Though Photographer of the Week Michael Zeigler has traveled around the world, and has been diving in some of the most sought-after locations, he is, you might say, a So Cal diver through and through. His images of these unique waters, particularly his macro work, could at first be mistaken for warmer waters in Southeast Asia (minus the kelp backgrounds), giving us cold-water skeptics a reason to grab a trusty drysuit and have a look around. Bold-colored nudibranchs, octopus, eels, and so much more—why even bother crossing the Pacific?
But Michael’s images really shine in his wide-angle work. I particularly love the textures, saturation and movement that come out of his photographs of swaying kelp, hunting cormorants and sea stars. His images below an oil platform reveal a world of new possibilities for these manmade structures, many of which will become decommissioned but that are teeming with life. And then there are your obligatory awesome encounter shots with sharks, rays, seals, sea lions, and so on, that reveal a most rounded and diverse ecosystem, making Southern California seem like it has the full spectrum of excellent underwater photography diving covered.
To say the least, Michael’s inspiring work reveals a wonderful world of cooler-water diving that many of us have just flown over on our way to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Pacific. Perhaps, from now on, long layovers in California should be in order!
A garibaldi surrounded by baitfish at oil platform Eureka near Huntington Beach, California
A bouquet of anemones, mussels, and scallops adorn the structure of oil platform Elly, offshore Huntington Beach, California
Swaying giant kelp near Santa Barbara Island, California
Hermissenda opalescens on a blade of kelp, Catalina Island, California
Up close and personal with a Christmas tree worm, Anacapa Island, California
Playful sea lions near the rookery at Santa Barbara Island, California
Male sheephead monitoring his domain near Santa Barbara Island, California
Spanish shawl nudibranch (Flabellina iodinea) near the wreck of the Avalon, Palos Verdes, California
To see more of Michael’s work, visit his website, www.seainfocus.com.
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