Identify and Share Your Aquatic Adventures.

Cell Phones Underwater - Just Add Light

John Fifer-Monterey Shootout 2014By John Fifer

The cellular devices we take with us everywhere can capture fantastic topside images that can immediately be shared with others through our social media channels. What if we took these same devices underwater? 

Housings are now readily available for multiple iPhone and Samsung devices that provide users with basic control of camera functions to roughly 150’.  Companies like Watershot, iDive, SeaShell and i-DiveSite are pioneering technology that helps the average Joe take great pictures underwater with the devices they use everyday. 

Calling All Kelp CrabsIf you have ever tried to take images underwater, you know it is not as easy as simply taking a camera underwater to get good shots.  Even the best cameras taken underwater need a little help to work their magic. Water can play tricks on any camera and the brilliant colors we are mesmerized by have a tendency to appear in multiple shades of blue. 

One simple solution we used to help our underwater cell phone images go from blue to brilliant was to just add light. By using quality lighting solutions provided by Light and Motion, ReefID’s initial cell phone housing reviews have produced some fantastic results. 

Shaded NudibranchFor our tests, we used both Sola 1200s and Light & Motion's new GoBe 700 wides.  Both products we used to illuminate our subjects helped mimic topside lighting, and gave us the ability to introduce creative shading options. A tray and arm system provided by Ultralight Control Systems provied us with multiple angles to direct our light and add drama and texture to our images. Multiple power levels on the Solas and GoBes gave us the ability to shoot close, far and even switch to video if we wanted.  This flexibility gave us the ability to focus mainly on finding subjects we wanted to shoot.

Once topside, sharing the fun we had was as simple logging into our social media accounts and posting.  No post processing was used for any of the images in this article.  In order to give you a good idea of what your phone can do, these images are straight from our cell phone to you.

Cell phones and other devices going underwater have been a fantastic complement to ReefID’s app development and have prompted us to begin reviewing housings for them. Stay tuned as we roll through each manufacture and give you the scoop.  Also, please like us on Facebook to see all the cool underwater images images we post from our phones.  In the meantime, if you want good underwater images from your cell phones, just add light.


Inspiring imagesTurtle tagging research helps protect these majestic creatures. Teens4Oceans is doing their part with help from ReefID.

Teens4Oceans, is an organization empowering our next generation to become impassioned stewards for their ocean through education, experiential learning, scientific research and innovative technologies.

A team of scientists, chaperones and students are currently in Akumal Mexico continuing a Turtle Tagging Research Project with Centro Ecologica Akumal.

t4oIn addition to a webcam and acoustic receiver that will be installed as part of the turtle research station, Teens4Oceans is also experimenting with ReefID's identification technology to enhance the effectiveness of this project.

As part of their adventure, students will play a large role in evaluating and shaping how the ReefID system is developed for Teens4Oceans projects and will work for future expeditions.

To check out what the students are up to, Click Here


Public Aquariums

Georgia_AquariumBy John Fifer
Interested in a fun and easy way to enjoy our oceans inhabitants up close and personal with the whole family?  Take them to your local aquarium!  Public aquariums have been special places to introduce people of all ages to the amazing animals that reside beneath the sea for years.
For those of us unable to visit our oceans in person, pubic aquariums have done an excellent job of recreating the natural environments of our oceans inhabitants for all to see.  Great care is exercised to assure species normally found together are kept together providing as close to a real experience as possible.  Technology and scientific research has helped curators provide, temperature, lighting and feeding conditions that mimic what animals would normally experience in the wild.  Thick acrylic walls and sometimes even tubes provide visitors with the ability to walk right through the unique underwater environment our ocean inhabitants live in and see firsthand their natural behavior.


In addition to having the inhabitants well cared for and easy for all to see, trained staff members are available to answer questions and provide information on the spot.  Information can be found posted in hardcopy and in some cases digital formats with ways for people to interact and learn more.

The animals themselves are unique and thought provoking creatures that naturally spark interest in young minds.  Knowing this, aquariums have developed inspiring programs tailored for children to foster curiosity and build their love for our oceans at an early age.  Educational sleepovers give children a chance to experience the aquarium without crowds in a structured yet fun learning environment.  Touch pools tap into additional senses and inspire the desire to learn more.  Other kid friendly activities such as coloring contests, puzzles and quizzes are offered as ways to participate and have fun.  Daily shows, feeding times, and behind the scenes tours are also provided to engage people of all ages.
On top of being huge promoters of ocean awareness, research typically done by public aquariums is also vital to the survival of our oceans and their inhabitants.  Endangered species and habitats are identified and plans are developed for their protection.  Climate change and its effect on our oceans is observed and documented to aid in decision making processes.  Sustainable fishery and bycatch standards and practices are established to assure future supplies.  Aquaculture programs are created to reduce pressures on our natural resources and much more.
Over 70 percent of the earth's surface is ocean.  It supports the life of nearly 50 percent of ALL species on earth by providing 20 percent of the protein consumed by animals in general and five percent of the total protein in the human diet.  Knowing what is in it, how to manage it and how it relates to us is as important as the air we breathe.  Our public aquariums provide a vital role in assuring everyone has the ability to experience what is out  there and why we need to protect it.  Please, visit, enjoy and support your local public aquariums.


By Steve Rosenberg


whale_shark2I had to select a dive destination for a group of family and friends. There was an interesting cross section of hardcore diver/photographers and those who wanted to do a little diving with an emphasis on relaxation and day trips. For purely selfish reasons, I wanted to take the group back to the Philippines. I had heard many good things about the diving in the Dumaguete area. I researched the options and came up with the Atmosphere Resort. I soon discovered that I had indeed made an excellent choice.


Resort2The resort, which opened in 2008, is beautifully situated on the grounds of an old seven-acre coconut plantation on the island of Negros. The suites are scattered throughout the lush and spacious tropical gardens. The Atmosphere resort is close to the city of Dumaguete, a bustling University town with an airport, several hospitals, shopping malls and other conveniences close at hand. The resort sits squarely on a spectacular beachfront location overlooking the warm coastal waters of the Philippine Sea, about 30 minutes south of Dumaguete by car and lies in the coastal town of Dauin. Whether you want to scuba dive, indulge in the enchanted spa or simply read a book by the pool, you can look forward to an unforgettable stay. We found the accommodations to be upscale and comfortable. I did make a stop at the spa, which afforded a delightful “short” break from diving. The food was delicious, varied and plentiful.


Calm_seasIn general, the climate of the Philippines is tropical, with moderate to high temperatures and high humidity. There are only two seasons: the dry winter season which runs from December to May and the slightly wetter summer season running from June to November. The dry season brings moderate seas and on-shore breezes and the wetter season has glass-flat seas and minimal offshore winds. The coolest month falls in January and the hottest, in May. Water temperatures are very comfortable ranging between 80 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. For scuba diving, a 3 to 5mm wetsuit is more than sufficient.

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