La Paz Photo Gallery

After reading Tanya Burnett’s feature about La Paz, see more of her amazing images in this photo gallery.

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Undercover Crabs

Most decorator crabs belong to one of eight families in the superfamily Majoidea, commonly referred to as spider crabs. About 75 percent of the group’s more than 1,100 global species mask their presence by wearing disguises made from living organisms scissored from the landscape. They commonly hijack seaweeds, sponges, tunicates, bryozoans and hydroids. The crabs manipulate the purloined pieces of attire with their mouths before attaching them to one of the many fishhook-shaped bristles arranged in rows on the carapace, rostrum, walking legs and claw arms, depending on the species.

A decorator crab is perched among red hydroids.

La Paz

La Paz, on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, has always been connected to the sea, from its indigenous pre-Columbian people and a history of sea explorers, pearl divers and fishers to a modern destination attracting ocean-inspired tourists to interact with the abundant marine treasures of this region.

A diver is astounded by the sheer size of the school of bigeye jacks at Cabo Pulmo.

Cylinder Safety

Users must operate cylinders within design parameters, such as filling only to the rated service pressure and having cylinders inspected by formally trained and qualified technicians and requalified by a reputable, recognized test facility. More than 90 percent of ruptures occur during filling, so diligent inspection during this process is critical. Cylinders should operate safely throughout their entire service lives if users adhere to design and operating conditions.

Young man in blue shirt fills scuba cylinders.

Sentinels for the Seas

The U.S. currently has 14 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, and each has its own unique story. In preserving these irreplaceable resources, the sanctuaries protect who we are at our base — our soul as a nation. They reaffirm us and connect us to our incredible heritage.

Fish blanket the lush undersea gardens of colorful sponges, sea anemones, sea stars, sea cucumbers, snails and crabs.

Smile, Crocodile

Crocodiles are apex predators, and in the wrong place and time, humans are potential prey. There are exceptions, but most of these wonderful and primitive reptiles won’t squander encountering a potential meal. When swimming in any reptile habitat, know who and what you may encounter, or don’t swim at all. The resident American crocodiles at Jardines de la Reina routinely share their waters with snorkelers and divers, but Jen Hayes didn’t feel the same comfort working in Nile crocodile waters in Botswana.

An American crocodile rests midwater above a seagrass bed

Models and Marine Life

Underwater photographers usually evolve a specialty, but the first fork in their road typically involves defining an interest in either photographing natural history — marine life in particular — or concentrating on editorial and commercial work that inevitably involves photographing people underwater. Photos of charismatic marine life help tell the story of a dive destination or might be used for photo décor or stock photography. Compositions that illustrate people interacting with marine life bridge both disciplines and combine each approach’s rewards and challenges.

whale shark and diver for size reference

Howe Sound

With nearly 16,000 miles of rugged coastline and more than 40,000 islands and islets, British Columbia’s Howe Sound features fantastic marine life and spectacular coldwater scuba adventures. Stretching 27 miles from its narrow head under lofty mountain peaks at Squamish to its wide-mouth opening into the Strait of Georgia just northwest of Vancouver, Howe Sound is North America’s southernmost fjord. This sea-to-sky corridor crafted by glaciers and perfected by time seems tailor-made for subsea exploration — reef and wreck, rec and tech.

The kelp greenling ranges from Alaska to California and grows up to 2 feet long.

Cristina Mittermeier Photo Gallery

After reading the Shooter column “Cristina Mittermeier: Commitment to Conservation,” view this additional photo gallery of her work.

God's Pocket British Columbia

Howe Sound Photo Gallery

After reading about Howe Sound in Local Diving, discover more of the beauty of North America’s southernmost fjord in this photo gallery.

red Irish lord fish at Howe Sound