diving

The Secret Lives of SoCal Rockfishes

With more than 100 rockfish species worldwide, about 60 live in the ocean off the SoCal coast. Some are closely related and look very much alike. Colors of the same species can vary and at least some of the fish are chameleon-like, changing color to match their surroundings. Additionally, rockfishes are evolving and forming new species at what Dr. Milton Love calls “a frightening rate.” So is it any wonder many of them are a challenge to identify? I sought out Dr. Love’s expertise and […]

Here, Fishy Fishy: How to Photograph a Fish

Own an underwater camera system and dive in California, and before long you’ll find yourself trying to create a great photograph of a fish. After all, with more than 550 species of fishes off the California coast we have a lot of great subjects. You’re practically guaranteed to have greater success if you develop a strategy for photographing fishes. I’ll share mine in this article and I encourage you to ask other photographers for their input. It’s wise to trade little bits of strategy, philosophy […]

Scuba Chef — A New Twist on an Ancient Recipe: Sheephead Ceviche

Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1 pound fresh sheephead fillet, cubed 8-9 limes, juiced 2 tomatoes, diced 4 green onions, minced 2 stalks celery, sliced ½ yellow bell pepper, diced ½ chopped fresh parsley Freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro For garnish: avocado or mango slices, corn chips, cilantro sprigs Directions: Place sheephead in a medium-sized nonmetal bowl and add lime juice, making sure the fish is completely covered with juice. Cover and refrigerator at least 4 hours or […]

What to Do With Your Image Files After Your Dive

Underwater photography involves a lot more than just making a dive and tripping the shutter. In last month’s issue I delved into the things you need to do before you dive to be sure your camera system is set up properly and functions as you expect it to. This month I am going to discuss some best practices for dealing with your digital images after your dives so you can find them, avoid losing them, and manipulate them so that your photographs look the way […]

Marine Life: Bad-Ass ‘Branchs: The Mighty Aeolids

In researching last month’s article on dorids, I finally got around to sorting my more than 370 photos of nudibranchs according to their classifications. I also looked for images for that article (on Doridacea) and this one (on Aeolidacea). The majority of nudibranchs are dorids and when the sorting was complete, that was overwhelmingly evident. I had loads of dorid images and they were of several different species. My many images of aeolids, however, were of just four species.  Aeolidacea are named for the Greek […]

Nicoise Salad, California Style

Classic Nicoise salad hails from the southeast coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. Its name means, prepared “in the style of Nice” but I’m giving it a California makeover, featuring fresh-caught local kelp bass instead of the traditional tuna, and topped with goat cheese and dried figs and savory vinaigrette dressing. I encourage you to mix it up a bit and put your own twist on this classic as I did. Be creative and enjoy this delicious summer meal that’s sure to become a […]

Those Darling Dorids: SoCal Nudies Exposed

Many underwater photographers love nudibranchs and I am not the only one with numerous images of these colorful creatures. We Southern California divers are lucky; of the more than 170 species found off the Pacific Coast, a large number live in our part of the ocean.  Most nudibranchs range in size from less than an inch to several inches long and can have unusual shapes. While a few have colors that serve as camouflage, most are flamboyant eye-catchers. They can afford to be highly visible […]

Just Ducky: Preparing Your Camera System for a Dive

You’ve probably heard this quote about achieving success, “Be like a duck on a pond; always appear calm on the surface but keep paddling like crazy underneath.” I know a lot of successful underwater photographers that can relate, but in reverse. You see, we do a large portion of our paddling on the surface — before we hit water — in order to remain calm underneath. It’s easy to focus on shooting techniques and in-water strategies. For greater success and fewer disappointments, I suggest a […]

A Rolling Stone

“A rolling stone gathers no moss.” This proverb has been around since the 1st century B.C. and as is often the case with proverbs, it’s wide open to interpretation. One way for us as divers to interpret this proverb is from the standpoint of “move it or lose it.” In order to get the best experiences out of our sport, we must keep rolling along, trying new things as we go. It’s an exciting time in the sport of scuba diving, with so many new […]

Making Sense of MPAs: A Guide to California’s Marine Protection Areas

The world’s oceans are under siege. That’s not exactly news, especially for divers. Overfishing, pollution, coastal development, habitat destruction, climate change. You name it. The oceans seem to be suffering from it. And here in California, our ocean is no exception.  Scientific studies tell us that without any significant change in commercial fishing regulations, the total tonnage of finfish and invertebrates other than squid taken commercially in California waters decreased by more than an astonishing 68 percent in the period from 1976 to 1998. In […]

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