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THE FIRST ROUND OF EMAILS I sent out to various residents of Vieques didn’t go very well. “I want to film the Bioluminescent Bay” I said.

“Good luck,” “You can’t,” and “We’ve tried” were some of the responses I received back.

I had read an article about a unique bay on a tiny island off the east of Puerto Rico. Here, they could be seen in such high quantities that the water looked like it was on fire. The small handful of photos provided by a Google search (later discovered to be photoshopped) made it seem so. I arrived, and here’s what I did:

— I went out on a few kayak tours during the nights of a new moon
— I brought two lenses, both with wide apertures: A 35mm f/2.8, and a 50mm f/1.8.
— I brought a along a Sony a7s which is a low-light beast, enabling relatively clean video recording at ISO 12800+

As you can see in the video above, the combination was stellar. It allowed me to capture this light show the way the human eye sees it, for one of the very first times. Keep in mind this is plankton. 1.2 million little swimming dinoflagellates per gallon, flashing in unison to scare predators away.

Big love to Black Beard Sports for believing in all this magic, and having me out on a couple kayaks.

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