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Alex Tyrrell: Fluorescence

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.

Fimbriated moray (*Gymnothorax fimbriatus*). (1).

Fimbriated moray (Gymnothorax fimbriatus). (1).

Star flower coral polyps  (*Astreopora myriophthalma*).

Star flower coral polyps (Astreopora myriophthalma).

Indian phidiana (*Phidiana indica*).

Indian phidiana (Phidiana indica).

Urchin clingfish (*Diademichthys lineatus*).

Urchin clingfish (Diademichthys lineatus).

Corallimorph (*Corallimorphus* sp.)

Corallimorph (Corallimorphus sp.)

Mushroom coral (*Fungia concinna*).

Mushroom coral (Fungia concinna).

Boomerang coral (*Polyphyllia talpina*).

Boomerang coral (Polyphyllia talpina).

Freckled goatfish (*Upeneus tragula*).

Freckled goatfish (Upeneus tragula).

Mushroom coral (*Fungia fralinae*).

Mushroom coral (Fungia fralinae).

Coral  dive light (*Goniastrea* sp.)

Coral dive light (Goniastrea sp.)

Coral spawning (*Goniastrea* sp.)

Coral spawning (Goniastrea sp.)

Green forest staghorn coral (*Acropora longicyathus*).

Green forest staghorn coral (Acropora longicyathus).

Fluorescent brain coral (*symphillia* sp.)

Fluorescent brain coral (symphillia sp.)

Freckled frogfish (*Antennarius coccineus*)

Freckled frogfish (Antennarius coccineus)

Lobed cup coral (*Lobophyllia hemprichii*).

Lobed cup coral (Lobophyllia hemprichii).

Golden mantis shrimp (*Lysiosquilloides mapia*).

Golden mantis shrimp (Lysiosquilloides mapia).

Yamasus cuthona (*Cuthona yamasui*).

Yamasus cuthona (Cuthona yamasui).

Striped triplefin (*Helcogramma striata*).

Striped triplefin (Helcogramma striata).

Bubble coral (*Physogyra lechtensteini*).

Bubble coral (Physogyra lechtensteini).

White-spotted hermit crab (*Dardanus megistos*).

White-spotted hermit crab (Dardanus megistos).

Fimbriated moray (*Gymnothorax fimbriatus*). (2).

Fimbriated moray (Gymnothorax fimbriatus). (2).

Hydroid decorator crab (*Hyastenus bispinosus*).

Hydroid decorator crab (Hyastenus bispinosus).

Lisas mantis shrimp (*Lysiosquillina lisa*). (2).

Lisas mantis shrimp (Lysiosquillina lisa). (2).

Lisas mantis shrimp (*Lysiosquillina lisa*). (1).

Lisas mantis shrimp (Lysiosquillina lisa). (1).

Orangutan crab (*Achaeus japonicus*).

Orangutan crab (Achaeus japonicus).

Magnificent sea anemone (*Heteractis magnifica*).

Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica).

Mushroom coral (*Fungia seychellensis*).

Mushroom coral (Fungia seychellensis).

Spawning magnificent sea anemone (*Heteractis magnifica*).

Spawning magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica).

Anemone hermit crab (*Dardanus pedunculatus*).

Anemone hermit crab (Dardanus pedunculatus).