Underwater photos are usually greenish or blueish and the brighter colors are washed out. An engineer and oceanographer has come up with an algorithm she calls Sea-thru that can bring those colors back into the image. Plus: the Las Vegas Pizza Festival is about to get underway.

Sea-thru Brings Clarity to Underwater Photos (Scientific American)

Las Vegas Pizza Festival

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If you’ve ever tried taking a picture underwater, or even a picture OF water from above, you know what it usually looks like: that sickly, hazy greenish color that doesn’t quite look how it looks to us in real life – unless you set up your light rig, which is something most of us don’t do when we’re at the beach.

The water distorts the image the camera is trying to take and the photo doesn’t come out looking very realistic.

It’s annoying for most of us, but for marine scientists, it’s actually a problem, as it’s harder to study all that undersea life when they can’t take halfway decent pictures of it.

But now they can take halfway decent pictures underwater, thanks to a new algorithm called Sea-thru. (The pun in the same makes this an A+.)

It was developed by Derya Akkaynak, an engineer and an oceanographer.

Sea-thru accounts for the different way light travels through water as it processes a picture, going pixel by pixel to calculate, and then show, all the colors the camera actually saw before the water washed them out, especially reds and yellows.

The algorithm does need to know how far away you are from your subject to accurately process the colors, but fortunately a lot of scientists already do this for their underwater pictures. Now their cameras will be able to show from the sea what they see in the sea.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas is for the first time hosting the Las Vegas Pizza Festival.

You can sample more than 20 different kinds of pizza from award-winning chefs, including a World Pizza Champion, which is about the greatest title I can possibly imagine.