Tagged: nudibranch

Nudibranch processed with Topaz Glow Photoshop plugin

Add Electric Effects To Your Underwater Photos: A Topaz Glow Review

Topaz Glow doesn’t just leave your photos with the lights-in-the-tree twinkle. I mean, it can. But where Glow really shines (ahem) is in making an in-your-face, red-light-district, girls-girls-girls neon effect. It’s an acid trip. It’s the reflections of traffic lights at night in the rain.

And it’s so, so rad.

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Painted greenling fish and Hermissenda crassicornis nudibranch.

Photo of the Week: Painted Greenling (and a Bonus Hermissenda Nudibranch)

Those who have been following this blog for any length of time will recall that finding tiny surprise creatures in a photo is one of my favorite things in the whole world.

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Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

This Spanish Shawl is the Goldilocks of Nudibranchs

In unpredictable surge and weird currents, it’s a challenge and a half to get a Spanish Shawl photo “just right.”

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San Diego, California: Stern of the El Rey Wreck

Diving The Kelp Cutter: The El Rey Wreck

Every once in a while, we get off the beaten path a bit and dive some of the less-often-seen shipwrecks of San Diego’s Wreck Alley. El Rey is one of those wrecks: I believe I’ve (now) dove it twice in my nearly three years here. Both times, though, I’ve been blown away with how fun the []

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Diver and Sunburst

Macro Mania

I love shooting wide angle.

When the water is clear, there is nothing more gratifying than that fisheye lens and dome port. Wrecks. Kelp forests. Big animals. Coral reefs. And people. Wide angle means context, and people love context. People identify with the scene. They like seeing themselves, or people like themselves, in the frame.

When the water is clear.

But betting on clear water in San Diego is not a smart bet. So I often hedge with the macro lens.

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Point Loma Kelp, San Diego, California: Spanish Shawl (Flabellina iodinea) Nudibranch

Dreamy Nudibranch

The kelp forest can be a pretty dreamy place. The light coming through the kelp canopy has an ethereal beauty, and the gentle sway of the kelp stalks in light surge could rock you to sleep.

I wanted to capture that surreal, unearthly quality in this week’s nudibranch photos.

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backtothefuchsia

Back to the Fuchsia

Everything came together. I navigated through crappy visibility. I clambered around in surge that felt like the spin cycle. I stared at rocks until my vision focused on tiny fuchsia Spanish Shawls, my favorite nudibranch. I shed the responsibility of someone else’s good time, and all I had was my own.

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Mexichromis porterae nudibranch with Podocerus cristatus amphipod hitchhiker

Photo of the Week: The Hitchhiker

If I’d had the ocular fortitude to spot the microscopic amphipod hitchhiking a ride on this nudibranch’s back, I would have spent all damn day shooting those two little guys. However, I never even saw it until I was home, my gear was rinsed and drying, and I was on the computer, heavily cropping this shot.

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Sunset at Key West, Florida

Back in Sun Diego: Solar-powered sea critters

Yesterday, while enjoying the heat at the pool, I briefly considered the possibility that maybe I was actually solar-powered. I don’t need food anymore, I thought, All I need is warmth.

This of course was incorrect, and I shuffled my flip-flops home almost immediately thereafter and ate some soup.

But it reminded me of critters that actually are solar-powered. Sea slugs, specifically.

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Elysia crispata sea slug

Wednesday Roundup: “Vegetarian” Vampire Squid, Solar Powered Nudibranchs, and a SEA TURTLE in San Diego!

Happy New Year! In case you need a break from the endless reruns of the Rose Parade, you’re killing time until the football game starts, or you’re just plain too hung over to do anything but mindlessly click links on the Web, I’m here for you.

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Spanish-Shawl-Nudibranch-text

Obligatory End-of-Year Post (A Summary of 2013)

Because (a) It’s pretty much in the rules of blogging to make an end-of-year summary post, and (b) 2013 was full of great diving and photo ops. From technical wrecks to nudibranchs: a photographic summary of my underwater exploits in 2013.

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Anilao, Batangas, Philippines: Chromodoris magnifica nudibranch

How to Fall in Love with Nudibranchs in 12 Easy Steps

It is no secret that I love the nudibranch. But it may come as a surprise that not everyone shares my branchophile tendencies. Fortunately, I have devised a twelve-step program to convert even the most reluctant slug-lover lover into a nudi connoisseur.

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San Diego, California: Dirona picta nudibranch

Wednesday Link Roundup: Muck Diving in the Philippines, Shooting Supermacro with Wet Diopters, Diving Cleopatra’s Sunken Palace

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m spending the next week and a half in Anilao, Philippines, one of the muck diving Meccas of the world. Muck diving is so named for the muddy bottom composition at the dive site. This sediment is home to a host of exotic critters, such as nudibranchs, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, and blue ringed []

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Divers in the wheelhouse

The Ruby E: One of San Diego’s Most Richly Historied Shipwrecks

The Ruby E, one of San Diego’s premiere wrecks for divers, has a rich and colorful history. Although initially commissioned to intercept Prohibition-Era alcohol shipments on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, she also assisted in Bering Sea patrols, thwarted Japanese task forces in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, and worked as a commercial fish processing boat in Central America. She now rests in 85′ of water outside of Mission Bay.

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Diving at La Jolla Shores is like Going to the Zoo…

… In that I always seem to end up seeing one of everything. Seriously, head down there with a creature checklist and cross it off, and then ascend when you’ve seen it all. WOW, what an amazing night dive at La Jolla Shores. We went in at 8pm and dropped into about 15 feet of []

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Melibe leonina nudibranch

Melibe leonina nudibranchs are weird and awesome

Nudibranchs never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve had enough nudibranchs for, like, ever, a new one I’ve never seen before comes along and voilà, instant nudibranch love affair all over again. I’d seen the Melibe leonina nudibranch in photos but never in the flesh (in the slime?). Then we went for a shore []

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Nudibranch Gills

The Sea of Cortez is Riddled with Nudibranchs

Being the kiss of death that I am when it comes to dive trips and good conditions, I shouldn’t have been surprised when we arrived in the Sea of Cortez to find cold, green, murky, Socal-esque water. For months prior to the trip, I entertained fantasies of seeing whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, orcas, manta rays, []

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Acanthodoris rhodoceras nudibranch

New-dibranch: Acanthodoris rhodoceras

I love finding new critters I’ve never seen before. Sunday, Mat spotted this adorable tiny nudibranch in about 100 feet of water. We were diving off the Pacific Star near Blue Cavern on Catalina Island. It was a brave little thing, too; when I crash-landed into the sand next to it (oops), it retracted its little []

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Spanish Shawl nudibranch

A Sojourn with the Shawls

So I was having some issues with my strobe connection, which made my lighting situation pretty much suck, especially when it was called upon to light anything farther than 0.000000001 cm away. Incidentally, there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of sea creatures who tolerate that kind of proximity to us noisy bubble-blowers. So I opted for my old standby, the nudibranch, which either doesn’t care or can’t get away or both. And Spanish Shawls were all over the rocks. Awesome!

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Rebreather divers at the wreck of the Infidel

Tech Diving Catalina Island and the California Oil Rigs

Southern California Tech Diving with Ocean Research Group This past weekend, I attended my first Ocean Research Group technical dive trip on the Sand Dollar out to Catalina Island, California.  As a fledgling SoCal tech diver, it was pretty cool to do some “big kid” deep dives under the guidance of experienced divers and instructors. I’m also []

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20121128-IMG_0002-Edit

Curaçao: Stunning Slugs, Snails, and Worms, or… the Pretty Yucky Stuff

Christmas Tree Worm Go anywhere stateside after Thanksgiving (hell, after Halloween), and Christmas stuff is everywhere. We arrived in Curaçao Thanksgiving Day, and I don’t recall seeing anything glaringly festive. That’s OK. The only Christmas tree I needed in the Caribbean was of the worm variety. Possibly the prettiest worm ever: the Christmas Tree Worm. []

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Metridium on HMCS Yukon

Diving San Diego’s Wreck Alley and Kelp Forest

I spent Memorial Day diving with my friends at San Diego dive boat Marissa Charters in Wreck Alley and the Point Loma kelp beds. It’s always nice to be out on the boat, but Monday was amazing! We had great weather topside and pretty good visibility out on our dives!   HMCS Yukon HMCS Yukon is a []

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Making my way back to Shores-cago

Okay, that was terrible. I’m sorry. Last night was my second night back in the cold, dark waters of sunny San Diego since our return from Belize. (I have so many photos from that trip that I’m intimidated by them. Eventually they’ll get sorted and posted. Promise!) Monday night, I joined the crew of the []

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Salp chain

An Uncommon Dive at La Jolla Shores

Friday morning, I went for one last cold-water dive at La Jolla before heading out of town for the Long Beach Scuba Show and our anniversary trip to Belize. With the possible exception of last year’s squid run, this was one of the most different and interesting La Jolla Shores dives I’ve ever done. In []

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Kelp at Two Harbors, Catalina

Catalina Dive Sites: Two Harbors

The diving at Catalina Island is some of the best in Southern California–even when it’s not so great, like it was last weekend. I did four dives over two days, and found Catalina has been suffering from the same low-visibility problems as San Diego. I still had a great time! The Catalina dive sites I []

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Tube anemone at La Jolla Shores

Diving La Jolla Shores, San Diego: The Usual Suspects

I have a confession to make: It’s been weeks since my last time diving La Jolla Shores. Conditions have been less than wonderful and life has gotten in the way. This morning, a friend and I finally got back in the water (in honor of his birthday!) and had a great time. It sounds silly, []

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San Diego Nudibranchs: Hermissenda crassicornis

When the visibility gets tough, the tough find nudibranchs

San Diego Nudibranchs A swell that has been plaguing the San Diego coastline with rough surf (seemingly forever…) finally subsided late last week, just in time for our scheduled Easter Sunday boat dive. Visibility was severely compromised, though, as a result of the extended period of rough ocean conditions. The water was green and murky… []

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California kelp

The California Kelp Forest

My diving career so far has been rich with travel. I have dove all over the tropical blue waters of the Caribbean and the untouched oceans of Fiji. I’ve seen the exotic Antarctic sea creatures that migrate north to the temperate waters of Sydney, Australia, swam with the seals in the Isles of Shoals off []

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