Diving in the Red Sea. Hamata, Egypt, November 2011.

The color of the coral


  Egypt: Hamata - Red Sea - November 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

The Red Sea is blue, all right. But beneath the surface, it's an explosion of colour, when you flash the soft corals. Reds, yellows and hot pinks, photogenic at best!


In English, we call them soft corals ; in French, soft corals or alcyonaires - more elegant term, but less speaking. Contrary to appearances, the alcyonaries belong - like everything that is coral - the animal and non-plant kingdom.

Diving in the Red Sea. Hamata, Egypt, November 2011.

Diving in the Red Sea. Hamata, Egypt, November 2011.

The advantage is that these animals do not flee at your approach and have in addition to pretty colors, bright and shimmering, intense red-pink to bright yellow, which are revealed in the light of flashes.

Diving in the Red Sea. Hamata, Egypt, November 2011.Of course, these are popular topics for underwater photographers ...

So I continue my small series of underwater photos brought back from Egypt, during this stay in late November organized by the Small sub photo forum.

We dived at sites near Hamata and Wadi Lahamy, south of Marsa Alam.

Overall, on the ten or so sites that we explored, I do not have the impression that there were many colonies of alcyonaires. Most of the time, they were potatoes and flats of hard coral, composing incredible underwater landscapes, peaceful or tormented, conducive to ambience dives, especially since the visibility was excellent.

However, I managed to put a little color in my images, over the dives, thanks to some well chosen alcyonaries ...

Diving in the Red Sea. Hamata, Egypt, November 2011.



  Egypt: Hamata - Red Sea - November 2011

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  1. Aesthetic, pictorial and poetic emotions by looking at these photos!
    I find very beautiful that we call "alcyonaires" these splendid corals, preferable to "moux", which refer to caramels of the same name!
    Alcynium en latin signifie écume de mer, c ‘est aussi un oiseau marin fabuleux symbole de paix et de calme, sentiments que l’on doit sans doute ressentir dans les fonds marins. 🙂
    Bravo à la photographe. 😉

  2. By the way, soft plural, it would rather be with an S, and not an X?
    Have found in the dico this little funny sentence that could be a mnemonic ... Soft x-rays!
    Encore une fois, je redis mon admiration devant tant de beauté subaquatique. 🙂

  3. @Ysbilia: Delighted to share some of my underwater emotions with the photo. For the fôôôte, the proximity of the X of "corals" has contaminated the following word ... It is corrected !!!

  4. These photos are sublime and dream, especially as the winter of Quebec is approaching!

  5. tout à fait d’accrod bloc 18! dans le même état d’esprit c’est bien pour cela que je me suis tout d’abord « essayée » à la photo sur les éponges parfaitement immobiles 😛
    Very nice pictures anyway ❗

  6. Superbes photos ! Les couleurs sont magnifiques, j’imagine que tu as fait la balance des blancs sous l’eau avec une carte grise ? Et j’ignorais ce qu’étaient les « alcyonnaires », merci de contribuer à ma culture générale sous-marine 🙂

  7. @ Bloc18: Tout à fait. 😉

    @A door on two continents: Merci !!! 🙂

    @Laurence: Les éponges ont le bon goût de garder la pose… 😆

    @Xtinette: Un « arc-en-ciel », n’exagérons rien. Il n’y avait que quelques sites, seulement, offrant une belle profusion d’alcyonnaires colorés. 🙂

    @Thib: Merci Thib ! Non, pas de balance des blancs, pour ce genre de photos, puisqu’elles sont faites au flash, mêlant donc lumière artificielle et lumière naturelle. Le flash est quasiment comme la lumière du jour, il restitue les vraies couleurs. La balance des blancs n’est à utiliser qu’en lumière naturelle sous l’eau. 🙄

  8. @Caro @Julien @CuriousTraveler: Thank you all for your little words. Nice to share with you my emotions under the surface !!!

  9. Your photos are very beautiful ... The marine fons contain real treasures for the eyes. I myself am passionate about the sea. I did not know any alcyonarians who are really beautiful.

    Good continuation 🙂