Origin Story of Polka Dot Perch
Why Polka Dot Perch? Well, we wanted something fun (polka dots are always fun) and something about freshwater that wasn’t too fishy. We scrapped dozens. Then one day, Greg was digitizing some of his first underwater pictures and he came across the Polka Dot Perch.
To capture the vivid red and orange colors of a coral reef, underwater photographers must use powerful strobe lights to bath the underwater area with artificial light.
Even if an ocean, lake, or river looks 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) the picture. Underwater shooters refer to this as “backscatter.”
Backscatter is a major challenge for ALL underwater shooters.
The ability to light up the things you want to highlight without any backscatter is the mark of a professional underwater shooter.
On the road to becoming a pro, Greg took his share of terrible pictures. One almost 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.”
Lashbrook and Johnson
Greg and Kathy are professional scuba divers with years of experience in Great Lakes underwater filming and video production. They’ve filmed lake sturgeon in Lake Huron for the IMAX film Mysteries of the Great Lakes and hunted aliens in Lake Michigan with an Animal Planet production.
Greg and Kathy have worked on habitat restoration projects across the Great Lakes basin. Lake sturgeon are one of their specialties. Greg was the first person to find and document lake sturgeon in the St. Clair and Big Manistee rivers. And they helped with the underwater filming of the IMAX movie, Mysteries of the Great Lakes. Greg and Kathy are available for project consultations. For additional information click HERE.
A complete list of Kathy’s publications can be found HERE.
Greg and Kathy’s dive work was also included in the 50th-anniversary commemorative book, Working Underwater: The story of the commercial diving industry, by Mike Cox. Available at Working Underwater.
Are you interested in learning more about Greg and Kathy’s work or freshwater issues? Check out our BLOG for insider reports on Great Lakes issues.
If you’ve got a question or need to reach us, no problem! Send us an email or give us a call at –
Polka Dot Perch
4756 Burtch Rd. Suite 69
Lakeport MI 48059