Remove Water Algorithm Photos
Photo credit: Peta Pixel
Oceanographer and engineer Derya Akkaynak from MIT in collaboration with Tali Treibitz have developed a computer algorithm to turn underwater photos into a physically accurate image with all of the vibrance, saturation and color of a regular landscape photo. Called “Sea-thru”, it automatically removes the color cast and back-scatter caused by the way light moves through a body of water. Read more for a video and additional information.

They developed this algorithm by capturing over 1,100 images from two optically different water bodies, which were then used to train a model that compensated for the way light is both scattered and absorbed by water.

Every time I see a reef with large 3D structures, I place my color chart at the base of the reef, and I swim away about 15 meters. Then I start swimming towards the reef, towards the color chart, and photograph it from slightly different angles until I get to the reef,” said Derya Akkaynak.