Here’s something interesting. Maybe. I’ve been hearing for weeks about the bioluminescence event on the Southern California coastline, but I haven’t taken the time to go check it out. Apparently it’s not going away, though, so last night I headed out to Laguna Beach to see if I could take some pictures of it. First off, here’s Laguna Beach all by itself:

This was taken with a 2-second shutter speed, which gives it kind of a cool impressionist effect.

But now for the bioluminescence. I don’t know if this was because the blue glow was weak last night or if this is always the way it is, but it turns out you can’t really see it with the naked eye. It showed up fine in my camera viewfinder, but my eyes saw nothing but whitecaps. The other interesting thing is that the blue glow showed up only briefly and in individual spots. Small waves produced nothing. Only the bigger waves churned up enough algae to produce spots of bioluminescence. For example:

You can see five individual spots here. This was taken with a ½-second shutter speed, which might explain the large number of spots. More typical is this one:

May 9, 2020 — Laguna Beach, California

This one has a nice long stretch of bioluminescence plus one more bright spot near the middle. It was taken with a 1-second shutter speed. In the end, that ended up being the best compromise exposure time.

As it turns out, the blue glow comes and goes pretty quickly, so the only way to get a picture is to snap the shutter the instant it appears. Most of the time even that’s not fast enough. You just have to take a picture of every wave and then pick out the ones that have plenty of blue. In the end I took 65 pictures before I was told to move along.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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