It’s time to see the reef in a totally different light! Fluorescence is a magical effect, transforming dull coloured marine creatures into vibrant green and yellow hues, as if they had just been plugged into the mains electric! This effect occurs due to the absorption of light at one wavelength and it’s re-emission at different wavelength. What this means is that some marine creatures will “glow” when the right type of light is shined on them. The “right type” of light in this instance, is a special blue-filtered light. This, when teamed up with a yellow barrier filter, will make the reef look like Oxford Street in the middle of December, as corals and anemones shine like festive Christmas lights on a dark winter’s evening!
I began taking underwater images using fluorescent equipment in 2010 when I was based in the Philippines. I was repeatedly diving the same sites and wanted to get some shots that were different to my usual ones. At the time not many divers were using this type of photographic equipment and it has only recently hit the spotlight. Now, with a few different manufacturers making fluo-photography equipment, more and more divers are getting to try this technique and discoveries of new forms of marine fluorescence are being made all the time.
About Alex: Alex owns and operates Dive4Photos, an underwater photography training facility based on Koh Tao in Thailand. Alex offers photography training at all levels, from novices through to more advanced techniques, as well conducting Photo Workshops throughout Asia. He started taking underwater images on a compact camera in 2003, getting more serious by 2006 when he upgrading to DSLR. He currently uses a Nikon D7000 in a Subal housing with Sea & Sea YS-250’s. All fluorescent images were taken using Nightsea fluorescent filters.