The week of May 7th 2018 has been a special week here in San Diego for PyroFarms. After over five years of patient waiting, a bioluminescent red tide has decided to return to San Diego.
Scientist are not sure what causes a bioluminescent red tide, so the events are difficult to predict, although early summer (May-June) and late summer (September) seem to be when they occur the most (in San Diego).
A bioluminescent event is best viewed in a location with minimal contaminating light. Headlights and city lights can diminish the bioluminescence. A full moon can also lessen the show of light.
Most phone camera do not do a good job capturing the bioluminescence. Usually special sensitive (expensive) cameras do the best job at capturing the event. Use a manual setting with a high ISO, low aperture and slower shutter speed, and hold the camera very still!
These images were taken with a Sony a6000 using manual settings: 12,500 ISO, F4.0, ~0.5"
Of course if you want to see bioluminescence year round you know where to go.