Travel Photo Thursday: Something’s Fishy

Travel Photo Thursday: Something’s Fishy

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VM Ugly Fish IMG_2961Photographing fish out of water, like this “Face-That-Only-A-Mother-Could-Love” dead one I spotted in Munich’s Viktualien Markt, is easy, even if you have to shoot through a shop window.

But suppose the fish is very much alive, in the water while you are not, and there’s very little light shining on it?

That’s what you’ll face when visiting an aquarium. Here are examples of fish photos that won’t be “The-One-That-Got-Away-From-You.”

Flying Overhead, Maui Ocean CenterFish Tunnel, Maui Ocean CenterRecently built aquariums often have an architectural feature you won’t find in older facilities: Big, clear tubes that you can walk through while the fish swim alongside or overhead.

It’s a bit like scuba diving, but without flippers, mask, lead weight belt and an oxygen tank strapped to your body.

And you don’t need a wetsuit because the temperature is fine and there’s no chance that you’ll get wet.

The Maui Ocean Center in the Hawaiian islands has such tubular walkways. While its cool to see a school of “small fry” swim on by, it’s even cooler when a big ray soars above you.

Light in these aquarium tubes usually comes from above, but you still might have to push your camera’s ISO to its high-end limit to capture some shots. Even then, your camera’s shutter speed my be so slow that you’ll have a hard time getting a sharp image unless you put the camera on a tripod or brace your body against a wall.

Shooting straight through heavy glass into a tank full of water can be even more challenging hand-holding a small point-and-shoot camera, as was the case when I photographed these jelly fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Jelly Fish MBA MG_1601

Fast Swimming Fish IMG_1585Those jellies were moving, but not at warp speed. Nevertheless, with a languid 1/8 second shutter speed and no tripod, its clear that I wasn’t going to get a clear shot.

Since most aquarium fish swim fast, you can use the low-light within and around their water-filled “cages” to your advantage by settling for a blurry shot that accentuates the illusion of their speed through the water.

If someone says “That’s not a very sharp photo!,” just reply “Those fish were moving like bats outta hell!”

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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3 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: Something’s Fishy”

    1. As with the dishes you cook, your photos don’t always turn on the way you’d like. Never apologize for either, just say “It was supposed to be/look like that!”

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