domingo, 24 de febrero de 2013

Bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes (again)


It's been four years since my first amazing photographic experience with bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes, but it has finally made another appearance. These images were taken between the 11th and 16th January 2013, while I was again a Program Director for Camp Cooinda, a voluntary organisation running summer camps for teenagers down at the Lakes.

While this bioluminescence was generally not as bright as in early 2009, I had a better camera (Canon 5D Mark II) and a wickedly fast Canon 24mm f1.4 lens, which makes it possible to turn even modest bioluminescence into some nice photos. The micro-organism that causes the blue luminescence is called 'Noctiluca Scintillans', which is technically a dinoflagellate rather than a type of algae.

When the water is disturbed it gives off light, so each time a little wave lapped at the beach, parts of it would glow with bioluminescence. For most of these images I have stacked a 20-100 short exposures together, so that the bioluminescence adds together from each frame. This is also causes the stars in the sky to trail as though it were one long exposure of 10-20 minutes. The last image at the bottom is one of the brightest of the individual frames. All of these pictures are taken on the shores of Lake Victoria, in the middle of the Gippsland Lakes.

While it was generally fairly faint to the naked eye and therefore not colourful, there was one night where we went paddling in some canoes and found some very bright patches. At its best, we could see the brilliant, electric blue colour with our own eyes so rest assured the colour in these photos is not fake!

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