Views of the Great Barrier Reef

We recently had the pleasure of enjoying one of the “seven wonders of the natural world,” the Great Barrier Reef.  Launching from Port Douglas on Australia’s northeast coast, we took an all-day boat trip about 70km out to see and spent the day snorkeling.

There’s no way to really convey what this undersea world looks like, without thousands of dollars worth of video and camera equipment, lights, and protective covers.  But I tried my best with a GoPro and several different photo editing programs to help remove the green tint on everything and help bring out the colors and definition as we remember seeing them.  You can cycle through some of the best results below, if you’re interested. Hover near the right edge of the photo to make the “next” button appear.

If you ever have an opportunity to photograph underwater sea life, I learned that the more light that gets through the water (i.e. the shallower the reef/fish etc) and the closer the camera is to what you’re photographing, the better the results tend to be. Afterward, I used Lightroom on the best photos to help correct the fisheye effect on the GoPro, which causes a bit of distortion/blurriness toward the edges of the photos. You can also do some color correction and help improve some of the blacks. Further correction was done in Photoshop, but I think the best improvement came at the end, using OnOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite 8 – specifically the “temperature” and “tint” tools.

I also took some video footage, both from the air above the reef – extremely stressful as I kept having visions of the entire rig crashing into the sea) and underwater. ProDAD’s DeFishr program removed the fisheye effect from the video, and I was able to use Premiere Elements’ tools to make most of the color corrections. The choice of music may seem odd – but my daughter insisted I use it, as this was the tune that had been going through her head most of the day. Again, Premiere Elements was used to give the “underwater” effect to the music. Hope you enjoy it, and be sure to select the highest HD resolution (bottom right of the video window) if your internet speed supports it!

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