On Sunday we headed out to Flinders Reef, in Moreton Bay, to do a combined underwater photo-video shoot for Reef Check Australia.
Reef Check Australia is a non-profit environmental organisation for coral reef conservation. Their staff and volunteers go out and monitor the state of local reefs, “bringing Citizen Science to environmental issues”.
These guys needed some working shots for their marketing and training—images of their dive volunteers doing transects, taking photos, using the plumb-bob, recording data, etc.
Unfortunately, the underwater conditions on the day were less than ideal: rolling swells, strong surge, and the viz was down. And we only had one dive where the volunteers were available to do some dedicated modelling for us.
With the viz pretty poor, the strobes would have picked up too much backscatter. So I left the strobes on the boat, and switched instead to a Magic Filter and shot using ambient light. Magic Filters work best in shallow water, with the sun behind you. I asked the volunteers to swim as close as they could to the dome port, which further helps make the water look clearer. They look like they’re a few metres away in these shots, but they were actually less than arm’s length from my dome (I was using the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, set at 10mm).
These scuba divers have superb buoyancy and maximum respect for the reef, it’s a joy to see. Check out how high off the reef they keep their fins!