Sunday, August 11, 2013

Photography at SeaLife Arizona

This was an event sponsored by Tempe Camera and Canon at SeaLife.  Both Canon and Tempe Camera put on good events, so I made sure I drove down to Tempe to be part of it. 

But don’t leave home without…. a good macro lens!  I left home quickly determined to fight the morning rush hour traffic.  I paid for my lapse in judgment. 

So lesson number one on shooting at an aquarium is:  TAKE A MACRO LENS!  For my Canon 5D Mark III, the Canon 100mm macro I left at home would have been perfect.  I instead had the 24-105mm lens on my camera body, which meant I couldn’t get the shots I wanted. 

Lighting is colorful but often low, so you will shoot perhaps at ISO1600. 

Shutter speed?  1/30th hand held to be sure.  And to freeze action, 1/200th and above. 

Aperture size?  For bokeh (throwing everything out of focus except for what you are focused on), use f/2.8 or so; f/8 and above for more depth of field. 

OH YES, I learned about the need for a rubber lens flare and not the plastic one that came with your lens.  The reason is that the aquarium people would rather you not scratch or damage the glass.  Makes sense.  Amazon has them in a variety of filter thread sizes.  For my Canon 100mm macro lens, it takes a 67mm rubber extension. 

Optional is using a tripod, but it’s hard to use when you are there when the general public is there.  I’m talking KIDS. 

Canon and Tempe Camera are promising an adult/photographers-only event at the aquarium coming up this fall.  I sure hope so!  I want another crack at taking better photos.

Interested in learning more about photographing at aquariums?  I’ve included some links here:

     - From Nikon

     - From About Photography

     - From the Cichlid Forum

     - From Nano Reef

Remember to keep shooting; it’s digital and it’s free!

Jim Patterson

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