There is but no words to describe this truly magnificent magic that nature produces. During red tide, this bioluminescent phytoplankton showed up along our coastline, more spectacular and visible in some bays than other, so you had to be at the right spot.
I first became aware of this when people from Port Elizabeth’s photography club started posting their shots of the “glowing ocean” on the club’s Facebook page and realised I cannot miss this opportunity. So very ambitiously I set of at 3 AM in the morning, knowing it will be a 25-minute drive that would leave me 15 minutes to set up and an hour of photographing this “blue glow” before sunrise. However…. being the daydreamer I am I came to realisation that I have missed the turn of from the highway and were now past. This my friends is not the first time I’ve done something dilly like this, so what the heck, this is an adventure, let’s make the best of it and drive on to the next bay.
Instead of landing at Maitland Mouth, as originally planned, I now was at Blue Horizon Bay for the first time in my life. Battling to find my way around this small and remote settlement I eventually after many twists, turns and retracing my route I manage to get down to the beach, (and there you’d think it would’ve been easy :D).
With the extra time spend on driving and finding the place I had but half an hour left to capture the bioluminescence. To top this off, landscaping and long exposures is not a photography discipline I really dabble in so every shot would be a test and experiment.
Blue Horizon Bay wasn’t as glowing as the photos from Maitland Mouth I’ve seen posted, so now already I’m at a disadvantage. Reminding myself that I did call this an adventure I managed to capture a couple of shots before the sunrise light started seeping in.
This was another opportunity all by itself since, like said before, I haven’t done to many landscapes. Here my biggest challenge was cloud cover hiding the beautiful sunrise but after much persistence I managed to get one shot of the beautiful sunglow that made this whole trip worth my while.
I decided that evening to venture to Maitland Mouth as I was determined to get at least one great capture of the bioluminescence. This time I paid extreme attention to not miss my turn off and at finally arriving at Maitland Mouth, not only was I astounded by the enchanting display of a glowing blue sea but in fact gobsmacked at the sizeable crowd this phenomena attracted. The beach was cluttered with curious people, some even picnicking by infrared light, and the parking bay was so filled up you had to wait a while to get a spot.
This indeed was a remarkable adventure. I finally, after switching from my wide angle lens to the ultra-reliable 50mm (nifty-fifty) managed to capture one shot that made this a memory and a story to tell.