I cannot tell you for certain where I first saw this video featuring the revolutionary new algorithm, called Sea-Thru, that removes the distortion caused by the way light travels through water. But what I can tell you is that when I saw the video I immediately thought of my Instagram friend and underwater dancer @underwaterlinnea and how it would dramatically impact the ability of her art’s beauty to be captured and shared with the world. Before I could get around to sharing this video with Linnea, (and probably because she is the Underwater Dance Queen), I scroll past a post of hers featuring this dope technology and it was exactly what I thought, absolutely stunning! Check it out:

@underwaterlinnea Dances elegantly in a photo by Armada Partners

See @underwaterlinnea’s Post on Instagram

The proof is in the picture and you can clearly see this technology will have far-reaching impacts in the world of underwater images.

The algorithm was developed by an oceanographer and engineer named is Derya Akkaynak who works at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (Florida Atlantic University).

In the video, Akkaynak explains, [u]nderwater images typically have an overwhelming color cast, green or blue, depending on where you took them.

Objects in far distances are occluded by a layer of what we call backscatter, but think of it as a layer of haze.

So, the further you are from the objects in the scene the more haze you get in the scene.

Because light as it travels through the water, gets absorbed and scattered, colors fade away.  That’s where underwater images look so dull and distorted all the time.

See the full transcript

15810-picsay (1)1398988680495281433..jpg
© 2017 Don West, Jr.  This non-Sea-Thru underwater shot was captured while snorkeling above the deep diver in the crystal clear waters off of Bora Bora in French Polynesian islands of the South Pacific Ocean.

I personally love to be near and shoot images of the water, any type of water, but because of the blurry and hazy effects in my attempts at underwater photography I have never been overly enthusiastic. Well, times have changed and I am dusting off the plans to learn to scuba dive and adding an underwater rig for my camera to my holiday wish list. Oh, and of course I am subscribing to the email list in order to be notified when this breakthrough tech becomes available to the marketplace.

I would love to hear your reactions and thoughts on this new underwater photography tech. Let me know what you think? Do you see uses for it in your work? Any creative ideas of how you would use it?


Shots By Dubbs Photography is please to share that our photo, “Yosemite No. 002 – Ode to Ansel – Half Dome Highlights” was selected to be exhibited at the Blank Wall Gallery in Athens, Greece February 28 through March 1, 2020.

I have been playing the game GuruShots for a few months now and have been hesitant to enter any of the exhibition contests. When playing the game each contest is run by someone who has achieved the rank of Guru in the game. The contest I entered was called, the beauty of the earth and ended on December 5, 2019. The way the game works the Guru gets to make a limited number of “Guru Picks” and those photos that get picked are automatically selected to be included in the upcoming exhibit. There were 33,760 photographers competing in this contest. That means that there were a little over 135k photos entered into the contest since each photographer was required to enter four images.

Quite unexpectedly, on Sunday, December 1st I received several exciting yesterday saying my photo “Half Dome Highlights” was selected as a Guru Pick and as such was automatically qualified to be exhibited in Athens, Greece. ✈️

I received another email informing me that as a result of having a photo selected as a “Guru’s Pick” I also advanced in the game from the Expert Level to the Champion level. I have two more levels to achieve before I too can be a Guru and start running my own contests in the game. The next level for me is “Master” and then “Guru” level photographer.

This #photography journey was especially encouraged by scores of friends and family and I must thank Wendy Cabil💚 and Lexi KP 💚 for being extra enthusiastic 🎉 in their support and Elias Benudiz for being a great patron 💪🏽 of our #fineartcollection! A special nod to Amber Porter Telfer for being the first person to ever to make a query about the availability of one of my images, “Simon Says” over a decade ago and planting a seed of possibility, (you never forget your first time. 🤗🤭)

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step👣, this year we took that first solid step on the photography path… Be encouraged, onward and upward with an attitude of #gratitude.

Standing Watch © 2016

I dream that I am a tree.
Big and tall for all to see.
Day by day I stand and stand.
Birds’ nests I could hold in my hand.
All whilst I just stand.
Watching the world go by with a bird in my hand.
There is beauty in a tree.
Can you see?

~dlw, jr.

Image: This photograph was captured back in 2016 during my first drive along Hawaii’s Hana Highway which curves along the coast of the island of Maui. We took the time to stop and wander the trails in search of nature’s beauty and waterfalls. We found both in droves. (Bonus – on this trip to Maui we bumped into @lawschoolexpert and managed to coordinate a dinner together on the island.) How did I get so lucky?

#shotsbydubbs #photography #fineartphotography #hanahighway #roadtohana #dubbswanders #trees #forrest #oldtree #poetry #photophilisopher #photographerpoet #poem #emeraldgreen #lawschoolbuddies #lawschoolclassmate #lifelongfriends

Camera settings: 4.13mm | f2.2 | ISO: 50 | Shutter: 1/30 sec


Typically, no matter where I wonder in the world I take a morning walk to start my day.  Last Wednesday, I happened to be on my normal route through Heisler Park and the Main Beach Boardwalk in Laguna Beach, California when something quite unusual began to unfold.


As I approached the stairs leading down to the boardwalk, a line of CHP motorcyles first lined up and parked in a two column formation right next to the Life Guard building at the bottom of the stairs from Heisler Park.  They looked like they were in a staging pattern for a parade ride or an escort of some kind.  I thought to myself when I get down these stairs I am going to take a few clicks of this scene.

But just as I began to descend the stairs a column of bikes began to slowly ride off and I thought, well there went my big chance.  But instead of pulling onto PCH the lead bike slowly made its way down the boardwalk as all the other highly attractive CHP motorcycles followed as did virtually every eyeball on the beach.  I noticed cell phones in front of faces to my left and my right but I also noticed that everyone was keeping their distance as far as the ideal shot was concerned.  But they were in my direct path and I had to get the perfect angle of these CHP motorcycles lined-up along the boardwalk with the beautiful ocean side day blooming in the background.

As I moved in a crouched down to get the angle I wanted for my shot, an Officer started to make her way back towards her bike and said, are you about to get the shot?  To which I replied, I sure am.  She then asked if I would take a few with her camera and I happily said, Yes out loud, while in my head I was like, “Are you kidding me, I am the photographer extraordinaire, Don West, Jr., it is what I do, yes, yes, let me capture this special moment as a work of art for you.”  Then, unexpectedly, with a voice that boomed like Gunny Sgt. Whitfield when he was yelling at me for something back in my Navy ROTC days, Officer Handley barked, “Line Up.”

This here is something you are not gonna see every day. In honor of California Highway Patrol Officer Melissa Handley’s retirement, Wednesday was her last day after 24 years on the job, (most as CHP’s only female motorcycle officer), the squad makes one last ride to wherever she wants them to go, at the time of the 📸‘s their current destination was Main Beach Boardwalk in Laguna Beach, CA.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrIogwwimyk&w=560&h=315]

(After leaving the beach, I only had Officer Handley’s last name and wasn’t sure where the squad was from.  I did a Google search and found this awesome video done by CHP- South Los Angeles that details the heroine nature of Officer Hundley and her 24 years with CHP. Enjoy!)

I shared with Officer Handley that my mom had recently retired as a elementary school principal, [in Huntsville, Alabama] and Handley said, congratulations to my Mom on her recent retirement as well.

So, @shotsbydubbs Photography was there to get the snap 📸 for Officer Handley on her phone and of course I grabbed a few on my #redhydrogenone. It took me a couple days to get a little post-production processing done in Adobe Lightroom CC to get these shots ready for this post.  Honored to meet Officer Handley under the circumstance of celebrating her inspiring and trailblazing ride as a member of the CHP motorcyle corp.  Congratulations to Handley and a heartfelt thank you to her for 24 years of service to our community and to all first-responders who serve us every day.  I also send an early Happy Veterans Day to all my brothers and sisters of the American Armed Forces from a fellow non-combat Navy vet.  These are the best captures of the impromptu opportunity to brush up against and shoot a part of California history.


#californiahighwaypatrol #chp #melissahandley #shotsbydubbs #photography #dubbswanders #lagunabeach #mainbeach #lagunabeachboardwalk

Pier Beams © 2018
Under San Clemente Pier

Sometimes we take for granted that lofty beautiful spaces always have an underbelly. The necessary and sometimes less picturesque footings are as essential to the views and can be serene escapes. There is beauty in the underbelly.

#blackandwhite #photography #shotsbydubbs #photophilosopher #clouds #pacificocean #sanclementepier #dubbswanders

Last week I joined the photography game #gurushots and entered a contest to have one of my photos published in #photographerweekmagazine. Which of the four pictures that I submitted do you think is the best depiction of the #beautyoftheearth?

My personal favorite 📸 is B. I love the clarity captured and the almost hidden minute sense of moment with the two people swimming in the surf. 🔥🔥!!!

Which is your favorite🥇?


“Local On A Road Less Traveled” © 2017📸: Nikon Coolpix B500, ISO 125, 4mm, f/3.0, 1/500 sec, handheld, edited in Lightroom CC using @photoserge tutorial.

Location: Southern Tahiti, somewhere near Papara, in French Polynesia


“The Two Hidden Swimmers” © 2017

📸: Nikon Coolpix B500, ISO 125, 4mm, f/3.0, 1/640 sec, handheld
📐 Edited in Adobe Lightroom CC
Location: Tahiti, French Polynesia


“Bora Bora Silhouette” – © 2017

📸: LG G6, ISO 50, 2.01mm, f/2.4, 1/1000 sec, handheld, edited in #LightroomCC
Location: Bora Bora, French Polynesia


“Purple Dawn Over Surf City” © 2018

📸: LG G6
2.01mm | Iso 200 | f/2.4 | 1/25 sec
📐 Edited in Adobe Lightroom CC
Location: Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington, Beach, California, USA

Last week, I took a ride out of Newport Beach for a whale watching cruise on the Nautilus and we saw one whale and several pods of common dolphins.

This is a juvenile grey whale 🐋 making a late migration from Baja California where they mate and give birth toward Alaska where they feed during the summer months. Estimated to be between 30 and 40 feet long.

📸: Canon 750D w/ Canon 18-135mm
135mm | Iso 100 | f/9.0 | 1/1000 sec
📐 Edited in Adobe Lightroom CC 🎆


Here are my favorite shots of the dolphins we encountered:

📸: Canon 750D w/ Canon 18-135mm
75mm | Iso 400 | f/4.5 | 1/1000 sec
📐 Edited in Adobe Lightroom CC 🎆

📸: Canon 750D w/ Canon 18-135mm
75mm | Iso 400 | f/4.5 | 1/1000 sec
📐 Edited in Adobe Lightroom CC 🎆

📸: Canon 750D w/ Canon 18-135mm
75mm | Iso 640 | f/4.5 | 1/1000 sec
📐 Edited in Adobe Lightroom CC 🎆

Last month, I was out and I spotted this young man living his best life whilst enjoying the sunset while on vacation in Laguna Beach, CA. He struck a classic tree pose as he stood king 👑 of the rock. His friends didn’t get the 📸, however, as you can see, Dubbs clicked it. A timeless frame capturing the exhilarated spirit. I chose to use the auto-correct feature in Abobe Photoshop Express on my phone.

Below is the finished image that I posted on IG:

A Tree on a Cliff © 2019
A Tree on a Cliff © 2019

📸: Canon Rebel T6, ISO 800, 29mm, f/7.1, 1/200 sec, Yunteng monopod, auto-corrected in Photoshop Express.
Location: Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, CA, USA

#classic #vacation #bestlife #timeless #strikeapose #sunset #lagunabeach #photography #shotsbydubbs #treepose #pacificocean

I grabbed a few additional frames of the same gentleman and opted to apply the new techniques I acquired from Serge Ramelli’s Photo Serge® tutorial on Adobe Lightroom CC. I believe the results show a night and day difference.

Below is the frame I edited using Lightroom:

"King of the Mountain" © 2019
“King of the Mountain” © 2019

📸: Canon Rebel T6, ISO 800, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, Yunteng monopod, edited in Lightroom CC.
Location: Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, CA, USA

#shotsbydubbs #photography #landscapephotography
#travelphotography #sunset #pinksky #clouds #rocks #pacificocean #heislerpark #lagunabeach #kingofthemountain #vacationmemories

So, which of these two photos do you think looks more like a “professional” photograph?