I think that Joe's view of backscatter is wrong, and it's a neurophysiological phenomenon that cuts, in my mind, to the heart of the debate (if the pro photographers can use their expertise on wetpixel, then I can inflict some of mine on you, too. I trained in neurophysiology, in lobsters, before graduating into the mysteries of human medicine..).
A photographic image is usually a frozen moment, especially with strobes. In particular, any particle that reflects light is fixed into the image. The eye and the brain just don't work that way. What happens is much MORE like creating that abomination, a Photoshop composite: as each cell in the retina responds to light a message is sent into the brain, where it is stored briefly in a "map", a bit like the raster on a CMOS chip. The "pixel" is compared to the adjacent "pixel", and then interpreted as a spot of light, a line, or an edge, perhaps with colour attached, and sent on for further processing. The brain doesn't understand this information until it is compared to the "memory" of previous sights, and to a mental model of the world. This is one of the reasons for the great colour discrepancy between chip or film and the eye.
In a way, because the image is built up over time, it's rather like one of Leigh Bishop's deep wreck photographs, or one of Alex's composites. It is also exactly like a painting, or a sketch. The physiology of vision is MEANT to take a blurry image and render a sharp perception, filtering out noise that would confuse the image in the process, and putting meaning into the image by interpreting or labelling the shapes' lines and colours projected (upside down) onto the retina.
Which of these more honestly reflects the experience of being there?
They say different things, of course. Yes the visibility was poor, but the EXPERIENCE was razor sharp (the wreck is the USS Anderson, lying in 54m on the bottom of Bikini atoll).
And the shark really WAS there...
... but a 10.5mm fisheye was never going to show her.