Underwater photography on the Great Barrier Reef

Underwater Photography

Sweet lips swimming below our boat as I entered the water

I made three dives with an underwater camera to take photos and videos of coral and tropical fish on the reef. One was with an instructor to get PADI certified for adventure diving.

The last dive on our third day I was able to shoot more freely, going where I wanted, accompanied by Raf who knew interesting formations and holes where fish would be.

It’s difficult to photograph when diving.  Strong  currents make it difficult to maintain balance and buoyancy holding a camera in both hands to focus and follow the fish.  You see an interesting coral formation or fish swimming nearby, then move towards them, with only a few seconds to shoot.  If you’re lucky, you get one or two good photos before the current sweeps you away or the fish swim by.  It’s a bit of a challenge, but fun.

Colorful plate coral

Waving coral

Fish swimming through anemone

Technicolor coral

Small fish swam through anemone, seeking protection from predator fish.


Unusual jellyfish

One of the more unusual creatures  I saw was a jellyfish that was a long cord of transparent film with a dot of living organism inside each cell.

Unusual jellyfish, film of connected tissue with individual cells

Some living coral aren’t in the books we looked through.  These were the only ones of this type I saw in three days.  I hovered over the coral bank to get close enough for a couple of photos before currents pulled me away.

On the same coral formation

Plate coral were visible in many forms, textures, and colors.

Plate coral attached to reef

On the wall of one reef, I spotted an unusual coral formation squeezed between coral walls.  It looked like a fungus you’d find on a tree in a dark fores.

Fungus like coral between rocks

Elusive tropical fish

Sometimes a school of tropical fish would swim by, offering only a second or two to get a photo.  Then they were out of range or disappear in the reef.  It was fun, but a little frustrating, wanting to freeze time for that ‘perfect shot.’ Those are rare for the amateur.

The most difficult fish to film were schools of tiny silver, blue, yellow and red fish.  They’d appear in the distance, sometimes swimming away, other times close enough to photograph. But hey swam away, took far for a good photo.

Beautiful turquoise fish, tiny, fast, elusive

On my adventure diving certification dive, my instructor pointed out a rare coronet fish seemingly suspended between coral formations.  I couldn’t see it at firs;, my instructor swam closer and pointed until I saw him and got a quick photo.  Later on the surface, my instructor said I was lucky to get the photo.

Coronet fish between rocks

Beautiful coral

Tropical fish are fun to follow and photograph, but many times my eye was drawn to beautiful coral, some very colorful and unusual in shape and texture.

Mustard colored coral

Blue pointed coral

Coral, fish, and seabed

I was able to get a video of clown fish swimming in anemone.

* * * * *

Next:  Leaving the Great Barrier Reef

As many of you know, I also write mysteries and romantic suspense novels.

I recently published my first international thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan, which is available on Kindle as well as other ereaders, tablets, and smartphones.

I’m back in Europe for the summer to hire a translator and to research my next book which will also be a thriller based in Milan.  I’ll be posting soon from Milan, Stresa, Zurich and other locations.

I have a few posts on another blog,  Anatomy of a Thriller, where I write about the process of researching and writing an international thriller.  I’ll add more posts there as well.

Please share these links with writers or readers who might be interested.

Find my books in Apple’s iBookstore
At Amazon including # 1 Kindle best seller “Perfect Crime” 

21 responses to “Underwater photography on the Great Barrier Reef

  1. Wow, it’s so great to go on a little trip with you each time I open my email to work, I feel like I’m right there in the water with you, without having to carry the 100lbs. I’ve seen a lot of underwater movies but never seen the plate coral, mustard coral, blue tipped and that fantastic jelly fish.


    • Yes, please share w/ your group. Are you divers, from Australia, or NZ? We had a fabulous winter
      Down Under last year, may go back again in ’14.


    • Thanks for sharing, The GBR was one of the greatest experience in my life. I finally got to see things I’d only watched on nature shows. The experience was better because you could hear the sounds, feel the currents, and absorb the full 360 world under water.
      I’ll start posting from Milan and other northern Italian locations soon. Stay tuned!


  2. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I
    have truly loved browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing on your feed and I am
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    • Thanks for your note, Leanne. I appreciate your comments. I am back posting after many months researching and writing my thriller, “Thirteen Days in Milan,” which I’ve commented on. I’m back in Europe for the summer, between books and research, and wandering to interesting places and writing about them. Stay tuned, more to come!


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    • Glad you’ve liked what you’ve read. I’m doing this for fun; I also write and publish mysteries and thrillers. I’m between books now so will be publishing more on this site in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for posts from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France.


    • Sorry if you’re a bit confused. I confess, I’ve had gaps in posting, mostly because I was deeply involved in writing and researching my recently published thriller, “Thirteen Days in Milan,” which I’ve commented on. Hope that helps; I’d love to write more on this blog, but time and other writing committments are always a struggle. I’m back in Europe, posting from Italy and Switzerland, between books, so I’ll be more active for a few weeks. Which blogs did you like? What are your interests? Always like to hear from other writers.


    • Thanks for sharing your comments. We’re back in Europe for the summer, stay tuned for posts
      from Italy (three posted already), Switzerland, Germany, and France.


    • Thanks for your comments, Angelica. Glad you like the commentary. I’m in Europe for
      the summer, stay tuned for posts from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France. Have a couple
      recent posts from my time in Italy last month.


    • Thanks for the comments, glad you enjoy the posts. More coming from Europe where we’d spending the
      summer. Already posted from Italy, stay tuned for Switzerland, Germany, more from Italy and France.
      Please keep sharing comments.


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    • I appreciate your comments and hope you’ll keep reading. I’m in Europe this summer, have posted from Italy and
      Switzerland, more to come from Germany and return to Italy’s lake district.


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