Greg Lashbrook and Kathy Johnson have received multiple awards for their advocacy work on behalf of the Great Lakes.
Greg Lashbrook & Kathy Johnson accept an award from the Bi-National Public Advisory Council for their work in the Great Lakes. Image Patty Troy

Greg Lashbrook and Kathy Johnson

Greg and Kathy are professional divers who specialize in freshwater life. They have worked as search and rescue divers, commercial hard hat divers, research divers, and underwater filmmakers. Greg and Kathy have worked with a wide range of governmental and broadcast organizations including Fishes & Oceans Canada, US Fish & Wildlife Service, NOAA, National Park Service, Royal Ontario Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Detroit Science Center, Grand Rapids Public Museum, PBS, Discovery’s Animal Planet, National Geographic and the IMAX film, Mysteries of the Great Lakes.

Greg and Kathy’s work has appeared in the following books: Diving and Snorkeling Guide to the Great Lakes, by Kathy Johnson & Greg Lashbrook; Working Underwater: The Story of the Commercial Diving Industry, by Mike Cox. Off the Bridal Path, by John Louis Anderson; Accidental Reef and Other Great Lakes odysseys, Lynn Heasley; Canyon Country Parklands Treasures of the Great Plateau, by Scott Thybony; Quagga & Zebra Mussels Biology, Impacts & Controls, by Thomas Nalepa and Don Schloesser

The original PolkaDot Perch

Curious how we came up with PolkaDot Perch? It started with one of the first underwater images Greg ever captured. Not his very first. His first underwater shot was a wash-out still-life of his feet and a beer can taken in a friend’s backyard pool when he was still a wet-behind-the-ears teen.

Old faded photograph of a man's feet holding a beer can underwater
Greg Lashbrook’s first underwater photo. Circa a long time ago!

Even when oceans, lakes, or rivers look crystal clear the water is filled with microscopic bits of life. The majority of these particles are too tiny for us to see but they are super reflective. When hit with bright lights, the particles show up (and usually ruin) underwater photographs. Underwater shooters refer to this phenomenon as “backscatter.”

The ability to properly light the image without creating any backscatter is one of the marks of professional underwater shooters.

On the road to becoming a pro, Greg took his share of throwaway shots. One near-great shot of a yellow perch was ruined by backscatter. But, rather than throwing the shot away, Greg jokingly labeled and filed it as the highly elusive “Polka Dot Perch.”

Yellow perch underwater with dots of light everywhere

It’s the elusive PolkaDot Perch!!

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4756 Burtch Rd. Suite 69 Lakeport, MI 48059

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