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An Underwater Photography & Video website for those who want to travel light!


Welcome to, an experimental website for underwater photographers and videographers who have decided that 35 lbs DSLR, 6 strobes and multi-lens HD video gears are not worth the trouble diving with!

We are located in Southern California, USA. Our digital underwater playgrounds are the waters of coastal Laguna Beach and Catalina Island but we travel all around the globe to seek the ultimate diving experience and bring back memorable photos and videos.

If you want to learn a few tricks to improve your underwater imaging techniques without sacrificing a leg and a kidney to buy an expensive gear, this website is definitely for you. If you are already a pro or an avid DSLR underwater imager, check out our galleries and, we hope, be suprised!

If you want to access all our tutorials, please register.


Jean-Yves, owner, webmaster, photographer, whatever.


All our articles

Digital versus film

This one is easy, so let's get over with it pretty quick. Here're a few reasons why you should throw away your Nikonos (or send it to me for my person...more

Published on 2010-04-03 10:44:23

Why choose point-and-shoot versus DSLR?

There's no secret, if you want to shoot high quality pictures, your choice should be DSLR.Unfortunately, it comes with a price. Actually many prices.....more

Published on 2010-04-03 11:32:15

Shooting manual or automatic

Lots of point-and-shoot come with very basic shooting modes. If you can only see an "Auto" button, stay away from these, there're the secret for blue ...more

Published on 2010-04-04 10:09:25

What's the fuss about external flashes and internal flash?

Let's make it clear here now: YOU NEED A FLASH. As a beginner you can shoot very decent pictures with the internal flash of your point and shoot. Exte...more

Published on 2010-04-04 10:11:09

Can Photoshop save me from manual white balance?

A lot of hardcore underwater photographers will insist that manual white balance is mandatory for successfull colorful shots. This is only because the...more

Published on 2010-04-04 10:54:43

So is it Canon or Nikon?

Let's not start a war here. Just don't waste your money on a brand that specializes in vaccum cleaners and have a cheap line of cameras. Canon and Nik...more

Published on 2010-04-04 10:56:14

Do I need a zoom?

Unless you like blue blurry pics, stay away from both digital and optical zooms (especially digital). The only zoom setting you should be using on an ...more

Published on 2010-04-04 10:57:33

What media?

The format of the media actually does not really matters. CF is bulky. SD is fragile. Both store zillions of pixels and do their job pretty well. Howe...more

Published on 2010-04-04 11:23:41

AA, AAA, Ion Lithium, Metal Hydrure? What the ***??

Just like films in the old days, batteries cannot be changed underwater (it would be neat but probably not really environment friendly). So when you c...more

Published on 2010-04-04 11:25:18

Finding the right case

The case is also a significant piece of your gear. There's also many factors to take into consideration when selecting a case such as the depth rating...more

Published on 2010-04-04 11:27:12

Taking care of your camera and case overview

Here you are, you bought your dream gear. A nice compact point and shoot digital camera and a perfectly fitting underwater proof case. This very simpl...more

Published on 2010-04-04 22:16:11

Megapixels, Gigapixels or Terapixels?

Unless you want to print posters of your fantastic whale sharks encounter in wide angle in Coco's, you can surely live with less than 8 Megapixels. Ho...more

Published on 2010-04-04 22:53:28

The art of shooting underwater

Just like everything you do while diving, shooting pictures underwater requires some skills not necessary while shooting on land. This short tutorial ...more

Published on 2010-04-04 23:10:01

Light & composition

Light and composition are two main elements of a great shot. This tutorial will help you compose your shot by taking into acount the scene you're tryi...more

Published on 2010-04-05 08:43:13

A Posteriori Color Correction

The properties of light underwater differ from on land. Past 5 meters (15 feet), the color red disapears and we need an external source of light (a fl...more

Published on 2010-04-05 14:06:39

O-ring maintenance 101

Your case's o-ring is what separates a fun day of diving from a terrible-day-when-my-camera-flooded of diving. Proper maintenance is necessary to keep...more

Published on 2010-04-11 22:08:28

Using the flash

  As water absorbs a vast quantity of the light that passes through it, an external source of light such as a flash is needed to get the best out of...more

Published on 2010-04-21 00:18:38

Backscatter Begone!

Backscatter is the result of tiny particles such as sand or plankton reflecting the light from the flash close enough to the lens to be captured by th...more

Published on 2010-04-21 23:58:40

Don't use Internet Explorer!

Don't use Microsoft Internet Explorer on our website. The best experience will be with Google Chrome or Firefox. Consider upgrading your browser to o...more

Published on 2010-04-22 00:23:43

Choose your buddy well

Diving with photographers or a videographers when you're not one is a pain. You have to wait for them all the time, they never pay attention to you as...more

Published on 2010-04-23 23:27:00

Don't look at me in the eyes

I heard that trick at the Scuba Show in Long Beach a couple of years ago and have been using it since then. When I see a cool fish and I know I need t...more

Published on 2010-04-23 23:34:58

Garibaldis, it's payback time!

Pissing off Garibaldis is hilarious. Do you know how many shots these little guys ruined by getting in the way? Zillions. So now it's time for payback...more

Published on 2010-04-24 09:04:43

Shooting in (almost) manual like a pro!

If there is one thing important when shooting underwater, it's shooting in non automatic modes. Point and shoot automatic modes are optimized for land...more

Published on 2010-04-24 18:48:41

The joys of editing HD videos

My video camera shoots in HD. Sort of. It's a Sony camcorder with a built-in 60GB hard drive that stores what it shoots in AVCHD.AVCHD is a very powe...more

Published on 2010-05-12 18:52:49

I'm published!

One of my pictures I took at the 2009 PADI Total Submersion in Grand Cayman was published today in Range Finder Magazine in the US! My friend Jim Corn...more

Published on 2010-05-12 19:27:55

I'm now diving dry!

After 15 years of wet-suit the arctic temperature of the Pacific finally took its toll and I invested in a dry suit. Now I have to learn to ...more

Published on 2010-05-19 02:31:40

Shooting in "scene" mode

A few cameras offer special scene modes that are supposedly optimized for underwater imaging. They are to be used in replacement for manual ...more

Published on 2010-05-28 01:49:55

The value of DAN

Three days after DAN's CEO Dan Orr came to our dive club to talk about all the nasty things that can happen while diving, our dive boat off Cabo Pulmo...more

Published on 2010-05-28 02:02:30

Macro and manual focus

Macro photography is the art of shooting small stuff. Nudibranchs are a very nice subject for macro but other subjects not necessarily minuscule also ...more

Published on 2010-05-30 18:25:04

Ultra wide angle with my point-and-shoot

So you think only DSLR can shoot wide angle pictures? Think again! There is a way to make fisheye blush with a point-and-shoot. Let's unleash the powe...more

Published on 2010-05-30 19:02:30

Cropping and resizing

Resizing and cropping is probably the easiest to use tool in your digital darkroom. It allows you to keep only the part of the image you are intereste...more

Published on 2010-05-31 15:47:25

Underwater Video Jargon

Just like underwater photography, underwater video requires a certain amount of specialized gear. This  tutorial is all about the bare minimum to kno...more

Published on 2010-06-06 16:40:52

Photo Dive Report: Anacapa on the Peace

We left Orange County on Friday night and spent the night in Oxnard. I don't like sleeping on dive boats, especially only one night. The rest of our g...more

Published on 2010-06-15 21:35:26

Photo Dive Report: The Red Tide in Shaw's Cove

  That was supposed to be a great day of diving. It was not. Not really.The arctic temperatures of the Pacific seem to be gone now that Summer is ju...more

Published on 2010-06-19 22:38:46

Photo Dive Report: Diving Dry without Doctor Bill at the Casino Point Dive Park

On the first dive I did not take my camera. Of course we saw two Giant Black Sea Bass. Of course.As the red tide keeps on messing the conditions on ...more

Published on 2010-06-28 21:56:22

Photo Dive Report: Catalina, Giant Sea Bass and fireworks

What best place to spend Independance Day than on a boat to Catalina?We left the house at dawn and I had to turn around 2 minutes later when I realize...more

Published on 2010-07-07 19:38:28

Photo Dive Report: sometimes there's just nothing worth a pix (Catalina)

There can be only two explanations: either I need a powerful prescription mask or there was really nothing worth seeing that Saturday in Catalina.That...more

Published on 2010-07-27 21:30:49

Video Dive Report: night dive at Shaw's Cove

I usually don't do night dives.I did last night.I wanted to test that contraption I built 6 months ago for my video case which adds two Princeton Tec ...more

Published on 2010-08-14 00:44:12

Video Dive Report: Shark Feeding in Fiji

We went to Fiji in December 2008. We spent Christmas and New Year over there. For Christmas, we were staying on Beqa, that's a small island south of V...more

Published on 2010-08-26 22:42:44

Photo Dive Report: Shaw's solo

With my wife off to La Paz, Mexico playing with whale sharks and no buddy to dive with in the middle of the week, I've decided to dive Shaw's Cove sol...more

Published on 2010-09-02 19:06:31

Photo Dive Report: Shaws Redux

So yesterday I dove solo at Shaw's. Today I had a buddy. We did two dives and my electrical tape patched dry suit stayed dry. On the first dive, we we...more

Published on 2010-09-03 23:23:49

Photo Dive Report: Dead Man's Reef & Shaw's Cove

To celebrate one of my buddies 400th dive, we dove Dead Man's Reef in the morning and Shaw's in the afternoon. Dead Man's was gastly as it should be w...more

Published on 2010-09-11 21:25:47

When surfers are happy, divers go to San Diego for the 11th Underwater Film Exhibition

Sunday was supposed to be the monthly Laguna Sea Dwellers Beach Dive & BBQ. Well it ended up being simply the BBQ.We had been warned that two Sout...more

Published on 2010-09-19 09:50:36

Good dives at Farnsworth Banks. But not great.

As an ex-president of Laguna Sea Dwellers was getting married on the exact day the same Laguna Sea Dwellers very active dive club for over-active dive...more

Published on 2010-09-28 13:09:12

Where's the sun?

It seems the conditions have not been that bad. However, who would want to risk the high bacterial levels that usually follow rain to see a couple of ...more

Published on 2010-10-18 20:36:58

Photo Dive Report: Saba, Dutch West Indies

In 1998 I went to Guadeloupe, an island in the French Antilles and dove the "Réserve Cousteau", a national marine protected area. The diving there wa...more

Published on 2010-11-07 18:23:17

Spanish Shawl galore at Shaw's

Saturday was a gorgeous day, sunny and midly warm and we all met at the top of Shaw's Cove stairs. The ocean down below looked like a lake, only distr...more

Published on 2010-11-14 11:38:08

Catalina Island in HD: Canon Powershot G12 review

Two weeks ago I received my new Canon Powershot G12 and its Canon WP-DC34 underwater housing. The G series is Canon's high end point & shoot line ...more

Published on 2010-12-01 01:51:26

Laguna Beach flooded!

Laguna Beach will be closed for diving for the holidays. The major storms that hit the coast on December 21st and 22nd made landfall on Laguna. For tw...more

Published on 2010-12-27 18:52:21

Bliss! Paradise found in Long Island, Bahamas!

I was worried. I had just came back from Saba in the Dutch West Indies with rather mixed feelings. The island itself was gorgeous but the underwater e...more

Published on 2011-01-12 23:42:42

Canon SX30 IS Review: Architecture shootout in Lyon - France

Now this is a camera I will never take underwater.I doubt that anybody would be crazy enough to build an underwater housing for this monster. With a ...more

Published on 2011-01-29 09:26:05

Shooting on a moving boat: whale watching off Dana Point

It was a beautiful day in sunny California and the Laguna Sea Dwellers had their yearly whale watching cruise off the coast of Dana Point.If you've ne...more

Published on 2011-02-02 01:19:36

Photo frenzy in Shanghai

It seems this year I can't get any diving. The local condition, here in Southern California have been terrible. Viz is once again measured in inches a...more

Published on 2011-03-13 12:55:41

30th Avalon Underwater Cleanup: picking up trash and feeling good about it

I started writing this article shortly after the cleanup. However an ectic month of March with traveling to the other side of the world, house hunting...more

Published on 2011-03-22 23:03:18

Bluewater Photo Contest

Hi dear readers!I've entered one of my pictures to the first BlueWater Photo Contest on Facebook. It's available at

Published on 2011-03-24 00:19:46

Chamber Day: Help the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

Every time we dive we put our life at risk. Most of us will never get in trouble thanks to basic safe diving techniques now taught almost everywhere. ...more

Published on 2011-04-05 00:19:59

Back in the water at last - Laguna Beach kelp beds

Well it seems that not diving for 2 months had a slight effect on my brain. I must have lost a few cells as I forgot my diffuser when I went diving th...more

Published on 2011-05-19 19:35:29

Senior Moment

I went to the South Orange County Dive Club BBQ this morning with my camera. This time I forgot to put a card in it. Not really smart. Maybe I should ...more

Published on 2011-05-28 18:32:07

PADI 2011 Total Submersion in Curacao - Colorful Caribbean

Two years ago I traveled to Grand Cayman for the 10th Annual PADI Total Submersion. That's an international event that happens every year with divers ...more

Published on 2011-07-17 22:47:45

12th Annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition: Criticism Is Easy, Art Is Difficult

Last year I went to the San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition and liked it a lot. So this year I figured out I might as well register for both days of th...more

Published on 2011-09-15 22:52:01

Early days: cutting my teeth in the Galapagos

As I have now officially decided to stay away from the water for a little while, I've started browsing my old pictures and realized I had not shared m...more

Published on 2011-10-08 23:33:03

A tale of an elusive Californian Frogfish

So I had decided that I was going to join the dark side and become an exclusive warm water diver. That was before one of my dive buddies and good frie...more

Published on 2012-01-04 22:33:47

Diving Jurassic Park: The Island of Kauai

An extra benefit from living in Southern California is that you're about 5 hours away from the islands of Hawaii. After Oahu and the Big Island a coup...more

Published on 2012-02-19 22:14:02

Whales, frog fish, sharks and mola molas: expect the unexpected

It seems global warning, the Japanese nuclear incident or in similar likelihood Justin Bieber are having a dramatic effect on our local Southern Calif...more

Published on 2012-02-20 10:25:57

The return of the trash pickers: 31st Avalon Harbor Cleanup

What can feel any better than waking up at 4 o'clock in the morning to go pick trash on an island off the coast of Southern California? Maybe the feel...more

Published on 2012-02-29 20:44:23

Waterproof iPhone 4

So it appears that the iPhone I found two weeks ago while cleaning the harbor in Avalon is an iPhone 4 and kind of works!Amazing.After 12 hours in a b...more

Published on 2012-03-13 23:26:19

Helping non-profits: KelpFest 2012

In three weeks Laguna Beach will host the 2012 KelpFest, a yearly event to celebrate the return of the kelp forests to our beautiful coastal city. Thi...more

Published on 2012-03-31 10:45:25

Eggs & pea soup: a recipe for Easter

So that was Easter and in this little corner of the world, this is a big deal. True, it's not as big as Christmas were gazillion of dollars are being ...more

Published on 2012-04-09 20:09:30

Uni for breakfast

Last week, Nancy Caruso from Get Inspired Inc. ran out of money to fund her kelp restoration project that had been successfully reimplanting giant kel...more

Published on 2012-05-26 09:44:43

Cress/Mountain street: why didn't anybody tell me about that reef before?

So I'm single for a week with my buddy gone to Little Cayman for some warm water excitement and after a Saturday of video games and playing with the c...more

Published on 2012-05-27 17:49:02

Divers Cove: a long swim, a shameful exit and a wedding crasher

I was hoping for another dive at Cress this week end but the Moon and the gods were against us as the very low tide and the surf patterns of this earl...more

Published on 2012-06-10 15:55:09

Crescent Bay: loosing 2 pounds a week-end and loving it!

So it's now official. I had suspected it on my dives in Cress three weeks ago, and in Divers Cove last week, but now there is now doubt in my mind: th...more

Published on 2012-06-16 21:07:00

Snorkeling & Underwater Photography: it's just not right

  There's a couple of things that become boring when you are a diver. Snorkeling is one of them. It just seems like a whole waste of energy for not m...more

Published on 2012-08-13 23:15:46

La Paz & the Sea of Cortez: sea lions, whale sharks and more

In April 2006 I spent a week in La Paz, Mexico. I came back with images of playful but scarce sea lions out of Los Islotes, the local sea lion colony....more

Published on 2012-09-20 16:35:04

13th Annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition: Inspirational

Contrary to last year San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition, this year edition of SDUFEX sent chills down my spine on several occasions. The quality of t...more

Published on 2012-10-20 10:21:17

Underwater HDR: not ready for prime time!

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This tutorial details the basics of HDR shooting and explains their applicability to underwater imaging.So I got th...more

Published on 2012-10-26 22:45:26

Wonderful Shaw's and Divers Cove

November in Southern California is usually the best time to go diving. Water is not too cold yet (although readers from Florida will probably object) ...more

Published on 2012-11-30 11:59:37

Beautiful Catalina in Winter

  So this is winter again. However, here in Southern California, winter is not like in Oslo or Mineapolis. In winter, we have the best diving con...more

Published on 2013-02-03 18:43:24

Coastal Shipwrecks of Orange County: Cleo St Barge

Two weeks ago I went diving  with the peeps of South Orange County Dive Club and forgot my camera. Bummer, I hate getting old. And it's only the begi...more

Published on 2013-02-16 16:53:55

This is this time of the year: horny Garibaldis, green pea soup and a couple of sea lions

Spring is in the air, however cold and foggy, it's there. Garibaldis are busy eating everything but red algae to make the perfect nest for the perfect...more

Published on 2013-03-17 21:49:48

Solo dive at Shaw's Cove: Giant everything and more

I had everything figured out: I had just received my brand new regulator, a Scubapro MK-17 and a 2013 G260, I had two fills and I was ready for two te...more

Published on 2013-03-29 21:04:30

Mountain & Cress: Shark diving in Laguna Beach

After the fantastic dive of the day before in Shaw's Cove, I decided to join the SOCDC  morning dive group again this Saturday and I did not regret i...more

Published on 2013-03-30 18:36:11

Advanced crazyness: solo diving the oil rig Eureka

Oil rig diving had been on my list for quite some time and I had been planning on trying this unusual dive adventure since I had sent out my dry suit ...more

Published on 2013-04-09 22:16:55

Shy octopus and baby rays: Shaw's Cove #103

OK, it was probably not my 103rd dive at Shaw's. Or maybe it was. I have lost track a couple of years ago. It was certainly not the first one, but ev...more

Published on 2013-04-13 20:54:59

Going Mobile!

Our website has been updated to support mobile browsing. If you connect from your tablet or your smartphone, you will notice a slightly different desi...more

Published on 2013-04-16 00:14:07

KelpFest 2013: Saturday April 20th in Laguna Beach

This week end, Laguna Beach will host the 2013 KelpFest, a yearly event to celebrate the return of the kelp forests to our beautiful coastal city. Thi...more

Published on 2013-04-16 19:57:27

Yucky season is back: diving in the haze at Cress St

You know it's really bad when you come back ashore with more pictures you took of your buddies before the dive, at the surface, than during the dive.T...more

Published on 2013-04-20 18:57:05

Shaws Cove Solo: big surf & big stuff

The surfline forecast was looking pretty good for surfers. Not too much for divers...Despite the gloomy reports, I got up early on Monday morning and ...more

Published on 2013-05-21 20:18:09

Mountain Street Solo: Octopus galore and shy leopard sharks

Surf's been up for a couple of days and week-end dives had been canceled. When it started to recede, I decided to go try my luck at Mountain Street, h...more

Published on 2013-05-30 17:42:06

Mountain Street Solo Act 2: Welcome to bat ray city with a side of sharks

Surf's still up and viz still sucks, but nonetheless I went and dove Mountain Road again. It's actually how it's called, on my way back from my first ...more

Published on 2013-05-31 19:32:19

Mountain Street Solo Act 3: Crab cakes

It was dead crappy today. Surf is still up, actually nastier than Thursday & Friday. It was even raining a little as I was gearing up.Not much to ...more

Published on 2013-06-03 12:59:47

Mountain Street Solo Act 4: Extreme navigation skills

Conditions are better! Yay! Surge is down a notch and visibility improved from dead crappy to tolerable. Too bad the big surf is coming...So that was ...more

Published on 2013-06-05 17:43:04


For the first time in history, I went diving with a camera and came back with no pictures. Viz at Mountain was abysmal. Should have stayed home....more

Published on 2013-06-16 22:32:03

Crescent Bay: Could have been worse...

Last week was probably one of the worse non-red-tide dive ever. I was hopeful that this week end would bring clearer and calmer waters.Well it did not...more

Published on 2013-06-22 14:05:35

Sometimes you have to say no...

I went down to the beach today to dive Mountain. Double swell wave pattern with 4ft+ crisscrossing the surf zone. I decided to call it a day.I drove...more

Published on 2013-08-03 13:21:55

Bring on the BS, it's Shark Week!

Every year in the US, the Discovery Channel airs "Shark Week".During that week everything shown is shark-related. And of course it's absolute utter bu...more

Published on 2013-08-08 19:29:49

Diving la grecque with a side of Big Blue: Athens, Santorini & Amorgos

In 1988 Luc Besson directed The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu). It is considered a cult movie that touched a whole generation and just like Cousteau's ...more

Published on 2013-09-14 14:14:23

Montage and Mountain English style

Two weeks ago I dove Montage with the SOCDC gang on Saturday and Mountain by myself on Sunday.Saturday was fun but not that great. We had a strong sur...more

Published on 2013-09-21 16:17:20

Magical Catalina

Last week I went to Catalina to dive Casino Point.We took the 8:30am Cat Express from Long Beach and did 2 dives.Conditions were good but not great fo...more

Published on 2013-09-22 13:10:22

Dive #500 at Crescent Bay

So here it is. I have officially 500 logged dives. According to the logbook I started on the 19th of February 1995, I spent 23,928 minutes underwater....more

Published on 2013-09-23 23:44:42

Shaw's Cove: Day of the Tentacle

This morning,  like almost every Saturday morning now, I showed up for the  SOCDC weekend dive. It was a gorgeous day in Laguna Beach but unfortunat...more

Published on 2013-09-28 14:59:21

Helping non-profits with images

There's a wide variety of non-profits which try to educate the masses on the beauty of the ocean. Every year I try to help the Kelp Festival in Laguna...more

Published on 2013-10-18 22:35:26

Mountain Road & Shaw's Cove: Sharks, Rays and Giant Black Sea Bass

I had been monitoring the conditions for almost a week and it was going to be awesome. Not much surf, no wind, sunny and hot, and most reports posted ...more

Published on 2013-10-19 17:02:47

14th Annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition: Half a show for half the thrill

Two weeks ago I went down to San Diego for the 14th annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition, aka SDUFEX. This is a two evening showing of high quali...more

Published on 2013-10-27 11:43:37

Home-made video rig for the SOCDC 2013 Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

This is Halloween, pumpkins scream in the dead of night!Well, with the South Orange County Dive Club, there's no one to hear them scream underwater!I'...more

Published on 2013-10-29 20:47:56

Arrrrrrrr mateys: Pirate Week in Grand Cayman

Every year in November, right near the end of the hurricane season, the small island of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean is having a week where everyone ...more

Published on 2013-11-25 21:26:52

Little Cayman: diving the Bloody Bay Wall

Little Cayman is a puddle jumper half hour away from Grand Cayman, flying East. Its sister island, Cayman Brac, which I have not visited yet, is only ...more

Published on 2013-11-29 12:33:44

Thanksgiving dive: Sharks & Surf

The weather had been perfect the whole week.Visibility had been reported in the 30ft range, surface had been a lake.While I was working.Then came Than...more

Published on 2013-12-04 22:47:31

Shaw's Cove & Heisler: the hard Winters in Southern California

While the rest of the country is fighting sub-zero temperatures, here in Southern California, balmy 70F (20°C) greeted us over the week end. Surf was...more

Published on 2014-01-13 21:22:12

Cleo St Barge: lobster galore and shark colony

Winter is still running pretty hard on us here in Southern California. 75F at the beach (24°C), 82F inland (28°C), high surf coming tonight only (it...more

Published on 2014-01-18 16:54:53

Eureka & Ellen: Unidentified swimming objects, angry cabazons & playful sea lions

Last year I dove the oil rig Eureka. Unfortunately, conditions were awful and we had to abort the trip after the first dive. So this year, I decided t...more

Published on 2014-01-25 21:59:52

Laguna Blue Belt Photo Contest: 2nd Place!

As I mentionned in on of my previous local dive reports, I submitted one of my pictures taken during our recent dive at Heisler Park with  specta...more

Published on 2014-02-02 12:30:08

Shaws Cove: Choppy with a chance of sunshine

I've been sick. Hence the one month hiatus in my diving and my dive reports. Oh and I've been traveling a lot too. Coast to coast, across the Atlantic...more

Published on 2014-03-17 14:53:28

Oil Rigs Redux: Soup & Surf

Two months ago, I dove the oil rigs and loved it. Visibility was fantastic and the experience was quite unforgettable.Today, the South Orange County D...more

Published on 2014-03-22 18:53:09

KelpFest 2014: Saturday April 26th in Laguna Beach

 Today was a crappy day. Went to the beach, met with the SOCDC peeps and decided to go back home as numerous divers were reporting viz under 5ft....more

Published on 2014-03-29 12:52:22

Heisler Park Full of Surprises

Today, like every Saturday (weather permitting) the South Orange County Dive Club had their beach dive in Laguna Beach. Conditions were reported not g...more

Published on 2014-04-12 15:43:46

The little things that matter

Saturday SOCDC dive at Crescent Bay was not that great. Conditions were relatively poor, visibility in the 10ft range, sometimes slightly better, some...more

Published on 2014-04-20 09:23:43

Shaw's Cove: Making your crappy dives great since 1927

It was one of these days.The morning started slowly, I made it on time to the Vons parking lot for the SOCDC Saturday morning beach dive. Two other di...more

Published on 2014-05-17 22:25:56

Chamber Day catch-up dive on the Magician: poor conditions & awesome dives

Every year the local diving community around Los Angeles raises funds for the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber. This is "Chamber Day".During that one-day e...more

Published on 2014-06-05 21:06:11

Casino Point: Rays, baitfish, barracudas and a giant black sea bass butt

I had planned an extended week-end on Catalina Island, a little break before the real vacation in a few weeks.Topside, the weather had been pretty goo...more

Published on 2014-07-22 21:35:35

Cozumel: Caribbean dreams & ancient gods of the abyss

It could have been a disastrous trip.We  had a group of 46 people, 36 of them divers from the South Orange County Dive Club (SOCDC), booked on a ...more

Published on 2014-08-16 14:49:36

Tons of fish, hairy lobsters, sharks and eels. Who said Laguna Beach diving was boring?

It's not because I don't post anything here that I don't go diving. OK most of the time, it means I don't go diving. But over the last few weeks the c...more

Published on 2014-10-11 16:53:48

Thanksgiving in Southern California: 80 degrees and AWESOME conditions!

While the rest of the country is battling arctic freeze, lake effect snow falls, torrential rains, flash flood warnings and other nature's own seasons...more

Published on 2014-11-30 14:53:39

Back in the water: Mountain Road & Heisler Park

So yeah, it has been almost 7 months  since my last post.To my defense, conditions have sucked and although I dove twice in March, I also got lazy.An...more

Published on 2015-06-27 22:13:39

Hurricane Dolores? No Fear! Let's dive Farnsworth!

It was supposed to be the end of the world.Depending on the weather forecast agency you looked at, doom was upon us, or at least some pretty nasty con...more

Published on 2015-07-21 08:38:40

Catalina Island: the Caribbean in the Pacific

Last Friday, my buddy convinced me to take time off work and go diving Catalina Island on the Magician. With epic conditions reported every day, I was...more

Published on 2015-09-28 23:31:05

Grand Cayman: Colors of the Caribbean

It was Pirate Week again!Just like in 2013, I went to Grand Cayman for a short week of pirate-inspired fun. On land: rum, friends, ships, Jolly Roger...more

Published on 2015-11-29 12:39:44

Diving the Sargassum Forest

It's been about 6 months since my last dive in Laguna Beach. The conditions have been terrible, thanks to El Niño which has warmed up the Pacific las...more

Published on 2016-03-27 23:36:17

A tale of two California

A couple of weeks ago I took off for Cabo San Lucas, a small  highly Americanized tourist town at the tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico.  ...more

Published on 2016-06-04 21:33:12

Drydock ended?

It's been more than a year since my last post here and it's not because I moved to the Midwest or (worse) back to Europe, it's not because I have been...more

Published on 2017-07-28 20:57:50

Lobster Fest!

Two weeks ago, after my dives at Shaw's Cove where visibility was not the greatest but critter fest was on, I thought I would dive again the next day....more

Published on 2017-08-12 18:59:51

Magical Hawaii: the Big Island

Of the three islands I have been to in Hawaii, the Big Island is most definitely my favorite. Not only is the diving awesome, the rest is fantastic: w...more

Published on 2017-09-10 16:39:08

HDR and Senior Moments in Maui

While most of the country was struggling with arctic bomb cyclones, I spent New Year in Maui, where the temperature was a mild 78F (26°C) and the wa...more

Published on 2018-01-16 00:15:30

Indonesia: Manado & Lembeh on a brand new Canon G7X Mark II and a doomed DJI Mavic Air

After multiple attempts at the Caribbean, the waters around the islands of Hawaii, our local (depleted) kelp forests and a few trips to the Sea of Cor...more

Published on 2018-07-01 18:28:37

Crescent solo: giant lobsters, eels, abalones and a shark tail

Magicseaweed listed surf at 1ft this week-end. They were wrong. But I did not know that when I packed my gear this Sunday morning and headed to Laguna...more

Published on 2018-08-05 18:56:53

Wasted visibility in the wasteland

The reports had been stellar for over two weeks with visibility in the 30 to 40 ft on most of our local beach dive sites so I was not going to miss an...more

Published on 2018-11-19 00:53:06

The Big Island of Hawaii: Turtles, sharks and some magic sun rays

I can't believe I have been out of the water for so long!Our conditions here in Laguna Beach suck balls massively, with storm after storm causing some...more

Published on 2019-06-08 17:38:22

Crescent 1 - Maui 0

So last month we went on a trip to Maui to hike and dive. Hiking was awesome, the Waihe'e Ridge Trail is a challenging hike but we were lucky enough w...more

Published on 2019-09-23 00:23:47

The art of underwater pumpkin carving with SOCDC

This is this time of the year again, the leafs are turning a very special kind of red here in California with all our wildfires, but the pumpkins are ...more

Published on 2019-10-28 23:38:48

Ultimate social distancing: solo diving Shaw's cove

So yeah, life kind of blows right now. But, hey, at least I'm not stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment in a hot zone with travel restrictions and no access ...more

Published on 2020-07-19 03:10:58

Site update: photo data now shown

I'm bored. I don't get enough dives and working from home all day wears me out.    So, what better times to update this already awesome...more

Published on 2020-07-22 00:22:28

Day Light Saving Dive: Crescent solo

Yesterday was Halloween, a blue moon, a micro moon and other weirdass things. But the whole week had seen reports of stellar visibility in Laguna Beac...more

Published on 2020-11-01 18:12:27

Solstice dive at Crescent: ancient aliens and a harbor seal

T'was the Monday before Christmas 2020, Magicseaweed had a zero foot surf in its forecast and Facebook dive reports were taunting everyone with promis...more

Published on 2020-12-22 18:16:44

Early Summer dive at Crescent and Shaw's Cove: racing abalones and Spanish Shawls galore

A month or so ago I asked GPT-3, the most powerful textual AI in the world to generate a dive report for me based on the  one I posted last December....more

Published on 2021-06-12 00:02:30

Shooting P mode with no flash: pinniped adventures in La Paz, Mexico

This was my third trip to La Paz, Mexico, a quiet town in the middle of Baja California Sur, the peninsula that extends into the pacific starting righ...more

Published on 2021-12-07 19:28:55

Zen in the kelp forest at Crescent

While I was having fun with sea lions in La Paz, reports of local conditions in Laguna Beach were showing a major improvement in both surf and visibil...more

Published on 2021-12-09 21:38:56

Shooting with the pros in Cozumel

Cozumel is a special place for me. I got bent the first time I dove there and every time I had come back this had been on my mind. A bit. With age, I...more

Published on 2022-07-28 22:04:57

Magical night skies & unforgettable dives on the Big Island of Hawaii

Living in Southern California, Hawaii is a favorite destination: it's only 5 hours away, jet lag is not too bad, only 3 hours and the island offers qu...more

Published on 2022-09-03 19:03:45

Looking for the elusive soupfin shark at Mountain

The last time I dove Mountain Street was in September 2016 and my dive log reads "NOTHING, MEGA AWFUL" in all caps. I think I remember that dive. I us...more

Published on 2022-09-17 20:06:02

Diving the metaverse: the announced extinction of photographers?

Conditions have been absolutely dramatically utterly bad over the last few months. It sucks because September to December is usually when we get our b...more

Published on 2022-10-23 20:50:51


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