Bioluminescence at South Arm
There has been a new sparkle in the Tasmanian seas the past couple of years as the bioluminescence, or Noctiluca scintillans, has moved into Tasmanian waters. Up until last week, I had never seen or photographed this for myself but on the night of December 15, a booking for a 1 on 1 photography session under the stars turned into a night with the bioluminescence!
As the night darkened it became apparent that the waves were glowing as they crashed. To begin with I thought it might just be a trick of the twilight light, but then an electric blue started appearing in camera and we settled in for a couple of hours shooting this rather remarkable scene.
To the eye there was a clear glow in the water as the waves crashed, but every now and then the light became bright strong and shone in a blue light, just as captured in these photos.
The camera settings used were basically very similar to the aurora, ie high ISO, wide open aperture and a long shutter speed. I shot many more but these captured the most brilliant light. You can find more info on this phenomenon here (Tasmanian Geographic) and here (The Australian, which also covers what it means for the marine environment that this algae is now here).