Cold Water Images Logo

Outer Pinnacles

Club-tipped anemone, Corynactus californica, Giant plumed anemone, Metridium farcimen, California hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus
Up or down? Having been quite disappointed by Canon's 15mm fisheye lens, I
picked up Sigma's version. So far, it looks like the new toy adapts to
underwater life much better than does the Canon. I suspect there will be a used
Canon fisheye going up for sale on eBay soon. This shot contains nothing more
than the usual Carmel Bay subjects: California hydrocoral (Stylaster
californicus), Corynactis californica, and Metridium farcimen.
However, I like it because of the lighting -- actually, the lack of lighting in
the bottom of the shot and that the Metridiums don't seem to need any
illumination to show up just as saliently as they always do. It almost seems
like the bottom of the shot is some sinister complement to the heavenly blue
water at the top. I suspect this picture wouldn't have been nearly as successful
if taken on a day when Carmel Bay's water was its more usual green.

    "Outer Pinnacles", Carmel Bay, California
    January 28, 2007

Blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus, Giant kelp, Macrocystis sp.
Blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) pack into tight schools when currents
are running. Although difficult to photograph, this is most certainly one of my
favorite scenes. The local sea lions seem to like these dense aggregations as
well.  Watch such a school for a few minutes and you'll likely see the entire
mass dart toward the reef in fright as one or more of our furry friends
approach. Interestingly enough, the sea lions appear to do this as much for
their own amusement as for any other reason

    "Outer Pinnacles", Carmel Bay, California
    August 13, 2006

California hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus
California hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus) and blue rockfish
(Sebastes mystinus). Like many of us, blue rockfish are fairly averse to
doing more work than they need to do. The fish in the background of this shot
are hiding in the lee of a stalk of kelp so that they don't have to swim against
the current. It might seem surprising that a fish would need to do this.
However, your average reef fish isn't really built for long extended swims. And,
of course, rockfish seem to spend a great deal of their lives running away from
the local pinnipeds. I imagine they appreciate the odd opportunity to take it
easy for a bit.

    "Outer Pinnacles", Carmel Bay, California
    August 20, 2006

Footer icon