Sea Creatures

I’ve always been a sucker for aquariums.  Here in San Diego, we have two.  The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, earth and ocean science.  It’s a very cool place.

And Sea World, for all its ‘touristy-ness,’ has remarkable tanks, once you get beyond the beaten path of shows, shops and restaurants.  This octopus was shot at Sea World.  The red light is not a camera filter, it’s the lighting in the tank, and I assume it’s to protect the octopus’ sensitive eyes.

Red octopus.  Photography by Steve Rossman

Sea World also has an entire building devoted to manatees and one to stunningly beautiful sea turtles.  I don’t know why I pick on poor Sea World.

Sea turtle at Sea World. Photography by Steve Rossman

Both of these shots were hand-held at relatively slow shutter speeds.  In order to make the shots at all, I set the ISO  (which determines the camera’s sensitivity to light) to 2400.  Under most conditions, ISO is usually set around 200.  The high ISO  creates a trade-off.  It allowed me to shoot these moving creatures in terrible light (terrible for photography, not for viewing), but it’s also the reason that the images have more than a little grain in them.  I can live with the grain.

Both shots were made with a Nikon D300 camera and a 50mm Nikkor lens.

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