A bright, clear, calm morning at Ilot Kouare in the deep south of the world's largest coral reef lagoon. Freddy and I motor along the fringing reef on the eastern side of Kouare looking for a likely place to go sphere-diving.
A cluster of bright red sea fans (Genus Melithaea) in the glowing turquoise water stands out like a sunlit ruby in a vivid yellow gold setting that turns out to be soft leather octocorals. We anchor Slink (our dinghy) in the sand - 6 meters deep right next to the reef - and squeeze into our wetsuits to brave the chilly 22.4 °C lagoon. My little GoPro Hero3 perched atop it's telescopic carbon fiber pole (actually a fishing pole), mask, fins, weight belt, all in place, I slide into the clear water. I always slide smoothly into the water because splashing into the water tends to attract sharks. My slither off slink doesn't work - a shark is immediately there looking me over. He looks familiar.
Like many photographers I seldom forget a photo-site and I realize that I took a sphere image of this particular reef in 2010. That sphere image was taken from the other side of the coral head and you can't see the red sea fans and yellow soft corals in it. You can, however, see the same shark in that other photo. I'm sure it is the same guy, they tend to be territorial.
One of the reasons I didn't take the side of the coral head with the red sea fans back then was because from the seaward side of the coral head half of the sphere looks out into deep water making it difficult for Autopano (circa 2010) to stitch the sphere image. What with improvements in Autopano Giga software and the very clear water I decide to give it a try with my teeny little GoPro Hero3 camera while Freddy chases the little shark around the coral head.
新喀里多尼亚是离澳大利亚和新西兰最近的南太平洋岛屿。该岛是法国领地且官方语言是法语，尽管如此，其文化却丰富多彩，揉合了美拉尼西亚、欧洲、波利尼西亚、越南、中国、印尼等国的风情。这里有一个多山的大岛，称为大地岛 (Grande Terre)，和6个较小的岛屿——洛亚蒂三岛 (Loyalty Islands)、贝莱普群岛 (Belep) 和松树岛 (Isle of Pines)。 整个群岛人口极为稀少，有大片的荒野。这里有数百公里长的徒步小径、随处可见的露营营地、超过42个公园和保护区、清澈透明的河流和莹莹闪光的瀑布。约三分之一的人口居住在首府努美阿。镍的开采是该国最主要的工业，也是维持其高标准生活的主要经济来源。大地岛四周环绕着世界第二大珊瑚礁，此珊瑚礁形成的泻湖是世界上最大的，也是受保护的泻湖。该泻湖于2008年被列为世界遗产，面积达24000平方公里，是品种丰富的鱼类和无脊椎动物栖息之地。 对于刚上岛的游客而言，最引人注目的是这里鲜艳夺目的色彩。努美阿以其完备的酒店、度假酒店、餐馆设施和丰富多彩的活动欢迎游客的到来。