Adventures in fluorescent photography in the Flores Sea

July 8, 2014

On our recent diving marathon during the Fluval Sea Flores Expedition, we brought with us many different tools for sampling and observing the natural reef environment. One particularly special device which we came into possession just in time for our travel to Flores and Komodo, was a new version of the Light & Motion Sola NightSea underwater fluorescent dive light.

Diving in itself is a very rigorous task which requires the scuba diver to be comfortable and in control of their diving equipment, a task which is complicated when trying to take photos or diving at night. You can therefore appreciate the challenge that we faced while trying to take photographs at night, and still maintaining a proper balance, buoyancy and cognition of our depth and air reserves.

JakeAdams_fluorescent-coralnight-dive-7 JakeAdams_fluorescent-coralnight-dive-3 JakeAdams_purplefluorescent-coralnight-dive-2 JakeAdams_bluefluorescent-coralnight-dive-1Thankfully, having a promising tool like the Sola NightSea opens up a world of fluorescent wonder that is simply not available any other way than getting underwater on a natural reef, in the dark. Those who do are rewarded with a kaleidoscope of fascinating reef life waiting to be discovered.

It took us a few nights to get the proper feel and settings for using the Sola NightSea not only to view, but to photograph some of the amazing animals we encountered, but the resulting images are well worth the effort. Even though the Sola NightSea attracted countless sea critters that are attracted to the bright blue light in the dark, not the least of which are pesky isopods that attach to the skin with a mild bite, we persevered and every new fluorescent night dive made us that much more eager to do another.

Since we were boating around to hit as many different habitats and biotopes as possible, many nights we arrived at a new mooring just as the sun was setting. This meant that on many reefs our first encounter with a new dive site was a night dive; with the light of day still 12 hours away, the Sola NightSea was often our first window into the new reef we were exploring.

Some of the animals we first met on the reef in the night would have been totally lost in a field of less fluorescent animals during the day so it was a real treat to see so many corals, anemones and invertebrates throughout their daily cycle. We’ve always been a fan of night diving, and have done some fluorescent dives before, but with the new more powerful and exceptionally bright Sola NightSea we are more enthusiastic than ever about diving after dark.

Read more: