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Sunday, 21 July 2013

The house of blue lights

We hit Lighthouse first thing in the morning to concentrate of some wide shots and to do a little more exploration to find some ideal scenery.


It wasn't till the end of the dive that we found a small section of the main wall that had everything. Overhangs, swimthroughs, loads of sponges and corals and plenty of marine life. 

Unfortunately as we we were skirting close to the fringes of deco we didn't get any shots but we made a note of where it was for a return visit through the week. We did get a couple of turltes giving us a fly by on the way back to shore though, so not a bad dive.

Turtle are 3 o'clock! Dive! Dive!
The best was yet to come as we headed back out later that night to get some more diving in and to try out this little thing below, the Sola Nightsea blue light, and see what we could see.


Darkness fell. *Thunk!*
The surge was pretty evil tonight so I didn't hold out much hope for getting the best shots ever as as we were bounced along the hardpan in the shallows, but still managed to grab some. So with a homebrew blue light setup on my rig, I managed to capture some interesting shots.


Not everything "pops" under blue light, so it's not something you would do the entire dive on and when you have the yellow filter visor on, you lose any available ambient light there may be. It's like night diving with sun glasses on. But when you light up the right thing at the right time, the effects can be very pleasing. 

Things that you wouldn't normally see suddenly start shining like a beacon. Bristleworms for example are everywhere, in every nook and cranny, the place is littered with them. But switch back to white light and you would never know they were there and never see them.


Juvenile crab on brain coral. I would never have spotted this under white light.
However there are drawbacks to blue light, first is the expense, just a modelling light alone is well over £500 and that's before you start adding any mask visors or camera filters. But this by itself isn't sufficient for quality photography work as you need one if not two of the blue light strobes for best results but then we're getting in to very silly money indeed. 

Also there are some critters that absolutely hate blue light and go nuts trying to get away from it. For me, the amount of times it would get used just doesn't justify the outlay. And I personally I get more of challenge shooting with white light, but each to their own. Should you get an opportunity to try out blue light on a night dive then I can highly recommend it for the experience, but for photography, not so much.


So tinkering around with blue light was a fun experience, but I was here to get some serious macro stuff done. Lets go to work! There was plenty of pedersons and barber shrimps on the prowel not to mention one or two peacock flounders. This one loved the camera, he spent ages trying to look at itself in the port. Which is a bit tricky if your face is all on one side!


"I was born this way, what's your excuse?"
There were also some squid bombing around near the surface. I had one swim right into the camera lens, but it happened so fast I couldn't re-adjust the strobes quick enough so I have an out of focus squid shaped blurry type thing. A real shame. 

On the plus side Jill did find a yellow stingray which was parked right underneath me whilst i was taking a shot of something else. However, unlike 633068 who visited us recently, I actually saw what she was pointing at and took the shot. :-P

"Where's 633068 when I want a picture taken now?"
Red legged and red striped hermits where also highly active night which leads me to believe that they may be students as they do b*gger all during the day and go nuts when they go out at night time.........

"You can trust me completely, I'm totally transparent......."
I am also pleased to announce that nudis where out in force, this time it was some lovely little juvenile tritonia hamnerorum, or gorgonian maggots to give them their common name, but tritonia hamnerorum just sounds nicer.


Small slug on a small sea fan
That made my night for me as everyone knows I love my nudis and despite conditions, managing to get the shot as well so I'm a happy camper. 

As an added bonus there was also a juvenile bristleworm close by as well so that had to get photographed, it would be rude not to...........


"Don't forget about me!"

And for a final parting shot, there was this tiny chap hiding under a little piece of sea grass.