Lori Carey Photography

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Sunset and new moon with silhouette of jogger and Golden Retriever on beach, San Clemente, California

A few months back I planned to photograph the bioluminescence that was making a regular appearance along the Southern California coastline from Huntington Beach to San Diego causing our ocean to glow an eery neon blue at night. It's caused by a red tide; an algae bloom of dinoflagellates and I've never seen it glowing at night before. The night of the new moon would be perfect with not too much moonlight to interfere with the shot, so I spent the entire day scouting locations for a heavy red tide where there was something to add some foreground interest. I thought I had some good locations chosen right here close to home at beaches where it had been reported.

With no need to hit the beach until after dark I was putzing around the house when I noticed that the sunset was spectacular. I grabbed my gear and the sandwiches I had packed and made a beeline straight for my first choice location, cursing under my breath the whole way that I was going to miss the light. I rushed to set up my gear just as the last light was fading away and managed to grab this shot of a jogger and his Golden Retriever silhouetted on the beach with the rising new moon. Even though it's mostly a grab shot, I like that it shows the very exact moment when day becomes night, and it reminds me of 'back home' in NJ when I used to run on the beach with my Golden every morning and every night.

I never did find the bioluminescence that night despite hours of driving along the coast, and by the time I could fit in another night shoot the moon was too full, and then the bioluminescence was gone. Sometimes I get so focused on a planned shoot and in a certain mindset that when it doesn't work out because of the weather, the light or other factors, I forget to take time to look around and see what else is possible. Rather than throwing in the towel and thinking the day (or night) is a loss, one should always keep their eyes and especially their mind open for other opportunities (and maybe leave a little earlier than necessary!). So this shot is the lemonade I made out of the lemons I got that night.

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