Without any of the bulky equipment commonly used for breathing underwater today, the freediver relies on only her body and her mind to allow her to fully connect to the ocean surrounding her. A person's ability to remain underwater depends on their ability to hold their breath. The lack of being able to breathe is one of the key factors that separates us from the amazing underwater world. In this photo taken with my DSLR camera in an Aquatech Reflex housing, we see the freediver swimming up from the ocean's depths for a life-preserving breath of air. The 8 inch dome port on my wide-angle lens allows us to see both above and below the water, helping to define the separation of the two worlds. Above water, you can see the hills of Catalina Island from Emerald Bay, where the photo was taken. Using adobe lightroom, I helped the freediver stand out more by increasing dehaze, blacks, contrast, and other adjustments. The water's color was altered to accentuate the eye-catching emerald green of the bay's water.
There are many ways for humans to connect with the ocean. It is far more difficult for them to experience the fascinating creatures who live beneath the surface unless they are experienced divers. Dolphins, however, make this connection with sea creatures far more accessible to humans as they must regularly emerge from the water to breathe. On this particular day, the water was perfectly glassy. Out of nowhere, a pod of dolphins joined us and began surfing in the wake of our boat. I have spent many weekends observing these dolphins through my viewfinder and trying to predict their movements. On this occasion, I quickly grabbed my camera, and while leaning out over the railing off the bow, my attention focused on a young common dolphin swimming with the rest of the pod. The dolphin suddenly broke away from the others, gracefully swimming more to the side of the boat, right in front of me. Within a few seconds, I was lucky enough to capture the moment when this young common dolphin emerged from the water into our world of air. This photo needed only a few minor edits in adobe lightroom and a bit of cleaning up the water with the healing brush. It was shot with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and my 24-105mm lens.
Many people connect with the ocean through the many sports that revolve around water. They dive into the depths of the sea, swim on the surface, and surf the magnificent waves. Whichever activity they choose, they need to take the time to appreciate all that the ocean offers. The beauty of surfing is that it allows the time to pause and appreciate. While looking out and waiting for the next set, there are fabulous moments to wonder, take it all in, and connect. I was able to capture this moment of pause just after the sun had set, creating a beautiful silhouette between the ocean and the darkening sky. From our boat's dinghy, I held my camera just barely above water and used my 24-105mm lens to capture this photo.
People spend hours searching for treasures on the ocean floor. They walk the beaches finding every variation of seashells and stars that have been abandoned there by the ocean waves. They hang sea trinkets on their walls and place them on their shelves, all to showcase their connection with the ocean. In searching for and admiring these creations of nature, it is imperative to remember that they were once homes to living creatures. Their beauty wanes when they are plucked from the ocean canvas that was part of their original art. I took this photo in the marine protected area just outside of Catalina Island's Emerald Bay. With the 8 inch dome port on my wide-angle lens, we see both the snorkeler underwater and the small boat resting on the surface. The snorkeler is showing off her prized abalone shell before placing it back in the rocks down below.
Whales are fascinating creatures that people everywhere spend endless hours trying to connect with, view, study, and save. They are captivating because of their immense size, ability to breach high out of the water, and the length of time they can remain in the depths after a dive. There are many aspects of the whale's behavior that people enjoy. Everyone watches for the recognizable blow of air as they emerge from the sea and the massive dome of their back as they roll through the water, but the most anticipated movement of the whale is the dive. The tail is the last thing we see before the whale disappears for an undetermined length of time, and once those flukes submerge beneath the water, the anticipation begins to rise again. I have waited patiently to capture a whale dive on camera but was especially thrilled to get this shot. We witness the tail as it starts to lift, creating a beautiful and artistic waterfall as it says goodbye. We encountered this whale on our way to San Clemente on our family's fishing boat. With my Canon Eos 5D Mark IV, I used a 70-300mm Canon Zoom lens to appear closer to the whale.
Humans have tried for years to master the oceans in another effort to connect with them. They build structures that allow people to float on water, walk on water, and suspend over water. The pier is another example of our effort to extend our reach out into the sea. While it is a path to nowhere, its' reach is endless. The pier allows us to view the ocean from above while also creating a beautiful structure that provides a unique perspective as it disappears into the horizon. This photograph was taken at sunset of the Hermosa Pier. I used a tripod for this slow shutter shot to create the flat and glassy water effect. Quite a lot of editing was done in adobe lightroom to adjust the overexposed sky into the sunset's warm hues.