Weekly Photo Challenge – Curve

Fluorescent Brain Coral

Fluorescent Brain Coral

I have been reading about fluorescence on the coral reefs for some time, so during our recent trip to Roatan, Honduras, I decided to try my hand at photographing it. Many life forms on the reefs fluoresce, but almost all corals do. To be able to see the fluorescence, one needs a blue light to excite it and then a yellow filter to cancel out the blue light to be able to see the true color of the fluorescence. And to photograph it, one also needs a blue filter for the strobe and a yellow filter for the camera.

So…I went equipped. Peter and I took yellow filters to go over our masks and I brought along a blue “Night Sea” LED light on a night dive. When we got to the coral reefs, it was like being on a ride in Disney World! Everything glowed in greens, oranges and even some pinks. On that night dive, I did not take the camera – as there’s just too much going on, but I did return the next day with filters on the strobe and camera.

This shot was taken during daylight hours, but the fluorescence in this brain coral was highly visible and photographable. What I love about this particular coral is that the “valleys” fluoresce, but the “hills” don’t. For comparison, here’s another shot of that same brain coral without the fluorescent lights and filters. Who would have guessed?

Christmas Tree Worms

Christmas Tree Worms

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.



24 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Curve

  1. Elyse says:

    I love this stuff!!! Keep it coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Cathy, I always come here with anticipation, looking forward to what I’ll see.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy Reese says:

    Wow, so fascinating, Cathy. Great shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bikerchick57 says:

    That is so interesting how the coral is flourescent. You did a great job with you equipment, Cathy. Very nice photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] LargeSelf Weekly Photo Challenge – Curve […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s the kind of brain I admire most – bright AND deep, just like you. Awesome shots! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are absolutely stunning, Cathy. I love your enthusiasm and passion for photography. It makes me want to see more of your past and future work so I’ll follow you from now on.

    Have an amazing day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. russtowne says:

    Gorgeous! But does it have any curves in it? ;-D! I think your photo qualifies!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Holy day-glo fabulousness, Batman! Each time I think I’ve seen my favorite, you come back with something else to blow me away!! This is truly stunning, Cathy! The top one is surreal in the color and form; I love it! The bottom one is so delicate and beautiful! I am such a huge fan, and you never, ever disappoint. Bravo!

    PS) We were away in Canada w/limited access… I will respond to message soon. xox

    Liked by 1 person

  10. seabluelee says:

    Awesome, Cathy! The difference in the two coral shots is like (ahem) day and night. And Christmas Tree worms…who knew? They are beautiful!!! The variety of life underwater just blows me away. I can’t go there myself, so I appreciate being able to see it through your eyes.


    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks so much, Leon! Yes, I too am blown away by the variety of underwater life. I also find that carrying a camera with me on the dives helps me to slow down and pay attention to this variety.


  11. Amy says:

    So glad to have you back, Cathy! I love both, the second image is so beautiful. I’m so surprised it’s the same brain coral without the fluorescent lights and filter. 🙂


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