Perfect Conditions on a Red Sea Reef

by | Mar 28, 2018 | Photography | 1 comment

Anyone that reads my blog posts has probably come across my photos from the Red Sea.  It’s such an excellent location for me, being less than six hours flight time from home and having a well-established dive industry that provides diving at some world-class sites. One of the best things about the Red Sea is its superb visibility and in these images you can see just how amazing the conditions can be. I have dived all over the world and enjoyed coral reefs of every description, but rarely have I enjoyed water clarity like that which the Red Sea offers. Here are some images of the Red Sea at its best.

Pseudanthias squamipinnis, diver, reef wall

The image above was taken at a site close to the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.  It’s a classic Red Sea scene: a steep wall, that in this case drops for hundreds of meters, covered in soft corals, with thousands of Pseudanthias squamipinnis ‘pulsing’ in and out of the reef in response to any perceived threats and my flash guns.  Conditions here are often poor with strong currents bringing particulates that ruin the visibility, but not on this dive.

red sea reef

This image has always been one of my favorites; taken in the Straits of Tiran, it shows a reef flat, rich with hard coral.  Normally these areas can be unapproachable due to wave action that will see you washed onto the coral.  On this dive the water was almost gin-clear.  A sohal tang (Acanthurus sohal) is looking for algae to graze upon.


This final image shows the wreck of the Giannis D, a Greek freighter if I remember correctly, that ran onto the reef in the 1980s.  This is a classic shot, that most photographers try to get, often persuading dive guides to let them in the water a few minutes earlier than the rest of their colleagues.  Again, this was a grand day, strong sunlight and clear waters allowing for a shot I’m rather pleased with.

1 Comment

  1. Murat Eken

    Hi mr Aspinall,

    Conguratulations first of all for your works..

    I’ve been in Sharm 2 times.Once was on January 2007 and the next was on October (end of Oct) 2017..
    On both visits the sea was nice clean and blue..HOWEVER I couldn’t find a superb clarity in both visits.
    Possibilty some microparticules (or planctons etc.) there were which is common in tropics.

    I want to ask you if there is a time when the water clarity reaches an excellent superb time (at least better than the other times of the year) ,or not. (Please take this by excluding the very local micro conditions.)

    Then I may plan my next visit in accordance.

    -In fact I need this info for Maldives and Raja Ampat also.I don’t know if you have idea about.-

    This underwater clarity issue is a kind of obsession in my mind. That’s coming up from my childhood memeories which I vitnessed the flawless clarity of Turkey’s Mediterranian and Aegean shores in those years’ seas.
    (not since the beginning of 90’s unfortunately )

    My best advanced wishes for you reply kindly.


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