TG #33

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In This Issue :

Extreme Bioluminescence + Flying Above the Treetops at Warra + Steady Camera Tips + The Definitive Guide to Photographing Sea Sparkle

Strange things are happening in the oceans near Tasmania, and there are new discoveries of mysterious creatures from the sea. We’ll go to the shores to marvel at the surreal spectacle of the sea sparkle, and we’ll catch a ride on a tiny helicopter and fly above some of the tallest forests on Earth.

The month of May brought with it a new obsession in night photography – bioluminescence. Tasmania has long had, on occasion, sparkling seas, but recent weeks have been beyond all expectations. In a viral digital photography explosion which could only be compared to the Great Tasmanian Midwinter Aurora Obsession, we are now in the grip of the Grand Tasmanian Autumnal Sea Sparkle Phenomenon.

Against that backdrop, we’re very pleased to be sharing with you a remarkable number of awe-inspiring photographs from the glowing shores of south-eastern Tasmania. The dinoflagellate organism Noctiluca is putting on quite a show, and it’s sharing the stage with the aurora australis, the lights of the city, and the creative talents of many passionate photographers.

In this issue, we have images contributed from fifteen (!) photographers who have been part of the Phenomenon – a record number of co-authors for this site. There are two excellent articles on biology and photo-capturing of Noctiluca by Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, Fiona Walsh, and Matthew Holz. Dr. Gershwin is a best-selling science writer and internationally renowned marine-life taxonomist, and we’re delighted to have the chance to work with her on this issue.

Shaking the sand off of our gumboots and blinking in the morning sunlight, we’ll then go into some of the world’s superlative forests at the Warra Long Term Ecological Research Site. World-class technical knowledge from around Australia gathered at the atmospheric carbon flux measurement station by the shores of the Huon, and together contributed to the Auscover campaign from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Network. In this, forest land cover was simultaneously measured using laser scanners, aerial cameras working in infrared and ultraviolet, cutting-edge flying robots from Arko Lucieer’s TerraLuma lab at the University of Tasmania, and teams of researchers with boots on the ground. It’s an exceptional effort and in this issue we’ll get a chance to fly above the treetops at the flux tower.

And even though he’s currently backpacking around the Indonesian archipelago,  Mike Fuller has found the time to put together four useful and creative tips for taking sharp and steady photographs when you don’t have a tripod (or, just as likely, when you left yours at home!). This matches in perfectly with the Definitive Guide to Photographing Sea Sparkle, and nicely rounds off Issue #33.

We hope you enjoying reading it as much as we enjoyed compiling it!

All the best,

The Editor