Monday, March 14, 2011


Last one for today, the timy Cardinalfish, at home amongst the spines of a Sea Urchin. A shy species, this one ventured out long enough for a quick take, and then back to safety.


A scorpionfish, I think it is in the same family as the stonefish, but I don't recall offhand. Sat still and smiled for me.
Being able to use a flash made things much easier for the work. Set it up and to the left, with just enough power to freeze movement, but not enough to overwhelm anything. Use a shallow DOF (4 in this case) and a reasonable ISO (I had originally set it to 800, was able to tone it down to 400) and working with fish was much more rewarding than in Emerald Isle.

I Aim to Misbehave

And misbehave she did, despite multiple shots, angles and time, she wouldn't hold still. Best shot out of dozens was this one. Not bad, but not like the lionfish.


Another jellyfish, a moon jellyfish this time. Delicate and ghostlike, I wasn't sure I could pick it up properly on film (well, digital capture but you know what I mean) but I did. Had to wait to isolate this one but it was time well spent.

I want to be a Lion(ish) Tamer!

This was the second easiest shot I took. The lionfish slowed down, spread his fins and waited until I took the shots.
Nice lionfish :)

Flame On!

Back when I kept reef tanks in the late 80s, early 90s, the Flame Angel was the be-all-end-all of Angelfish keeping. If you could keep one alive you knew your stuff.
No, I didn't know my stuff. But I did manage to get a good pic of one :)


Probably the easiest shot I took at the Aquarium. Emerald Tree Boa. Beautiful plumage, but of course, the plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead. Well, no he's not, he's resting.

So the sea mollusk says to the cucumber...

There was this mollusk, and he walks up to this sea cucumber. Normally, they don't talk, sea cucumbers, but in a joke everyone talks. So the sea mollusk says to the cucumber...

The Invasion Continues

Didn't, or rather couldn't, get all of this guy in the frame, his tentacles must have been 6 feet in length. Go I got the interesting bits. These type of jellyfish were dead easy to photograph as they were moving quite slowly.


Technically a boxfish, as he can't expand his shape by filling up with water. He was curious enough to stop swimming (more or less, fish are never really still) and see what I was doing.
Taking his picture is what I was doing.


The Baltimore Aquarium has an exhibit on the invasion of jellyfish. They had several different kinds on display, from small and fast, to large and slow moving. This little guy was zipping right along and coupled with a nutrient-rich tank, was tough to catch. Not quite fully in focus, but I'm happy enough with it.

The Key-

I was pretty pleased with the prior fish shots I took down on Emerald Isle, but I knew I could do better. So off I went to research how to take better pics in an aquarium setting. Most of the articles I ran across (even from sites devoted exclusively to photographing fish) were all the same, shove the lens right to the glass, fire away and hope for the best.
That didn't strike me as all that useful, and a good way to scratch the lens, so I kept looking. One fellow (thanks VC!) told me a different way, which I took up for this trip, and as you can see, the results are great! More to follow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rhapsody in Blue

Right next to the Red Jellyfish tank, but the Blue one. Moon Jellyfish if I recall right. Slower moving creatures but the lighting contrast was less so I was still shooting with ISO3200. Some Noise Ninja software adjustment on it and it's looking pretty good.

All Teeth, No Brains

This is as close to a shark as I will probably ever come. Notice all the lovely teeth and the beady little eyes. I don't know what it's thinking, but I'll bet it's along the lines of "my, don't you look tasty!" Of course, I could be doing the shark a great disservice by assuming that. For all I know it (I respect its privacy) is creating new operas in its head.
It was difficult to shoot this, as the 1-foot thick glass gave plenty of distortion, and flash was a no-no (not that I brought it with me, but the point still stands) so it was back to a high ISO and noise reduction software. Not to mention the shark wouldn't sit still for a nice portrait!

And Now for a Splash of Colour

Another super high ISO (3200) shot, but the grain is much less noticeable, given the dark backgroud and lovely red jellyfish. The tank was also swimming with small isopods and other tasty morsels for the jellyfish, but they didn't get too much in the way of the main shot.

Smoke on the Water

Another fine isolated image, courtesy of the fog. The wooden poles also add some leading lines, drawing your eyes towards the pink (?) boat in the centre.

End of the Line

The pier was a short one, but I liked how the poles were all askew, adds a sense of age to the pier. If you look carefully, you can see all the boats in the background that the fog was hiding.

A Different View

Going on a short vacation means (to me anyway) a tradeoff on the amount of gear one can carry. In this case, I left my film gear home, not expecting the wonderfully foggy day I had, so this shot was converted to Black and White. The conversion process is never as exact as when shooting with a real film camera, but it works well enough for this shot.

Forgotten Tools

Not too far from the first boat I fotographed forgotten in the marchland, I found this much smaller one, also forgotten. The fog, coupled with the weathered look of the boat and not-quite-spring plants, gave the whole scene a sombre look. I did tone down the colours in PhotoShop though, otherwise unaltered.

Of Fog and War

This is probably my most favourite picture I've ever taken. From Emerald Isle, early in the AM and quite foggy as you can see. The seagull was on the ground and I could tell as the man approached it was getting ready to take off, I was a tad too late on the trigger to get it just as it was launching itself, but overall I'm extremely pleased with the pic.