This year, after 20 years of diving open circuit, I got certified to dive on a closed-circuit rebreather. My class was at the beginning of July, and I had to put aside my camera for a while afterwards so I could become comfortable with new buoyancy and other skills. The first day I took my camera back out, I was pretty nervous; I could hardly shoot for constantly checking my pO2. That dive day coincided with what we in Southern California see as a nearly annual event - an influx of jellyfish that come in briefly, then disappear. This year's jelly was a pretty uncommon one, the black sea nettle. (I had only seen one of these before, years ago, and it was pretty beaten up.) Seeing tens of them in the water column on this day was incredible. We brought some friends out to shoot them 2 days later, and the vis and jelly numbers had dropped precipitously.
This image was my favorite of the year because it was the first real encounter I'd had with these creatures...and most of all because it was my first day getting used to diving a rebreather with my camera in hand. I didn't take many photos, but because there weren't a bunch of exhalation bubbles, I got a few keepers anyways.
Here's to great diving and successful shooting in 2013!!