For many, seeing a pod of dolphins unexpectedly swim up to them can feel like a rare and magical occurrence. On a night filled with endless possibilities, photographers Patrick Coyne and Ryan Lawler captured an unanticipated sighting of glowing dolphins immersed in neon blue bioluminescence. Viewers are in for a treat as this footage is a result of patient artistry on Wednesday, April 22, 2020—the 50th year anniversary of Earth Day.
“I was like, this can’t be happening,” said Coyne, according to OC Register. “This is so magical. After the two dolphins were playing with us, a few more joined in.” This was a pleasant surprise after being out on an inflatable boat with thoughts of giving up.
“It’s not something you can just plan. It was showing up in little sections, we would drive the boat a bit, it would be bright and then it would go away,” he said. “You can’t really find it, it’s pitch black. We could see it when it would start glowing, there’s no way for us to predict it.”
The dreamy effects of bioluminescence are a result of is a natural phenomenon caused by dinoflagellates, tiny swimming plants. They contain enzymes and proteins that create vivid colors along a dark oceanic canvas. Typically a thick red tide precedes during the day as a sign of possible luminescence to occur come the night. According to OC Register, Red tides are unpredictable and not all of them produce bioluminescence.
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•Dolphins Swimming in Bioluminescence• Last night was truly one of the most magical nights of my life. Capt. Ryan @lawofthelandnsea of @newportcoastaladventure invited me along to capture rare video of Dolphins swimming in bioluminescence. The first time I saw this actually filmed was a few months back while watching a Night on Earth documentary on Netflix. The second I saw that footage it became a dream of mine to one day capture something similar and that’s exactly what we did. This was by far the most challenging video I’ve shot for a number of reasons. For starters the bioluminescence has sweet spots to where it shows up and then fades away so while on the water it’s impossible to just find it. Not only that but actually finding any type of animal in pitch black is just so ridiculously hard. Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for the bioluminescence to show up and to have an animal swim through it so we can film it. On top of all that just trying to nail the focus at such a wide aperture with something moving in the water was a nightmare. We were out for a few hours and on our final stretch back we finally had 2 Dolphins pop up to start the incredible glowing show. A few minutes later and we were greeted by a few more which was insane. I’m honestly still processing this all and I can’t thank @newportcoastaladventure enough for having me out because without them none of this would be possible. Be sure to check our their edit from last night as well! I hope you all enjoy this video. ——————————————————————————— Shot on a Sony a7Sii with a Rokinon 35mm Cine DS T1.5 Lens. Shutter speed: 1/50 Aperture T2 ISO 80,000
However, the photographers trusted a hunch that a fun group of sea creatures would appear. “They were bow riding, they were super into the boat. About five minutes in, two more came and we had a little pod of four dolphins,” Lawler said. “It was amazing.”
Coyne gathered hours of footage and shares dreams to make a mini-documentary, according to OC Register.
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