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 of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

The Red Sea is blue, it is understood. But under the surface, it's an explosion of colors, when you flash on the soft corals. Bright reds, yellows and pinks, very photogenic!


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 don't run away at your approach and they also have pretty colors, bright and shimmering, from intense red-pink to bright yellow, which are revealed in the light of the flashes.

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

So I continue my little series of underwater photos brought back from Egypt, on the occasion of this stay at the end of November organized by the Small sub photo forum.

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

Overall, on the ten or so sites we explored, I don't have the impression that there were many colonies of alcyonarias. Most of the time, they were patates and platiers of hard coral, composing incredible underwater landscapes, peaceful or tormented, favorable to atmospheric divesespecially since the visibility was excellent.

However, I managed to put some color in my pictures, during the dives, thanks to some well-chosen alcyonarias...

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 think it's great that we call these splendid corals "alcyonarias", preferable to "soft", which refers to the caramels of the same name!
    Alcynium in Latin means sea foam, and is also a fabulous seabird symbolizing peace and calm, feelings that we must no doubt feel on the seabed. 🙂
    Kudos to the photographer 😉

  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!
    Once again, I reiterate my admiration for so much underwater beauty 🙂

  3. @Ysbilia: Delighted to be able to share some of my underwater emotions through photography. For the fôôôte, the proximity of the X in "corals" contaminated the following word... It's corrected!!!

  4. These photos are sublime and make you dream, especially as the Quebec winter approaches!

  5. completely agree with block 18! in the same frame of mind, that's why I first "tried" to take pictures of perfectly still sponges 😛
    Very nice pictures anyway ❗

  6. Great photos! The colors are gorgeous, I imagine you did the white balance underwater with a grey card? And I didn't know what "alcyonnaires" were, thanks for contributing to my general underwater culture 🙂

  7. @ Bloc18: Absolutely.

    @A door on two continents: Thank you!!! 🙂

    @Laurence: Sponges have the good taste to keep the pose... 😆

    @Xtinette: A "rainbow", let's not exaggerate. There were only a few sites offering a beautiful profusion of colorful alcyoniums. 🙂

    @Thib: Thanks Thib! No, I don't use white balance for these photos, because they're taken with flash, mixing artificial and natural light. Flash is almost the same as daylight, restoring true colors. White balance should only be used in natural underwater light. 🙄

  8. 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 🙂