Diving the Great Barrier Reef…

Although I have dived the Great Barrier Reef before, I was so excited to be coming back after quite a few years out of the water. I had done my refresher dives down in Victoria, which roughly translated means that you suffer an instant ‘ice headache’ as you submerge due to the bracing temperatures. I spent too much time reading and reading snorkel masks reviews to be sure I would have the optimal set up. On the Barrier Reef however all that was required was a nice thin wetsuit… ‘Why has it taken me so long to return?’ was again the question that kept playing through my mind as I watched the two reef sharks circling below prior to my slipping weightlessly into the depths…

All the (many) images in this post were taken using a simple Panasonic Lumix DT4 ‘point and shoot’ that I hired from the dive company Pro Dive while onboard their Silversonic dive vessel, since I do not as yet own an underwater housing for my 5 D’s. The Lumix is a reasonable little camera for it’s size, but with some fairly big limitations, not least of which is that it does not allow you access to the RAW files, providing JPEG’s only. Also, as it was in a very simple housing, there was no way to attach an external flash, and the built in one is pretty useless underwater due to issues with backscatter. However, for all that it was of course preferable to have a camera with me than not… I have performed some colour correction on the resulting JPEG files, which by their very nature of being shot at a higher ISO are a little bit grainy…

Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Reef sharks; silently I willed them to come closer to within camera range, alas these shy and beautiful creatures maintained a distance from me, while circling and curiously observing these ungainly bipeds… – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Although I particularly love sharks, this is still one of my favourite shots from the day’s diving- © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Stunning colours in this giant clam – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Fish and coral – Heaven! – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Just magnificent – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
This coral houses a really cute community – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Is it safe? – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Are you looking at me..? – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Diver with the giant clam – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Such a profusion of colours – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Fascinating fan corals – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Obviously this image has been quite heavily cropped from the original JPEG, hence the grain… – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Life on the reef – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Sleek and perfectly adapted to their environment… – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Beautiful Lionfish – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Stunning coral… © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Hi Nemo..! – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Having a rest – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Cleaner Wrasse doing what Cleaner Wrasse do… © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Interesting coral structures – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Unfortunately the effects of the last hurricane and the clown of thorns starfish can be readily observed in this image; there are some conflicting views as to how the reef is recovering or coping, but as divers we can certainly do our bit by not touching anything, and watching where our fins go! – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
© Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Dive buddy – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Returning to the Silversonic – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
All too soon it was time to head back to the surface… – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013
Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
My dive buddy for the day giving the thumbs up – © Michael Evans Photographer 2013

The service from Pro Dive in Cairns was superb, and I would not hesitate to recommend them. After we docked back at Port Douglas I grabbed this quick snap on my Canon of our vessel for the day, the Silversonic…

Silversonic, Port Douglas - © Michael Evans Photographer 2013 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
The Silversonic dive boat © Michael Evans Photographer 2013

I have since started planning my next dive trip, and at some stage am definitely going to purchase a decent underwater housing for my camera; I really missed not being able to add flash to my subjects and the extra processing capabilities that comes from shooting RAW files, combined with the overall control afforded by a D-SLR. Still, I was generally happy with the results considering I hadn’t taken a camera underwater in many years…

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