Exploring California’s Kelp Forest

Over the summer, while out in California visiting family, we made a side trip to Catalina Island to do a few days of diving. I hadn’t been diving since the pandemic began, so it was great to get in the water, and get back to doing some underwater photography. As always, it was a great pleasure to explore a new natural area with my family. My son Russell has an internship with the diving organization Boston Sea Rovers this summer, and was working on his own underwater photography. And it was great to see Jessica, a newer diver, feeling super relaxed even in these chilly waters in a full wetsuit, marveling at the kelp forest and its inhabitants. Unlike on land, where we are stuck on the ground, (and climbing trees takes so much effort), being weightless and swimming among the underwater kelp forest is a truly amazing feeling. If you haven’t done it, I highly recommend it!

Garibaldi Among The Kelp

A garibaldi fish swims among giant kelp as sunbeams dance in the shallows of Catalina Island. I made this shot on my very first dive of our Catalina trip, in only about ten feet of water right near shore, but I think that of all the images I made on the trip, it best captures the feeling of this special place. Garibaldi are the state fish of California, and at this popular dive site, are very used to divers, so it was easy to get close to them with a wide angle lens. Their striking color of course adds a nice focal point to the image. The giant kelp is the dominant plant creating this unique habitat, capturing sunlight to grow incredibly fast. Backlighting those frond catching the sun, with the sun rays behind, just seemed to tell the story of this unique habitat.

Exploring The Kelp Forest

Thanks for tuning in to my adventures. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anyone who you think might enjoy it.
Stay safe everyone, and be sure to get your dose of nature therapy!
Warmest regards,
Tim Laman

PS. My print gallery now features a selection of my favorite UNDERWATER images from my nearly 40 years of diving around the world. Below are a few examples, but please take a moment to check out the full gallery at TimLamanFineArt.com.