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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-28-2012 03:35 PM
SlowButSteady
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
A long exposure photograph of beach surf would surely not appear so crisp, and glare from the setting sun would blank out the sky.
With the camera on a tripod, and the sun well below the horizon (just a faint glow left), it sure would. Part of the effect in this particular pic is due to the light source coming from over the cameraman's right shoulder. My guess is that there were some buildings or a pier up the beach a little way. Whoever took the pic walked away from the lights until s/he thought it was dark enough and started shooting. Or, that could be moonlight, but it looks too yellow. May well have counted on the light from behind the camera to help illuminate the beach a bit and give the scene some depth.

Try it some time with a bunch of different exposures, maybe 1/16 sec to 1 sec, maybe a bit more. Taking the bioluminescence out of the equation (unless one happens to be somewhere with a lot of bioluminescence), anyone could replicated the rest of the effect fairly easily. Nowadays, with modern ccd and cmos cameras, this sort of thing is a snap. Once upon a time, we had to shoot a roll or two of pics at various settings and wait until we had them developed to see if we had anything interesting.

Look at some of the other pics in that link. They are more obviously taken with long exposures.
03-28-2012 01:20 AM
AdamLein
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
It looks to me like it's just a fairly long exposure taken on a dark evening. That's why everything, including the night sky, looks so bright.
A long exposure photograph of beach surf would surely not appear so crisp, and glare from the setting sun would blank out the sky.
03-27-2012 06:03 PM
SlowButSteady
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
I've seen bioluminescence and have no trouble believing it can be as bright as it is in the picture. I'm skeptical about *just about everything else* in the picture, that's all.
It looks to me like it's just a fairly long exposure taken on a dark evening. That's why everything, including the night sky, looks so bright.
03-27-2012 05:59 PM
SlowButSteady
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

When taking zooplankton samples it's standard practice to have the sample storage jars (usually 500 ml) ready, about 10% full of saturated formalin solution. If the sampling is done at night, the nets and associated gear will often come up from the water sparkling, sometimes even glowing a bit, with bioluminescence. But the real show happens when the plankton sample is dropped into the jar with the formalin. As soon as the sample hits the formalin, and is gently swirled around a bit to mix the formalin into the rest of the jar, everything in the sample with any bioluminescent properties will glow "full power" for about 10 or 20 seconds. The collective effect is kind of like looking at 50 or 60 watt light bulb; Not only can one easily read by the light, but I've often experienced the sort of "ghosting" one might expect after looking directly into a flashlight, or after a camera flash goes off. Of course, the bioluminescence starts to diminish pretty quickly, and within a minute or so everything in the jar is dead and dark (and on the way to the lab).
03-27-2012 04:46 PM
AdamLein
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

I've seen bioluminescence and have no trouble believing it can be as bright as it is in the picture. I'm skeptical about *just about everything else* in the picture, that's all.
03-27-2012 12:13 AM
Capt Len
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Any gillnetter will complain about the lost night because of 'fire' in the water. Salmon see the net and go around. If you go into the garden and, grab a plate full of compost from under a bush, take it into dark closet and stir;;;show and tell .Old time sailors told of rays of light on dark nights; probably caused by the shock wave of submarine volcanic eruptions going by at the speed of sound and exciting the bioluminecent criitters. Don't wonders abound?
03-26-2012 10:20 PM
Patient
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Take a look at this if you have 15 minutes. Will blow your mind. Edith Widder explains how %80 of Sea Life is capable of bioluminescence.

Edith Widder: The weird, wonderful world of bioluminescence | Video on TED.com
03-26-2012 06:29 PM
Capt Len
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

If that were Thailand the looming on the horizon would be a squid boats lights The blue lights on the sand are little polyps of bioluminecent jelly left on the sand by the last wave Shadows caused by lights from the nearby bar , I'll bet. Exposure time is stretched a bit but what you see is why I've spent 15 years on the beach communing with nature
03-26-2012 12:52 PM
AdamLein
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Is that an unretouched photo?
I'm skeptical. What's that glowing thing on the horizon? Is it really possible to get such a clear sky with things glowing on the horizon?

Also if it's really a moonless night, how is the shadow explained? Why is the sand so bright?

And how do you get a photo of water on a beach at night with such detail and no blurring due to the long exposure times required?
03-26-2012 12:52 PM
JoeDiver
Re: Pictures: Glowing Blue Waves Explained

Many more years ago than I care to think about.....spring break on South Padre....an accident in Port Isabel knocked out power to the island. We all ran down to the beach (as did thousands of others) and started partying in the dark. The waves would explode in greenish light, the foam washing up on the beach glowed, and everywhere you stepped, bright green sparks would flash and branch out under your feet.

A few hours later, power was restored....lights came back on....and the show was over.
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