Coral reefs are among nature’s most complex and colourful living formations. But as any underwater photographer knows, pictures of them taken without artificial lights often come out bland and blue. Even shallow water selectively absorbs and scatters light at different wavelengths, making certain features hard to see and washing out colours—especially reds and yellows.
This effect makes it difficult for coral scientists to use computer vision and machine-learning algorithms to identify, count and classify species in underwater images; they have to rely on time-consuming human evaluation instead.
But a new algorithm called Sea-thru, developed by engineer and oceanographer Derya Akkaynak, removes the visual distortion caused by water from an image. The effects could be far-reaching for biologists who need to see true colors underneath the surface.
Read more at Scientific American