There’s something in the water in Ohope

The blue waves caused by a naturally occurring phenomenon captured by Whakatane-based photographer Neil Hutton. Photo: Neil Robert Hutton Photography.

Like surfers and the quest for the perfect wave, photographers will also go to great lengths to capture the perfect shot – just ask Neil Hutton.

In the middle of the night, the Whakatane-based photographer shot down to Ohope Beach in the Eastern Bay and captured a series of photographs showing blue waves crashing onto the shore.

The blue glowing waves were caused by a naturally occurring phenomenon called ‘bioluminescence’ which happens when small marine organisms, like plankton, light up due to chemical reactions that occur inside the organism.

In a post to Facebook, Neil explains he was tipped off to the blue waves by a friend who rung him up at 1am on December 29, 2016.

“Grabbed my camera and tripod and away I went! At first I thought I was seeing things but it really was an amazing spectacle,” the post reads.

“The glowing waves would come in bursts and I [sic] was perched up on top of one of the West End rocks with my tripod.”

He says it wasn’t all smooth sailing though, as he had to battle with lots of light pollution emitted from the street lights in Ohope.

“Can’t wait for Whakatane District Council to finish replacing all those nasty orange street lights with new lovely white led ones…great for night photography, limit light pollution, and they are good for the environment!!”

Since publishing his photos to Facebook, Neil’s post has attracted more than 3700 likes, nearly 550 comments and has been shared over 2000 times.




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