100′ visibility is not uncommon in Cozumel, but even clear water acts as a blue filter to block out the colors. The reefs are covered with bright orange, red, yellow, pink and purple sponges, but you don’t see the color right away. When you jump off the boat, the water column filters out all the color. The closer you get to the reef, the more color you’ll see.
When taking pictures underwater you need to have a bright strobe, especially for the deeper reefs, swim-throughs, and to light up areas under ledges. If you carry a torch when diving, or keep video or focus lights on during the dive you’ll light up areas that you might not see otherwise. It’s also a great way to spot critters that blend into the scenery without light. If you’re missing the color, you might need a brighter light.