Hermosa Reef August 2016

We love our tropical diving but it is hard to beat the color and sea life we have right here at home diving out of Redondo Beach, CA. This is cold water and low visibility diving. And still the colors are amazing.


Soft Coral Chestnut Cowrie Reef with Cowrie Spanish Shawl nudabranch starfish reef and sheephead Corynactis Californica


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Olympus TG-4 with Underwater Housing, Strobe, Video Light

I wanted an easy to use underwater camera for pictures and video. I know enough to figure out the basic settings but did not want to deal with advanced settings.  The TG-4 is perfect and takes great underwater pictures including amazing macro shots. My set up includes:

Olympus TG-4 Camera, Underwater Housing, Strobe and Video Light

Olympus TG-4 Camera, Underwater Housing, Strobe and Video Light

The Olympus TG-4 is waterproof to depths of 50 feet on it’s own.  Also shockproof to 7 feet and crushproof to 220 lb.  It’s Tough. I like that. I once dropped a camera and it was a complete loss.  And I have flooded housings before by being careless. This camera should survive those kinds of mishaps as well.

The Olympus PT-056 Underwater Housing is tough too. Small, lightweight, and easy to use.  From the first time, no problems locating and using the camera buttons. It is easy to insert the camera and securely lock the cover. It comes with a optical fiber cable adapter for attaching to the strobe. It also comes with an antireflective ring to go on the camera. The anti-reflecting ring blocks the writing on the front element of the lens from being reflected in the front interior of the housing’s lens port.

The Sea & Sea YS-01 is a compact type slave strobe which can be used for both wide angle and macro photography.  It is powered by 4 AA batteries. The batteries last all day for me with 2 or 3 dives.   They would probably last longer but I switch them out at night with fresh batteries.  The strobe comes with a diffuser which I leave on all the time.  I get great shots as long as I am fairly close to the subject about 3 feet away.

I use the Light & Motion Sola light when I shoot video.  It has both white and red lighting and 3 powers of each.

This equipment gives me a lot of flexibility between wide angle and macro, stills and video. I get some great shots and I would say that the macro is outstanding for this type of camera. Olympus has a winner here.

Everything in my set up except the Sola light was purchased at Blue Water Photo. If you need a little extra help, they are there for you. If you want to do it yourself, the links above show the products on amazon.  After seeing how many different pieces there are to building the system, I appreciate the expertise from Blue Water Photo in putting it together.


Amy’s Big Adventure

Our friend Amy accompanied us to the Cayman Islands and Pirate’s Point Resort.  She got certified at Pirate’s Point. She took her classroom training at Pacific Wilderness in San Pedro.  She had a blast and we had a blast watching her learn to dive! Here are the highlights of Amy’s Big Adventure:

Amy’s Big Adventure from Lobsterdon on Vimeo.


2016 Cayman Islands Underwater

2016 Cayman Islands Underwater

A compilation of images from our dives on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, July, 2016.



Flamingo Tongue Photos Shot with Olympus TG-4

One of the awesome features of the Olympus TG-4 is the underwater macro setting.  I use the camera with the underwater case, PT-056 which allows me to use it to 45m.  This photo was shot in the Cayman Islands, on a dive with Pirates Point Resort on Little Cayman.  The dive spot was Jigsaw which is outside of the marine park.  I did not have RAW format turned on that day, this came directly from the camera.

The Flamingo Tongue, Cyphoma gibbosum, is a type of cowry shell. The spots you see on the shell are actually part of the animal, the soft tissue, called the mantle.

Flamingo Tongue

Flamingo Tongue taken with Olympus TG-4 and Housing


CathyM.com Travel, Garden, Hobby Blog

I am re-designing, re-invigorating this site and looking forward to publishing underwater pictures from fun vacations.  Starting with the Cayman Islands, a beautiful spot.  I will also post tips for using the new Olympus TG-4 camera with housing. Wow, it does the job!