Photographing the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Seahorse
This summer my wife and I took some time to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary in Monterey, Calif. It was my first trip there in more than fifteen years.

The fact that I can even type a sentence with that content makes me realize that time is inexorably marching forward while I grow a year older every other month (it seems).

Eel and Shrimp

I spent most of my time in the Monterey Bay Aquarium photographing various species of sea life in their tanks. If you are considering visiting the aquarium, realize that it is a major tourist destination and Saturdays are packed much like a disneyland ride without any rides to sit on.

Katie and the Baby Turtle

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with your camera’s high ISO capability. The tanks are beautifully lit for human eyes and it takes a bit of effort to reproduce that with the camera sensor.

Once you are familiar with the settings, you’re going to want to make sure your shutter speeds are never below 1/60 of a second if you hope to have sharp photographs. Because sea-life is constantly moving, you have to have your shutter speed fast enough to freeze that life.

Sleeping Penguin

If you happen to make it to the aquarium on any day but a Saturday you won’t have to worry about crowds and impatient people elbowing you out of the viewing area. The more familiar you are with the camera’s menus and capabilities, the less time you will have to spend setting up shots.

Deepwater Jellyfish

Most of my photos were taken with a moderately fast lens (f2.8) which focuses faster and permits more light to hit the sensor than most kit lenses. The benefit of having more light means you can have a faster shutter speed.

Take a lot of pictures. This was a new environment to me and had I not taken hundreds of pictures I might not have ended up with any pictures I particularly liked. Needless to say I ended up taking so many which I liked, it was difficult to choose just a few to share here and online.

Sea Otter

I’ve uploaded a whole gallery of some of my favorite images made this summer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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