Photographers’ eyes light up as algae returns to Eden | Video, Photo

Two weeks ago, photographers went wild capturing shots of bioluminescent algae from Eden to Tathra.

The red tide by day and glowing wonder at night is now back and thicker than before!​

Eden photographers Peter Whiter and Toni Ward of DoubleTake Photographics along with photographer David Rogers of Tathra met in Eden to try “something a little different” on Saturday night, October 6. 

They use drones in the day to assist in their search for a location where the algae is most  concentrated and tucked away from any artificial light.

Eden photographers Peter Whiter and Toni Ward of DoubleTake Photographics along with photographer David Rogers of Tathra, met in Eden to try “something a little different” with their cameras and the algae on Saturday night, October 6. 

“Dave grabbed what he calls his ‘bio bucket’ and skimmed a bucketful of algae off the top of the water,” Mr Whiter said.

The group took turns in capturing glowing blue waterfalls that bounced off rocks as the bucket of bioluminescent algae was poured out. 

“It was unbelievable fun,” Mr Whiter said.

The video also shows the effect of a hose spraying water onto the algae causing it to light up, although when the hose is sprayed back in its initial path there is no glow.

Mr Whiter said the algae only lights up when physically disturbed by something, he believes the algae then replenishes itself over time using energy and chemicals which produce its bioluminescence.

It needs some sort of disturbance for it to glow and become luminescent, but then that energy is gone and it has to be replenished

Peter Whiter

“It needs some sort of disturbance for it to glow and become luminescent, but then that energy is gone and it has to be replenished,” he said.

“It is almost as if it is charged, so the small lapping waves on the shoreline will keep it active – but if you throw a rock at it it is though the battery will go flat, it goes to nothing.”

Mr Whiter’s photographic interests of the bioluminescent algae lies within the natural movements, he admires the algae as it floats in the water, sparkling as it washes up against wharf pylons and the shoreline.

“For me, what I want to capture is the algae as it washes up on the pylons and sticks to it like twinkly little stars.”

“As far as what we did on Saturday night though was something different, it was amazing and incredible fun,” Mr Whiter said.

The group passed on some tips about capturing the algae in the low light setting of the night in Eden.

“Ideally the wharf isn’t that great because there is so much artificial light, we were having a conversation thinking how great it would be as a tourist attraction if council turned off the lights there for one night,” Mr Rogers said.

The photographers were shooting at a very low shutter speed, Mr Whiter said his exposure was between six to ten seconds.

It is important to set your camera down on something whether that is a tripod or a milk crate

Peter Whiter

“I also shot with an aperture that was wide open, which tends to let you shoot a little bit faster with the low shutter speed. 

“It is important to set your camera down on something whether that is a tripod or a milk crate.”

Mr Whiter said the larger the sensor is in your camera the better the quality of your photo.

“We were all using full frame cameras in a high ISO setting without getting too much grain,” he said.

Recently, Mr Rogers’ photograph as the rain began to fall on the luminous algae went viral on social media.

The image Mr Rogers captured at a lagoon in Tathra was a “fluke” he said.

“The algae sort of aggregates in clumps, it is easy to spot in the day time, but as it slowly began to rain it all just lit up in the little lagoon.

"It was an absolute fluke as it was then gone the next day,” he said.

“It is great being able to share with other photographers around and to promote the South Coast which has so much photography potential.”

Photos of Eden’s bioluminescent algae has been shared to Bioluminescent Australia Facebook group, generating interest to the area.

Photographer Arno Payan of Jindabyne made a special trip on Friday night to capture his own photographs of the algae in Eden.

Photographer Arno Payan of Jindabyne made a special trip on Friday night to capture his own photographs of the algae in Eden.

This story Photographers’ eyes light up as algae returns to Eden | Video, Photo first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.