Bunaken Marine Park - Coral Reef Seascape

25-Nov-2012 Back to Image Gallery

Bunaken Marine Park - Coral Reef Seascape

I often notice that divers tend to plunge down into the depths of many coral reef walls and disregard the shallows as an inconvenient safety stop or decompression zone not really worthy of their interest or expertise! Yet in fact at many Indo Pacific dive locations the shallow coral reef seascape provides fantastic scenery and photographic opportunities. It is in these sunlit regions, given shelter from ocean waves and disturbance, hard corals thrive and produce their finest sculptures. In these shallow zones the diver or snorkeler is able to capitalise on nature’s grandeur as pastel shades of colour are revealed by diffused light beams. Armed with just a camera and wide angle lens the photographer is free of strobes, back scatter, complex technical camera settings and can concentrate of working with just the light from the gods or nature.

Photo Data: Location: Bunaken Island Marine Park , North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Genre: Wide Angle Sunlight. Photo Data: Nikon D200, Nikkor 12 - 24mm lens, Seacam Housing. Aperture Exposure Mode. ISO 100 Exposure f8 @ 1/250th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: These images can be captured equally well with either a DSLR or Compact camera, as long as you have a wide angle lens with a field of view 100 degrees or better. You really want a cloudless day and work with the sunlight. This is best accomplished by ensuring the sun is directly behind you as in traditional sunlight above water photography. Images like these are best shot as Raw files if possible so you will have more ability to recover colours with your computer soft ware. Your white balance tool will be most useful for this. My preferred software is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Equipment Comments: A wide angle lens is essential for this genre of photography. Fortunately this is available for some compact cameras and most DSLR cameras providing you have purchased the right models. Always consult with the Dive 2000 UWP team before choosing any camera equipment to ensure these options are available to you.

Interesting Facts: Scientific name. Acropora sp. Acropora corals are the most prolific of the fast growing hard corals on shallow reef flats, they build the many forms familiar to all divers and snorkelers such as table and plate corals, stag horn corals, and a huge variety of branching corals. They are the favourite food of the Crown of Thorns sea star and the most prolific spawning coral during mass coral spawning events. Corals are not plants, they are reef building animals that feed on plankton life killed and captured using stinging tentacles as do Anemones and Sea Jellies.

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