side of the photo. The repeating patterns of the kelp floats runs diagonally across the frame with the blue ocean waters in the background.
Art of Kelp #2
The giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, glows a golden hue off San Clemente Island
Two sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, inspect the camera in a giant kelp forest off San Clemente Island. Southern California is home to the Channel Islands, where the temperate reefs and kelp forests are home to an amazing biodiversity of marine life.
Giant kelp glows golden on Catalina Island off the southern California coast.
Southern California's Kelp Forests #2
The kelp forests of southern California, especially along the offshore Channel Islands, are a host to an abundance of life. Here, a Garibaldi swims past a large gorgonian sea fan.
Portrait of a Giant Kelpfish
A macro undewater portrait of a giant kelpfish in the kelp forest off Pyramid Cove on San Clemente Island of the California Channel Islands.
A Classic View
Lush underwater kelp forest off the coast of San Clemente Island in California's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Kelp Forest and the Sheephead #1
The kelp forests of southern California, especially along the offshore Channel Islands, are a host to an abundance of life. Here, a California sheephead, a type of wrasse, swims towards the camera.
Window Pane #1
The kelp forests of southern California, especially along the offshore Channel Islands, are a host to an abundance of life. The steep walls of an underwater pinnacle off San Clemente Island are lined with orange, red, and yellow gorgonian sea fans.
The garibaldi is California's state marine fish. As it grows from a juvenile to an adult, it loses its brilliant blue spots and eventually becomes solid orange.
California Sea Lion Swarm
A deep pinnacle dive off San Miguel Island meant little time on the bottom, but to my delight, the safety stop in shallow water was full of curious sea lions frolicking about.
Spanish Shawl Nudibranch #1
I waited for over twenty minutes to make this underwater macro image of a spanish shawl nudibranch. The surge of the Pacific ocean made this little sea slug sway back and forth and was only still for a short period of time. It's purple body and orange cerrata make for a colorful contrast.
The Art of Kelp
The floats and blades of the giant kelp plant make for great artistic images against a dark background. A combination of strobe technique and camera angle allowed me to get a black background for the illuminated kelp to stand apart from.
Pacific Electric Ray #1
The kelp forests of southern California, especially along the offshore Channel Islands, are a host to an abundance of life. Here, an electric ray swims over a red gorgonian sea fan of the coast of Santa Barbara Island.
Diver in Sea Cave #1
A SCUBA diver swims through a large underwater sea arch on San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. Red sea fans, or gorgonians, sway in the current catching planktonic food as it passes by.
Wykoff Ledge Reef #1
Lobster Pair #1
California spiny lobster hunker down in a hole in the reef off San Clemente Island in southern Califoria.
Wkykoff Ledge Reef #2
Cabezon Portrait #1
Cabezon are a type of scorpionfish relying on camouflage for protection and ambush predation. This allows them to often be an easy subject for underwater SCUBA divers to photograph.
Feather Duster Worms #1
Feather duster worms can be difficult to photograph underwater as they will retreat into their tubes when they sense light or pressure or are touched. These large polychaetes didn't seem to notice me as I got up close and made this image on Santa Cruz Island.
The kelp forests of southern California, especially along the offshore Channel Islands, are a host to an abundance of life. Here, a giant kelpfish does its best imitation of a blade of kelp off San Clemente Island.
California Scorpionfish #1
California scorpionfish often rely on camouflage and will sit still and allow a close approach. This red fish was fooling no one and I was able to take this macro photo while SCUBA diving on San Clemente Island.
Underwater Kelp Forest Self Portrait
While SCUBA diving in the beautiful kelp forests of San Clemente Island, I decide to turn the camera around and take a selfie, or self portrait. The temperate reefs in the southern Channel Islands are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Garibaldi Portrait #1
Close up portrait underwater photo of a Garibaldi damselfish off San Clemente Island in southern California. This bright orange fish is territorial and will often come in for a closer look.