Stretching 1,200 miles along the northwest coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is larger than Italy — a daunting subject to photograph.
For National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez, who undertook this challenge as part of his assignment to capture the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with Lumia, the journey brought forth plenty of challenges.
Equipment for a 10 day expedition
While most professional photographers would lug multiple bags of heavy camera equipment for on an assignment of this size and scope, Stephen’s load was refreshingly light.
Traveling with so little equipment is wonderful. Not having 10 cases of equipment was a big deal. It was liberating to be able to work so light.
With not much more than a few Microsoft products – including the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Microsoft Lumia 950 XL – Stephen was able to document one of the largest natural wonders – the structure, aquatic life and surrounding ecosystem.
It’s a camera phone
Stephen is no stranger to capturing beautiful photos with a device that also makes calls.
The imaging capabilities of the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Microsoft Lumia 950 XL are simply extraordinary. Stephen made excellent use of the rear-facing PureView camera with a 20-megapixel advanced BSI sensor, F1.9 Zeiss optics, triple-LED natural flash, fifth-generation optical image stabilization, ISO12800, 4K video, and a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera to shoot spectacular underwater imagery.
Under the sea
The biggest challenge of all? Most of the Reef lies underwater.
Most of the Great Barrier Reef lies underwater, forcing Stephen to create and build a custom waterproof housing for the Microsoft Lumia 950. This housing (not available for sale) kept the phone dry as he snapped amazing aquatic photos underwater.
Learn how to take the best underwater photos with Stephen’s tips.
Designed from the ground up to help you take beautiful and natural photos every time, while you may not be traveling to one of the greatest wonders, with Microsoft’s advanced imaging hardware and software, your photos will be just as wondrous.
Highlights from Stephen’s journey to the Great Barrier Reef.