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How I Got the Shot: A Bioluminescent Surfer

Editor's Note: Our "How I Got the Shot" feature talks with today's leading photographers to get the story behind their most captivating surf photos. This article features surf photographer Jared Weintraub.

This night was absolutely wild. COVID had everyone cooped inside, but then San Diego’s beaches decided to light up with an insane bioluminescence event.

And I wasn't about to miss out. In May 2020, I called a bunch of buddies, and we hit up Blacks Beach in the middle of the night, just on a whim. 

Swimming out in the dark with 4-6 foot waves rolling in was a bit nerve-racking, but as soon as we made it past the whitewash, it was like stepping into another world.

The waves were glowing this crazy blue bioluminescence, lighting up the ocean around us.

It was surreal, one of those moments you just have to pinch yourself to believe it's real. 

Now, this was just before my pro photography career, so my mediocre DSLR camera wasn't ready for those low-light conditions.

I had to crank the ISO way up, which explains the blur and noise in the shot. But I kind of love it. It's a reminder of that epic night – the thrill, the beauty, the sense of adventure – all rolled into one blurry, noisy snapshot of a night I'll never forget.


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