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Dive into underwater photography with Google Pixel.
A protective case keeps your Pixel dry, so its powerful lenses and AI tools can help you take beautiful shots on your next dive.

Made by José Ricardo Lima on Pixel phone with Kraken case

Deep in the ocean off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, light streams through openings in the rocks of underwater caves.

An avid scuba diver and underwater photographer, Googler José Ricardo Lima used his Google Pixel to document the scene. “This site was so naturally beautiful, it was waiting to be photographed,” Lima says. “These beams of light shine down through openings that look like windows in a church, and this rock that looks like an altar.”

On the boat ride to the cave, Lima put on his wetsuit and placed his Pixel into a Kraken smartphone housing to keep it dry on the dive. Under the water, Lima found the perfect angle and set up his shot, using Night Sight to photograph the darker parts of the cave. To avoid blur, he floated gently in place. As a group of fish swam across the rays of light, Lima pressed the shutter button.

Thanks to the work of Lima and his team, who focus on improving Pixel’s camera technology, it’s easier than ever to take extraordinary photos of sea life with your phone.

Underwater photography used to require sophisticated cameras. Now with enhanced video and photo features like Cinematic Blur, which keeps your subjects in focus while blurring the background, Pixel phones help make your dive even more memorable. The Google Tensor G2 chip powers these AI features, which previously have been available only in editing software.1

Video taken on Pixel using Cinematic Blur

José Ricardo Lima, Googler After a dive, I show people on the boat the photos I took. They’re always shocked. They can’t believe I took them on my Pixel.How underwater photography works on Pixel

Pixel phones are water-resistant, but that doesn’t mean they’re built to go in the ocean. That’s where specialty case manufacturers like Kraken come in. The Kraken housing vacuum-seals your Pixel to keep it safe up to 280 feet underwater, making it perfect for scuba diving and other undersea activities. 

And now you can control your Pixel’s camera while it’s in the Kraken case, thanks to a project Lima helped spearhead. Since touchscreens don’t work underwater, Lima worked with the manufacturer to integrate the case with Pixel’s camera app. Using Bluetooth to automatically connect several buttons to the phone, the case lets you take pictures underwater.

Zoom in or get close up

Sea life can be hard to photograph up close, but when you pair your Pixel with a Kraken case, you can take stunning shots from a distance. Pixel 7 Pro can zoom up to 30x with Super Res Zoom2 which Lima used to photograph a moray eel. It allowed him to get amazing detail without startling the fish.

For many divers, the vibrant colors and otherworldly textures of coral reefscapes are one of the best parts of a dive. When you first approach a reef, Pixel’s ultrawide lens can help you photograph the entire environment. Then, when you find a particularly beautiful piece of coral, get close to it and the camera will automatically enable Macro Focus, a Pixel 7 Pro exclusive. This allows the camera to focus on small subjects, like coral polyps, and photograph them in life-size detail.

Pixel 8 Pro
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Finding light in the darkness

Underwater photography can also be challenging because of the way light streams in. Once you go below the surface, long wavelengths on the light spectrum – colors like red, yellow, and orange – are reflected by the water, so that only blue and green light are visible in deep water.

Pixel’s AI features help it recognize when the camera is underwater and color-correct for that environment. “One of the big things for underwater photography is correcting white balance to account for color loss. We can’t bring out colors that aren’t there, but we can try to accentuate the colors that remain,” Lima says.

As his team continues to make Pixel better for underwater photography, Lima’s images are stealing all the attention when he’s out on dives. “I talk with other people on the boat after the dive and show them the photos I take,” he says. “They’re always shocked. They can’t believe I took them on my Pixel.”

All images in story photographed by José Ricardo Lima.

Takeaways
Kraken housing vacuum-seals your Pixel to keep it safe up to 280 feet underwaterPixel includes underwater recognition in its color correction software, so it can better adjust to the lighting in the depths of the seaUse Night Sight to photograph caves and other areas with little or no light
Pixel 8 Pro
The best of Google. Even more pro.
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  1. Compared to Pixel 6. Speed and efficiency claims based on internal testing on pre-production devices.

  2. Not available for all camera apps or modes.

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