Photographing bioluminescence in Cape Town can be a unique and rewarding experience. Bioluminescence refers to the ability of certain organisms to emit light, and can be found in various forms in the natural world, including in some species of marine algae and plankton.
To photograph bioluminescence in Cape Town, it's best to plan your shoot during a new moon phase, as the lack of moonlight will allow for the best visibility of the bioluminescent organisms. Additionally, it's best to head out to the location at night, when the bioluminescent organisms are most visible.
When choosing a location, head to a secluded beach or bay with minimal light pollution, such as Kogelbaai Beach or Simon's Town. It also depends where the bioluminescence is occuring in the ocean. This depends on the tide, swell, ocean currents and wind. It must be said it is incredibly difficult to predict when it will occur and for how long, but the best indicator in my experience is after several hot, still days with visible red tide seen during the day on the ocean water.
When it comes to camera settings, a long exposure is recommended in order to capture the bioluminescence. Use a tripod to keep your camera steady and set your camera to manual mode with a low ISO (100-400) and a wide aperture (f/2.8 or wider). You may also want to experiment with different shutter speeds, starting with a few seconds and adjusting as needed.
It's also important to consider the composition and framing of your shots, as the bioluminescent organisms can be difficult to see with the naked eye. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture the beauty of the bioluminescence.
Finally, be sure to exercise caution when venturing out to photograph bioluminescence at night, as the conditions can be dangerous and the location may not be well-lit. It's always best to go with a friend and to let someone know where you're going and when you plan to return.
In summary, to photograph bioluminescence in Cape Town, it's best to plan your shoot during a new moon phase, head out to a secluded beach or bay with minimal light pollution, and use a long exposure, low ISO and wide aperture. Agitated water, such as breaking waves, best shows the bioluminescent organisms. Also consider composition and framing in your shots. Remember to be cautious and to let someone know where you're going.