I am continuing my quest to discover new species of marine life that demonstrate florescence.
Fluorescence is the vivid reaction to ultraviolet light levels exhibited by some life forms, this phenomenon was known in corals but it has only recently been discovered in many other forms of reef animals.
To date I have now managed to capture many World first underwater images of fluorescing creatures. Recently the opportunity came up to visit Lembeh Strait for a series of night dives and since this area is renowned for cryptic marine creatures I felt certain Cherie and I would discover something new.
We spent 5 nights hunting in the dark without finding anything new. Certainly there were lots of fluorescing corals and anemones but we had photographed all that before. Finally during the last few minutes of our last dive in Lembeh a glowing red demon crawled out of the darkness before me. Its venomous spines pierced the black night sea sending a clear warning, do not touch. Its eye glowed green and pectoral fins flashed red like a bullfighters cloak concealing deadly stabbing barbs.
It was a spectacular apparition and my excitement mounted as my camera captured another world first image. Nearby Cherie was discovering her own unique creature fluorescing that was completely new to our research, but that’s a story for another day!
Vindication for our time spent searching in a realm of darkness.
Photo Data: Location: Lembeh Strait, Nth Sulawesi, Indonesia Genre: Macro with twin strobes. Photo Data: Nikon D800, Nikkor 60mm Lens fitted with Fluoro Filter, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes fitted with Fluoro Filters, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 800 Exposure f4.5 @ 1/125th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.
Photo Hints: Fluoro filters fitted to strobes are required to produce UV light levels but the intensity is weak so a very high ISO setting is required for an effective exposure. Even then the aperture might need to be much wider than normally used for macro photography so the depth of field will be very shallow.
The photographer must ensure accurate focusing on the key part of the subject often that will be the animal’s eye.
For more information and images of fluorescent marine life photography, visit the Dive 2000 Blog for a full feature article on this genre of photography.
Interesting Facts: The Demon Stinger is a member of the scorpionfish family and capable of delivering a nasty sting. During the day they bury in the sand and divers must be wary of placing a hand carelessly as these fish are not uncommon in popular muck diving locations. I recommend the use of a photographers probe to steady yourself rather than your hand when working close to the bottom.
Common names. Demon Stinger. Latin name. Inimicus didactylus