Mola-Molas, Oil Rigs, Virtual Reality… Oh My!
If you have ever wanted to know what it’s like to dive in the colder waters of northern California, dive off an oil rig, do a black water dive… well, you gotta meet John Bernhelm!
We were lucky enough to have John volunteer his time to talk with us about his amazing dive experiences, both locally in Monterey, California, as well as all over the world. He’s also an underwater photographer and shares various underwater photos with us to help tell the story of his journey.
John’s also a game developer, and used his love the ocean to contribute to the development of a cool underwater virtual reality experience. We cover all this and so much more in our fantastic interview with John. Please have a listen or watch the youtube stream. I promise you that he is so energetic and inspiring that you will will finish ready to grab your reg and be itching to get back in the water to get a dive in.
If you happened to be listening or have listened to the podcast already (head to the bottom of the page) and wanted to check out some of John’s photos, you’ve also come to the right place. Let’s have a look at a few highlights:
John’s Gear and Underwater Photo Journey So Far
John started his underwater photography journey with a Canon Elph, but now shoots with an Olumpus TG-5 in an Olympus housing, and recently started working on lighting with 2 INON strobes. (As mentioned on earlier episodes, Olympus makes great underwater rigs and is a good launch point for people starting to get really serious about underwater photography).
John resides in northern California, and takes advantage of it by diving regularly in Monterey and other spots near him, allowing him to get a dive in at least monthly. For those that have not done California diving, the experience of diving through a kelp forrest is very surreal:
John tells the story of how ocean sunfish, or mola mola’s can often be seen here, but are usually much smaller variety than the ones many of us think of. Because of this, they are both prey and play-things for the resident sea lions in northern california, and often can be seen on the sea floor having been victims of a sea-lion play session:
Although we didn’t get to chat about his trip to Thailand, John caught this fun picture of barracuda in what appears to be a chaotic frenzy of other fish both big and small. I love the sense of motion and chaos in this picture. Just one of many great pics, John!
See More Of John’s Work
Watch It On YouTube:
If you’re the visual type, you can watch our discussion with John on Youtube: