Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dive report - Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach 2/19/2010

Date: 2/19/10
Location: Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach
Time in: 9:31 am
Time under: 61 min
Max depth: 21 ft
Min temp: 61.5 F
Vis: 5-10 ft in some places
Waves: 1-3 ft with the occasional large wave
Buddy: pony bottle

First dive in 2 months! I spent the whole hour in the large crevice with the Hopkins roses. I also saw a colorful polyclad flatworm (Stylochus insolitus) and a Cockerell's Dorid (Laila cockerelli). I stayed outside the area of the first choke point, where the surge starts to get really strong. The were a large number of waves in each set (4-5?), so I had to time photos in between the surge. I'm really glad I got the dive in before the storm and large waves came in.

For this dive, I was focused on dialing in my macro photography, since I'm out of practice (and wide angle was out of the question). I spent the time needed to get the lighting from my strobes where I wanted it. With the Ikelite housing set to normal TTL, it is usually too bright even at 1/250s, f/20. For most of these shots, the TTL knob was set to -1 or darker.

I searched for the larger Hopkins roses that were not flat against the vertical wall, in order to use the depth of field and shadows to highlight the subject.

Hopkin's Rose (Hopkinsia rosacea)

For the Cockerell's dorid, it was so small that I couldn't tell which orange spot was the rhinophores, but fortunately, I got the whole nudibranch in focus.

Cockerell's Dorid (Laila cockerelli)

For the featherduster worms, I had to find one that wasn't light sensitive. Typically, they retract as soon as you shine a light on them. They are also very sensitive to water movement. This one stayed extended for a few shots and allowed me to get relatively close.

Featherduster worms

Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach:

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