Most of the divers and underwater photographers I know seem to prefer being at depth rather than enjoying the shallows. While there are a few good reasons for this; avoiding boat traffic and keeping away from the surge and swell of the shallows are two that come to mind, on occasion there’s no finer place to be.
The reef flat is not normally a sensible place to be for humans. Depending on the tide, there may only be a very small amount of water between the coral and the sky and on so many occasions there are waves breaking over the reef flat that could drive a person onto the reef, causing damage for all concerned. This means that most of the time people avoid the reef flat, it’s risky, and wave action tends to reduce visibility anyway. However, every so often you can get a really good look at the splendor of the reef flat.
This series of images comes from my favorite location, the Red Sea. Normally, strong winds limit access to the flat, but on this day, the winds were non existent and the flats, at high tide, were easily observed and enjoyed.
As you can see, the colors are mainly in the pastel shades with a fair amount of brown, but the pinks and violets of the Pocilloporids really stand out.
Truly an amazing sight!