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The Element of Surprise - Carmel, California | by Jim Patterson Photography
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The Element of Surprise - Carmel, California

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I know I've been MIA recently, but summer is a busy time. Between the 40 hour/week job and the photography gig, I haven't been out shooting much. The central California coast during summer can be pretty mundane and uninspiring for topside, coastal shots as well. Yeah, it's a flimsy excuse, but often valid.


However, the dive conditions can allow me to dip below the surface, as summer is often calm enough to go out most days. The water clarity can be a bit snotty, but on a day like today, it really wasn't too bad!


What I find both inspiring and frustrating at the same time, however, is the element of surprise. One never knows what encounters will be had when out diving. It's something that keeps bringing me back for more.


What will I shot today? Wide angle or macro? I often joke about all the "dolphins, whales, mantas, and whale sharks" we'll see. (Note: mantas and whale sharks don't live in the kelp forests, so the chances of seeing them is, well, zero). And in all the years of diving, I have only seen dolphins underwater a handful of times, and as for whales, well, I've been lucky enough to see one. Yep, just one.


So today, we had jellies. There were small ones, big ones, but mostly they were the egg yolk jellies in my photo. I don't think I took a single photo of the reef, I was having so much fun swimming through the kelp and composing these jellies!


Nikon D300

Tokina 10-17mm fisheye @ 10mm

1/250sec @ f8, ISO 200

Aquatica Housing and Megadome Port

Sea & Sea YS-110 and YS-90 DX strobes on manual power

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Taken on July 26, 2009