Whenever I see an image I have a natural curiosity to understand its creation and - crucially - the level of manipulation applied to achieve the end result.
How many of us share our rushes? All of them? On the back of the camera after the dive? On the editing screen?
Not many I guess, because initially* it can feel like taking a s**t in public.
And yes, the perfect published world will only reinforce the view that anything that isn't processed/cropped/magic dust/filtered beyond belief is not worthy.
And at some point, credibility/belief is lost. But there is nothing really new with that one.
So yes, unrealistic expectations with regard to backscatter. Unless you are diving the truly crystal clear waters under waters of the Ross Ice Shelf or in Te Waikoro Pupu Springs in New Zealand**.
*initially it did feel like taking a dump when sharing with another photographer. But that emotion passes...and its quite liberating. Highly recommended.
**Last time I heard, diving had been banned in Pupu Springs.