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 Post subject: Trip to the Aquarium
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:39 am 
Took a trip this last weekend to the aquarium in Mystic, CT. It was quite a learning experience shooting moving subjects and getting to really test what I could do with a telephoto. I got lucky on some shots, I got unlucky on most shots, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I have a few more I'll post eventually after I finish PP them. Here's what I've churned through the workflow mill so far.

Oh, and no ducks. But, a few penguins if that'll do.


Happy whale

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Bored lizard

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Spiny Lobster

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Annoyed heron

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Sly penguin


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Proud penguin


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Pugnacious crab


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Camouflage fish


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Vibrant bird

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Sleepy parakeet

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Well, I hope you enjoyed your trip to the aquarium. Exif data can be provided on request, but didn't feel like typing it up for every single one.

P.S. If any images are too big, let me know. I double checked my file sizes and no dimensions are larger than 1024, but...who knows, maybe I missed one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 6:23 am 
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most outstanding penquinage...oh, that up out of the water penquin face, is a quack up...I mean a penquin up...if these were my shots, I'd be thrilled! It can be so hard sometimes, ..but these are great..love that lobster/shrimp crustacean critter, very sharp, and in focus....(where is the buddah)..and the blue featherd bird on that log, is wonderful as well... ya know, I like the fish, too...I would say for a day at the aquarium, you got some well rounded shots, that are CLW..(camera lab worthy).


patti

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:52 pm 
patti wrote:
most outstanding penquinage...oh, that up out of the water penquin face, is a quack up...I mean a penquin up...if these were my shots, I'd be thrilled! It can be so hard sometimes, ..but these are great..love that lobster/shrimp crustacean critter, very sharp, and in focus....(where is the buddah)..and the blue featherd bird on that log, is wonderful as well... ya know, I like the fish, too...I would say for a day at the aquarium, you got some well rounded shots, that are CLW..(camera lab worthy).


patti


Thanks patti, I like the penguin in the water too. It was a challenge shooting inside since the low light couple with high ISO 1600 meant too much noise or blurry shots for the most part. A couple of exhibits were well-lit though which helped. All the outside shots were fun because of the great weather, but my success rate probably would have been higher if I bit the bullet and cranked my ISO up past 400 so I could get some decent shutter speeds. As it was, I tried too hard to shoot at ISO 100 and came away with alot of slightly blurry shots which aggravates me. You live and you learn though.

Shooting wildlife is definitely a different beast than landscapes! I love how different subject matter re-defines what you need to know about your camera. I just don't love spending a couple minutes going through menu's and changing this and changing that to get the right settings... and then forgetting one that's crucial!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:10 am 
Superb photos! The first and third photos are my favourites, very well done! :]

Seeming as you've done aquarium photography, can you offer hints on shooting fish through glass in a tank in these big aquarium places? Particuarlarly those tunnel areas where the shark attractions are usually located? I got poor results when I tried to take photos in dark through Aquarium glass.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:34 am 
Well, it's not easy. I threw away hundreds of bad photos to find a few gems. In the super dark areas, you'll have to shoot at high ISOs if you want a chance to shoot with a decent shutter speed, and that's with an image stabilized lens.

To reduce glare and reflection, you have to be able to get close to the glass and/or stand at an angle to avoid reflection. If you have a polarizer, I suggest using it in areas that aren't dark so you can see clearly through the water and cut down on reflections. In dark areas however it won't work so well since it can drop your exposure values down a couple of stops.

Finding fish or animals that don't move much is also key! :D Sounds funny, but it's true. Trying to take a picture of a moving fish behind glass in the dark with a 1/6th shutter speed is very difficult.

One major mistake I made is when I exited the dark aquarium section to go see the seals, sea lions and all that stuff outside, is that I cranked my ISO down too low. I was so happy to be shooting at 1600 anymore, than I over compensated and shot at ISO 100. My girlfriend kept her ISO at 640 and above even though we were outside, and that allowed her to shoot at like 1/1000 and faster for some shots. I compared my work with hers and hers were so much sharper and had a much higher win/loss ratio for good and bad pics.

Next time I'll keep it in mind though, keep your shutter speeds high if you are shooting wildlife and it's active. If it's stationary, then going for max quality is fair game of course.

If you find yourself in a dark situation though and you are trying to take a crisp picture of a moving subject, the only advice I can give you is to crank up the ISO, set your shutter speed as fast as you can without under-exposing, use manual focus so it doesn't hunt on you, tuck your elbows in close to your body, breathe out slowly while shooting in continuous mode and pan with your subject to keep them in frame.

Good luck!

Nick-Metroid wrote:
Superb photos! The first and third photos are my favourites, very well done! :]

Seeming as you've done aquarium photography, can you offer hints on shooting fish through glass in a tank in these big aquarium places? Particuarlarly those tunnel areas where the shark attractions are usually located? I got poor results when I tried to take photos in dark through Aquarium glass.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:53 pm 
These are really superb pics! Particularly like the expressions/poses on the "Annoyed Heron" and the "Sleepy Parakeet" :) The colours and sharpness is spot on!

On a totally "off topic" note, I noticed that you said you went to Mystic. Is that the same Mystic that was in the movie Mystic Pizza....I guess there can't be that many Mystics in the USA. I only ask because I totally love Julia Roberts and that was the first movie I ever saw her in. Looks like a beautiful place to live anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 5:11 pm 
Thanks for the compliments.

Yes, it's the same Mystic from the movie Mystic Pizza. We actually drove by the Mystic Pizza shop when we went down there, but we haven't given it a try yet. There's a place around there take makes Belgium Fries (Pomme Frites) which are to die for. Dipping sauces like Parmesaen Pesto, Wasabi Lime, Chipotle, Curry, and about a dozen others help keep it interesting and tasty.

Next time we go, I'll have to check out Mystic Pizza and see what all the fuss is about.

ChinaMark wrote:
These are really superb pics! Particularly like the expressions/poses on the "Annoyed Heron" and the "Sleepy Parakeet" :) The colours and sharpness is spot on!

On a totally "off topic" note, I noticed that you said you went to Mystic. Is that the same Mystic that was in the movie Mystic Pizza....I guess there can't be that many Mystics in the USA. I only ask because I totally love Julia Roberts and that was the first movie I ever saw her in. Looks like a beautiful place to live anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 1:01 am 
Sounds like a great place! Would be great to see a pic of the place next time you're there.


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