"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives. These animals are actually very mobile creatures. However their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen.


Make sure you watch the video on a large screen. This clip is displayed in Full HD, yet the source footage (or the whole clip), is available in UltraHD 4k resolution for media productions.

The answer to a common question: yes, colors are "real" and not exaggerated by digital enhancement. We have only applied basic white balance correction. However, we used specialized lights to mimic the underwater ambient spectrum. When photographers use white light (artificial spectrum) on corals, they simply miss the vast majority of colours. Corals have spectrum-sensitive colouration due to fluorescent pigments.

The duration of sequences varied from 20 minutes to 6+ hours.

=== Technical details ===

To make this little clip we took 150000 shots. Why so many? Because macro photography involves shallow depth of field. To extend it, we used focus stacking and deconvolution algorithms. Each frame of the video is actually a stack that consists of 3-12 shots.

Just the intro and the last scene are regular real-time footage. One frame required about 10 minutes of processing time (raw conversion + stacking + deconvolution in some scenes). Unfortunately, the success rate was very low due to copious technical challenges and we spent almost 9 long months to get it right.

- Multiple Canon DLSRs (1 camera died)
- Lenses: Canon MP-E 65 mm lens, and a custom photomacrography rig (custom lenses are better for this type of task)
- Lights: adjustable custom-spectrum lamps (3 different models) - they were needed to recreate natural underwater illumination.
- several motorized stages, including StackShot for focus stacking. StackShot, is sadly not 100% reliable for long-term time lapses.
- multiple computers to process thousands of 22+ Mpx raw images and perform focus stacking (an old laptop died on that mission after 3 weeks of continuous processing).

Music: Atmostra III by Cedric Baravaglio, Jonathan Ochmann and Zdravko Djordjevic.

=== Sharing/Use ===

Inquiries/licensing/press: find our contact details bioqueststudios.com.au/

More information about using our videos:

Please support the Great Barrier Reef conservation efforts secure.marineconservation.org.au/donate.php?campid=701900000006kqX)

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