6 July 2005

Matt, Scott, and I drove down to the beach a little after midnight, early today, because we heard that the bacteria in the ocean might be slightly bioluminescent.

The orangy-red color is the natural color of breaking waves at night with long exposure. The blue is a spectacular bioluminescence caused by the "red tide", an algae that's been making our coastal waters an opaque brick red color during the day. They sparkle bright blue in the breaking waves at night. It was so bright that we could see it as we were driving over the bridge with our headlights full on in traffic to get to our parking place. Down by the breaking waves it was just amazing. A little tough to get good focus, but this one and the rollover image both capture the brightness that we witnessed. We also noticed that the sand glowed a little as we scraped our shoes across it. Matt and Scott tried writing their names in bioluminescent light, with some success. Later, we brought some water home and poured a little vinegar into it, inducing all of the algae in our cup to glow all at once.

Nikon D70 50 mm f/1.8 lens, 2.5 second exposure at f/1.8 aperture, ISO 1600, on a tripod, of course, at approximately 12:30 am, PST. (rollover)


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