We’ve had a pretty remarkable Red Tide this year in San Diego that has produced the most magnificent bioluminescence at night. Normally the red tide will last for about a week or two but this year it’s lasted just under a month but seems to be fading away then last two days. For about three days last week every water literally turned the most beautiful neon blue as each wave crashed towards shore. It is truly a magical experience to see with your own eyes. With most beaches closed every photographer and non-photographer pretty much congregated at two spots in town. I decided to opt for an abstract panning shot which I love to do. This images was taken about 10:30pm, using a 5 second shutter and panning the camera as the shutter was open.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

This is the first time I’ve ran into this issue but the colors are so insane that when I tried converting to sRGB for the web most of the color was out of gamut, any tricks how to bring that closer without just letting Photoshop do it and kill the color that was there? I didn’t really do much processing to this image, the color really was like that in person. Below is a screen shot showing the out of gamut colors.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Single exposure at 5 seconds, panning left to right while the shutter was open.

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Andrew, this is crazy beautiful. I think it is absolutely awesome that you used a slow shutter and panning…perfect solution to capture the color in the dim night. I have no idea how to deal with the out of gamut situation, but this version posted here looks great. Congrats.

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Andrew, the image is entrancing. Your approach resulted from a fine sensitivity to your subject. The image changes a little if flipped horizontally … to my eyes, it moves a little better with the brightness increasing up and to the right.

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Many thanks @Mark_Muller, I appreciate the kind words! It is an absolutely magical experience.

Thanks @Dick_Knudson, I appreciate the feedback. I’ll give the suggestions a look.

I can only imagine how miraculous this is to witness. Thank you for sharing the experience here with your image. I find the horizontal lines and colors calming.

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Thanks @mary7, I appreciate the comment. It is hard to put in words witnessing this in person except absolutely magical. After I was done shooting i turned off my camera and just stood there with a smile for at least a half hour in the pitch dark.

What an amazingly cool phenomena, thanks so much for sharing this with us. I really like your abstract panning approach to this. Without your back story I would have no idea what this was, and for abstract images that is usually a very good thing. My only suggestion would be to slightly increase the luminosity of the bottom third of the image.

In terms of your gamut warnings, if this is not destined for print, I would not worry about it, I think it presents fine for web display. If you are worried about printing it, one way to bring it back into gamut is via reducing saturation selectively. I downloaded this and increased the luminosity of the bottom third, see above. I then used a TK actions Saturation Mask to target the most saturated tones, and then with that mask in place ran a Photoshop Hue Saturation adjustment layer to reduce saturation in the most saturated tones. TK Saturation masks allow you to only affect the most saturated tones. This was the result, including showing the revised gamut warning.

Reworked image

Rework’s gamut warning. Somehow the screen grab shifted the colors, but in Photoshop the gamut warning in grey seen below is what appears for the reworked image above.

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@Ed_McGuirk thanks so much for the feedback, I greatly appreciate it!! It sure was amazing to see in person. Every other person in town has images from the local pier in town, I decided to do what I do best and be completely different. I wasn’t sure it was going to work but it seems, I really enjoy the image and I’ll have the memory forever and I suppose that is what a lot of photography is about.
I was hoping to print the image since it seems to be a hit locally so I’ll have to spend a little more time fine-tuning it in PS. I went back and forth quite a bit on how much to increase the highlights in the bottom 1/3, I’ll boost them a little more so thanks for that input.
Thanks again!