• I'd like to see some macro action right here :) - Ryan Eng
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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

Autopsea, MrLob, ☆Sushil☆, and 494 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. acastellano 48 months ago | reply

    Ethereal and exquisite.

  2. FrogfishPhotos 48 months ago | reply

    Bite me, this is a great photo!

    Seen in Orca Divers Underwater Photography

  3. WrenBirdsMommy 47 months ago | reply

    ....but WOW!!!! Was all that worth it!!!!!!

  4. Lightbender 45 months ago | reply

    Fabulous shot! So artful my first impression was of an image composited from two, but to think you encountered this sight in your dive is so wonderful. Great capture!

  5. jennifer jiang. 44 months ago | reply

    love the composition, how the kelp converge towards the sky. wow!

  6. Len Radin 44 months ago | reply

    Seen in the 490-499 discussion group of the 400+ group. Already faved. I love your work and as a scuba diver I particularly like this one. Previously faved.

  7. Mangini Adalberto & Laura - sorry busy - few time 44 months ago | reply

    superb and elegant!

    Amazing capture and work!

    Meeting at Nebrownii Waterhole

    Thanks for sharing your masterpiece here!
    *Scenics & Wilderness* Gallery (Invite Only)

  8. shadowshador 43 months ago | reply

    Awesome shot.

  9. Steve-h 43 months ago | reply

    I saw this in the 400+ Faves group and Faved it.

  10. rob.Forte 37 months ago | reply

    oh god, it's amazing

  11. bill morgan1 37 months ago | reply

    this is my favorite jelly of all time.

  12. gebodogs 36 months ago | reply

    This is one of my favorite jellyfish photos ever. The light and the kelp really set it apart. I Love it. It makes me feel peaceful.

  13. Zack Schnepf 35 months ago | reply

    Fantastic Jim!
    I saw this in the 400+ Faves group and Faved it.

  14. Anders Hoft 31 months ago | reply

    Speechless! Just perfect in every aspect! Light, composition, colors!

  15. David Borg 29 months ago | reply

    wonderful pics !!!!!!!!!

  16. R-Joy's Photos 28 months ago | reply

    Superb underwater capture!

  17. Mantis-photography 6 months ago | reply

    This photo is amazing
    Male mantisI would like to invite you to the
    Scientific photographers group www.flickr.com/groups/2389467@N23/

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