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orange in deep water


dwc67

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i thought people might find this interesting.

 

i dropped a northport sunfire to the bottom in 75ft. the orange still shines bright even though it's supposed to disappear in at 50 from what i have been told.

waterwolf camera, flat water with high sun

 

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Does the camera emit any light itself? Roygbiv applies to horizontal distance as well as depth. Or is the paint on the lure fluorescent/phosphorescent? 

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The one question I always have regarding the ability to see color at depth is how do we know what the fish actually sees? We seem to base our opinions on what humans appear to see and given different eye structure I can't help but wonder if we are may be inferring or assuming some things that might not be accurate.

Edited by Sk8man
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Les I forgot a lot of what I learned at the time, but some years ago I read up on this and we actually have a pretty good idea of what fish can see by studying their eyes. Sport fish anyway, ones that were worth studying. Lakers for example are best at seeing green and yellows and their light-sensing abilities peaks around 540 nm, a chartreuse color. I would hope lure manufactures take this stuff into account when designing lures but we've all heard the adage that most lures are designed to catch fishermen, not fish.

In regards to the above video, I found that very interesting and have a few thoughts but no solid theories. Several things to note. First, as stated conditions were perfect for light penetration- flat calm at mid-day. It's pretty bright down there. Some orange light is definitely getting through. And orange isn't red- I bet a real red wouldn't show up like this. Orange has slightly shorter wavelengths and does penetrate more. So there is orange reflecting.

But only having two bright colors show up like that does make me a little suspicious. I am wondering if part of it is a camera artifact related to white-balancing. Now I am no expert on how digital cameras work but I have seen some strange things come out of them. If the camera sees all green, then finds a patch of another color (green is also opposite orange on the color wheel, another clue) it very well might amp up the gain on that color to try to make sense of it and get a white balance. Just a thought. Probably one of those situations where I know just enough to be dangerous... :)

Edited by hermit
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Hermit;

First off thanks for sharing, enjoyed it! I thought that light penetrated most deeply when the water was choppy as opposed to dead flat where the water acts more like a mirror, & reflects most of the sunlight.

Thanks;

John

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Nice to see you got the speed right. I see so many of these underwater video footages of spoons spinning like a top. Notthport makes a good blank with the toughest paint jobs. Really interesting to see orange showing up!

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Hermit;

First off thanks for sharing, enjoyed it! I thought that light penetrated most deeply when the water was choppy as opposed to dead flat where the water acts more like a mirror, & reflects most of the sunlight.

Thanks;

John

 

Hey you know that's what I thought too, excellent point... when I saw the video I googled "light penetration orange water" or something like that and one of the things I read said that about flat water and I just went with it. I was in a hurry and didn't think much about it. But now that you mention it I always thought like you said. Well I don't have time to look into it now but I'll have to try to look it up later.

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I guess what I was referring to may surprise some folks but there is actually no such thing as color itself. It is merely the eye/brain interpretation of given wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum and in humans for example it is very subjective and highly dependent on labeling. There are also physical dimensions that come into play as in color blindness for certain colors or irregularities in the cones present in an individuals eye causing them to see no color or perhaps fragmented color (e.g. on a color blindness test they may see a 3 instead of an 8 because of a cone "defect".  Colors are also described differently by different cultures for example.  I know there are a lot of opinions out there about color theory and a lot of assumptions about what fish in particular respond to but this is exactly what I am noting here is that the inferences that are made regarding fish behavior in response to different wavelengths of color are just that.....inferences probably based on preference judgments which in and of themselves may be problematic as we can't actually interview the subjects regarding specifics and we are limited to just the gross behavioral response actions which may be more complicated than we think. The video above is very interesting and it should get us thinking but there are inherent problems with making hard fast conclusions at this point about what is going on there. As in magic tricks things seen by the naked eye events  are tricky enough directly observed but when you introduce something like a cameras etc. you have to remember you are levels removed from the actual situation itself as Gator noted.

Edited by Sk8man
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Okay I did a little reading here. Best I can determine in 1/2 hour of research is that high sun and flat calm has the best light penetration. Choppy water scatters the light more, in more directions, including sideways, so it doesn't go down as much, plus the wave action can introduce air bubbles or stir up stuff that makes visibility worse (not too much of an issue over deep water).

The argument can be made that in low-angle sun conditions, early and late in the day, choppy water is better lit. That scattering effect from the waves actually directs more light downwards and in calm conditions it's more like a mirror with light glancing off, basically. So it seems like early and late it could be brighter down there when choppy. This was starting to sound familiar as I read up on it again.

Les, I'm not sure if you're referring to my post but nobody else said anything about color and eyes. I was referring to biological studies done on the eyes of fish, so we do actually know for certain what they are capable of seeing.

Gator I thought of that too and looked into that spoon and it seems to be regular paint on a silver spoon, yellow one side and orange on the other, so it shouldn't be emitting any light on its own. And it flashes brightest when aimed overhead so it looks like all natural light to me.

Back to the video, my point is basically that some orange light must be getting through but given the two-tone-only nature of the video, I think it is at least possible the brightness we're seeing is a camera artifact. Why can't we see the bright yellow side of the spoon glowing even brighter in the green conditions? But it's just a theory, or not even that.

Edited by hermit
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I just did a preliminary search regarding perception of color in fish and came up with an interesting article that may be of interest: (Although it uses fly fishing as an example it is also relevant here)

 

http://midcurrent.com/science/fish-eyesight-does-color-matter/

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Okay it took a little while to get a reply from Northport, I had emailed them about the paint.  They don't say on the website but the paint is considered fluorescent.  On the technical side this means that light with longer wavelengths is transformed into light with shorter, orange wavelengths.  

 

So most of the actual orange light is being absorbed by the depth, but some of that lovely green light that reaches the lure is transformed into orange light, which only has to travel the distance between the lure and camera before being seen.

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I suspected that might be the case, but it's interesting nonetheless. Generally the Stokes shift between the shorter high energy absorbed wavelength and the longer low energy emitted wavelength isn't huge.In practical terms (and generalizing horribly), this means that blue light becomes green fluorescence, green becomes yellow, etc...right down the spectrum.

 

So orange emissions should evolve from yellow absorption. Yellow penetrates to a greater depth than orange, but it's still not great. I suspect that's why the lure manufacturers use phosphorescent paints that actually store energy to make spoons "glow" at depth.

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Fish have a different number of cones in their eyes.  They can see in ultraviolet which humans can't.

Just because we can't see it dosen't mean the fish can't see it at depth.  They make their living down there, we just sorta visit once in a while.

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