Late summer, early fall can be a very nice time for scuba in Puget Sound. The weather is nice, winds usually calm, few storms, and minimal rains that cause excessive storm drain runoff. The visibility below the surface has been improving in the past few weeks overall. Many animals are are beginning to appear more frequently and in larger numbers, especially the smaller ones. Schools of various Perch species, many different Nudibranchs, adorable Stubby Squid, and tiny Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker, just to name a few of my favorites. I always enjoy interacting with these and many other animal species, photographing and shooting video of their behaviors.
Unfortunately, this year my underwater research is revealing many of the negative affects of increasing pollutants and toxins that leach into our waters. At many locations I am seeing visible levels of dirty, brown polluted water near the surface. Large areas of barren sandy bottom covered with brown waste I've never seen in years prior. Also, greater levels of acidification and warming waters are taking a massive toll on our beautiful wildlife that live and thrive in our local waters. Only a few years ago the water temperature at depth in Puget Sound averaged at or below 45 degrees. This summer I have not experienced one day with the water temp below 55 degrees.
What are the long term affects to our wildlife? Will the temperature continue to rise at such an alarming rate?
During much of my underwater explorations in the cold green waters of Puget Sound, I choose to shoot Macro mode to capture small critters. Occasionally, I am fortunate enough to utilize my Nauticam Super Macro Converter for very, very small animals, like these tiny nudibranchs below. Note the nearly microscopic Amphipod on the kelp-encrusting bryozoan, just in front of the nudibranchs rhinophore in the shot below left.
As I have stated many times, my philosophy for my photography is simple: Get as much of my shots in the camera. I choose to limit post editing. This means what you see, is almost entirely, only what I shot.
Please view all of my best shots of 2020 to date in my Puget Sound Aqua 2020 Gallery from many spots around Puget Sound. View everything from very large Lions Mane Jellyfish, Great Sculpins and Ochre Sea Stars, to tiny shrimps and crabs.
Drew Collins professional underwater photographer and environmentalist living and diving primarily in the beautiful Emerald green waters of Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington.