Getting Wet on the GBR …

… made a lightning fast visit to the Great Barrier Reef out from Cairns recently for The Australian.

Journalist Graham Lloyd and I were choppered out to Moore Reef … certainly one of my quickest (and shortest) visits to the Great Barrier Reef !

A twenty five minute helicopter flight … then straight into the water with camera, reef crew Katherine, reef ecologist Eric and journalist Graham … forty five minutes working in the lagoon, the flat and the wall of Moore Reef … then straight back on the chopper to Cairns.

The Australian published a couple of my images to accompany Graham’s story on page 3  (middle pic below) with a pointer from page 1.

In the top two images below Katherine is exploring the ‘wall’ area of Moore Reef which was smashed during Cyclone Yasi in 2011, impacted by Cyclone Ita in 2014 … and then extensively bleached during climate change related extreme temperature events in 2016 and 2017. Damage on the ‘wall’ section is still evident but it does appear that corals are making a comeback (and the fish numbers were astonishing.)

Even on the ‘flat’ area between the lagoon and the wall … where there has been extensive bleaching (which I documented back in May 2017 for @everydayclimatechange and News) … there is some coral regrowth.

Sadly, with more frequent extreme temperature events and cyclones almost a certainty as the planet warms, the World’s largest reef system still faces a distinctly uncertain future.

The reef trip also gave me a chance to use a nice new bit of kit … the Sealife 0.5X wide angle dome lens … on my Sealife DC2000 underwater camera (pic bottom below). The wide angle is perfect for my choice of underwater pics … making underwater ‘landscapes’ much more impressive. If you are interested in any underwater kit (including the excellent Sealife system) may I suggest contacting Tim Hochgrebe at Underwater Australasia for the best range and prices.

Images © Brian Cassey




‘Fluorescing’ Coral … and the SeaLife DC2000 …

… following a catastrophic incident with an underwater housing and not wishing to face the prospect of drowning a perfectly good and expensive Nikon D5 and turning it into a salty paperweight, I searched for an underwater camera that wouldn’t break the bank, shoots raw, has an off camera strobe, versatility … and would be stress free.

I came across the new SeaLife DC2000 when it was first announced. The specs included a SONY 2.5cm back-illuminated 20MP CMOS image sensor, RAW & JPEG capture, built in underwater colour correction, full Manual, Auto and Mode shooting, a comprehensive selection of lighting options and accessories … and both the housing AND camera are waterproof to depths far below that which I will descend to.

Surprisingly the BEST price deal on the new kit … I opted for the kit which included the Sea Dragon Flash … can be found in Australia from Tim Hochgrebe at Underwater Australasia. His price is way under anyone else I could find around the planet (including B&H) and he expedited stock into the country, offered free shipping AND a free extra battery. He still has some stock I believe and it can be found at

I’ve now used the SeaLife DC2000 (pic bottom below) on a couple of occasions on news stories on the Great Barrier Reef … and have found it easy to shoot … admittedly a little slower and more measured than a housed DSLR … and easy to view and make adjustments underwater. For my shooting style adding the SeaLife ‘Fisheye’ (which it isn’t) wide angle lens to the setup was a no brainer.  The image quality from the camera is fine …

It isn’t perfect … what camera ever is … but the SeaLife has provided me with a relatively stress free setup to use for underwater news jobs.

The image below (with marine biologist Sam Grey from Silver Sonic) was taken with the SeaLife at Moore Reef on the GBR this week … and … before you mention the vivid colours I should explain that many of these corals are ‘fluorescing’ … showing amazingly vibrant and brilliant colours as they become stressed by too high water temperatures. These colours are exactly how the coral appeared … particularly striking was the plate coral near the centre of the frame. A prelude to bleaching and possibly coral death. I also witnessed large gardens of totally white ‘bleached’ coral. Our Great Barrier Reef IS under threat from Global Warming.

Main Image © Brian Cassey

Fluorescing coral Great Barrier Reef Moore Reef by Brian Cassey

SeaLife DC2000 underwater camera with Sea Dragon flash