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Patrick Webster – Marine Biologist / Underwater Photographer / Comedian
Patrick Webster (aka ‘underwaterpat’) is an accomplished underwater photographer and videographer, who happens to also be a marine biologist based in Monterey California. Pat’s images and videos have won several competitions and also have been published by National Geographic, The New York Times and more global publications.
In today’s episode, Pat shares fun stories about his viral videos, entering and winning one of the largest photo competitions in the world (The Monterey Shootout) and the people that inspire his work. We also talk environmentalism and social responsibility, and what divers should consider as they are traveling the world on dive trips.
Pat’s Gear Checklist
Pat graduated from GoPro to become a Panasonic and Nauticam shooter. He jokes that every time he has won a photo competition, he goes deeper in debt by spending even more money on upgrading his kit. Here’s a peek at his current underwater gear bag:
- Panasonic GH5
- Nauticam Housing
- 8mm Fisheye (wide angle)
- Panasonic 12-35mm (mid range)
- Panasonic 60mm macro lens (macro)
- Nauticam CMC-2 Compact Macro Converter
- Sea & Sea YS-01 strobes
- Backscatter mini flash with snoot
- Light In Motion Sola Dive Lights
Viral Video Sensation
Well, Pat’s not quite internet famous, but a few of his videos are. The most popular video to date is a video that National Geographic picked up where an octopus and a crab were fighting, up until another surprise guest arrived:
This video got so famous that it spawned multiple YouTuber reaction videos. Here’s one from Russia:
Photo Competiton Winner
Pat is humble about many of his competition wins, but here’s just a few examples. The Monterey shootout is touted as the largest annual gathering of underwater photographers in the USA. It’s a 4 day event and always has a huge photo competition. Pat has won several categories over multiple years. (It probably helps that it occurs practically in his backyard!) Here’s just a few that i could get him to tell me about.
Patrick’s shot of pelagic red crabs attempt to block out the sun won best in show at the 2016 Monterey Shootout:
These are his other awards from the last couple of years at the Monterey Shootout:
- Monterey Shootout 2016 Winners
- Winner: best in show
- Winner: advanced wide angle unrestricted (photo)
- Winner: advanced wide angle traditional (photo)
- Winner: snapshot wide angle (video)
- Winner: montage (video) – “Where’s My Buddy”
- 2nd Place: advanced macro unrestricted (photo)
- 3rd Place: advanced macro unrestricted (photo)
- Monterey Shootout 2018 Winners
- Winner: advanced wide angle unrestricted
- Winner: video: snapshot wide angle.
- Honorable Mention: “Do it for the Gram” Video
Check out just a couple of Pat’s hilarious videos below:
I just love the scene at the end where he’s trying to show off his photo to a lady dive buddy, who isn’t quite impressed. I think we’ve all been there!
Joe has been published too many articles to mention. (Just google him). But since it came up during the podcast, you can check out the New York Times article here:
During our podcast episode, Patrick delves deep into the various complexities of environmental issues, underwater photography and social responsibility. We could do an entire podcast on the subject of how environment issues, race issues, and other systemic problems are all intertwines, so I will not even try to cover it in this little summary. Patrick has some great thoughts on how divers should really consider themselves ambassadors to the world and strive to learn as much as they can in their travels, and spread the word of what they learn of people and nature through their stories and photography.
Check out Pat’s social media accounts and be sure to give him a follow. Also check out his Dive Mola site for some cool Mola merchandise:
- Instagram – underwaterpat
- Vimeo – underwaterpat
- Species ID Website: Upwellings
- Dive Mola Gear: DiveMola.com
Charities / Environmentalism / Social Responsibility
Pat is a fan of Reef Check. Find out more about what they do here: ReefCheck.org
Thanks so much Pat-trique for sharing your photos and stories with us! It’s great to meet another dive buddy located in California. Hopefully we will be able to make our way north and get to chat with you in person and go for a dive together!
Watch The Full Podcast Episode With Patrick Webster On YouTube
Check out the youtube version of our podcast if you would prefer to watch us talk instead of listen:
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