Monterey: Day 1

`My trip to Monterey started out like most cross-country trips do, an early morning plane flight lugging my excess baggage across the country. Luckily, my plane flights were uneventful and I landed safely in the quaint Monterey regional airport where Becca from Backscatter picked me up. It was already late into the evening, so she dropped me off at my motel and I got to work setting up my underwater camera. The next morning, Becca picked me up again and took me to the Backscatter shop, beautifully located along the seashore on the historic cannery row.

I soon met all the friendly staff, but didn’t have much down time because I was already gearing up for my first dive! The shop just so happens to be a few hundred yards from one of the best dive sites in California, the Monterey breakwater. The Monterey breakwater is a very simple shore dive, with a decently long swim down the break to about 40 feet, where the underwater photography subjects abound.


Before my first dive I got lent some new gear from backscatter to use while I was there, some macro strobes, and a snoot… perfect for lighting individual subjects. The dive was great, with massive sea nettles strewn along the sandy bottom, and the occasional cormorant coming down to check out my flashy suit.

Before my second dive, I got the chance to meet Jamil, the one world underwater scholar. It was great to meet him and chat about all his experiences, and the amazing things he has planned for the rest of his year as the intern. On the second dive, I focused on motion blur, using my flashes to freeze the motion of the drifting stalk anemones. However, I quickly learned that their motion wasn’t fast enough, and so focused on the gorgeous strawberry anemones that cover the rocks.