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.
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.
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.