James Lynott is a plant pathologist at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee. Most of his diving is done around the coasts of Scotland. His favourite place to dive is the sea lochs on the West Coast, as they can be dived all year round and have a diverse range of life. He began diving in 2009 and instantly knew he wanted to start underwater photography.
He was already fascinated by the phenomenon of underwater fluorescence which he saw in the original Blue Planet series in 2001 then again in 2011 during an episode of Britain’s Secret Seas, which had a spectacular night dive sequence filmed at St Abbs.
A few years later he started experimenting with underwater fluorescence photography, and over the past five years has captured an impressive portfolio of still images and video of the many species that fluoresce in our seas.
He has been constantly surprised by the species that fluoresce in our waters, from cup corals and anemones, to crustaceans, and even sharks and rays. James has taken his fluorescence equipment on dives in Thailand, Mexico, Madeira, and Croatia, but he is still amazed by the species he has found that fluoresce in Scotland.
Capturing underwater fluorescence can be challenging as it usually involves working in very low light environments and the brightness of fluorescence various greatly between species. Two things are needed to view fluorescence effectively. A powerful blue light source (not UV) with the correct wavelength to excite fluorescence and a yellow barrier filter that blocks out or reduces the reflected blue light.
James’ current setup is a Canon G7x MKII in a Fantasea housing. He uses Light & Motion Gobe Nightsea lights, and Riff/FireDive Gear TL Azur lights and Heliopan Y12 and FireDiveGear 67mm barrier filters.
Underwater Fluorescence – Long clawed Squat Lobster, Loch Fyne 30/10/20
Underwater Fluorescence – Jewel Anemones on the MV Akka wreck
Underwater Fluorescence – Fireworks Anemones, Loch Fyne 07/12/19
Underwater Fluorescence – Thornback Ray, Loch Leven
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