Photographing Sea World Part 2



Having Fun with Your Camera at Sea World Part 2

The stadium from atop the Skytower ride

The stadium from atop the Skytower ride

The very first thing I did when I entered the grounds was head to the Skytower Ride.

This tower gave an unobstructed view of Sea World.

Although the ride didn’t give us a lot of time at the top, 3 minutes up and 3 minutes down.,it was sufficient to give me an idea of what to expect.

It gave me a good perspective of where everything was and more importantly where the sun was relative to the various places I planned to shoot.

The picture on the left was taken from Skytower Ride.

I saw I had a severely backlit situation if I stayed at eye level  from the stands.

I was glad I packed my 70-300 zoom.

Blue Horizons Stadium

The sun was behind the stage as you can see from this picture.

The sun was behind the stage as you can see from this picture.

At the Blue Horizons stadium where we watched the 25-minute show of aerial acrobats, bottle nosed dolphins and a pilot whale, you probably want to steer clear of the first 12 rows, their splash zone.

Those are the rows for the hard core folks who want to get the entire ‘feel’ and flavor of the show by getting soaked to the bone.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t sit down there but if I ever did so, I would be sure to have some serious water protective gear for my equipment.

The pictures would be different and more engaging because I would be able to see the performer’s faces better.

Catching a ride on two dolphins.

Catching a ride on two dolphins.

 

Aurora shows her aerial prowess suspended from wires high above Blue Horizon stadium

Aurora shows her aerial prowess suspended from wires high above Blue Horizon stadium

 

If you didn't believe what I said about backgrounds, this picture should clearly illustrate what I mean. Aurora is backlit and this time against a less cluttered background.

If you didn’t believe what I said about backgrounds, this picture should clearly illustrate what I mean. Aurora is backlit and this time against a less cluttered background.

Aurora meets Marina on stage during the Blue Horizon Show.

Aurora meets Marina on stage during the Blue Horizon Show.

The downside would be that at that hour, 1 pm,  they would be heavily backlit.

Shooting down from the very top (handicap seating), I had a better vantage point of everything but didn’t quite have the reach I wanted.

Catching a ride on the pilot whale

Catching a ride on the pilot whale

 

A better view of the entire creature the pilot whale

A better view of the entire creature the pilot whale

Next time, I’ll be sure to bring my Canon 40D body with it’s 1.6x magnification factor.

Sea lion and Otter Stadium

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sealion-trainer

sea-lion op-otter

I wish I had planned on watching this show earlier in the day when there was more light. I had barely enough to arrest the sea lion’s motion on this picture. ISO 400 1/125 sec @f5.6 zoom at 110mm
The stage for this stadium as you can guess is a lot smaller.

Their splash zone was only 4 rows back or up from the front of the stage.

I risked it by being choosing a seat in the front 2 rows.

And I’m glad I did because the OP the otter is a mere 3 feet in height at most.

So he was tiny even when viewed through my lens zoomed to the 3oo mm  setting.

Thankfully  Clyde and Seamore the sea lions don’t displace as much water as the pilot whales or the dolphins so I stayed dry.

Just be warned, you should have some sort of poncho or water proof cover for your gear if you’re feeling brave.

Next time I visit, I’ll be sure to catch Shamu, the killer whale in action.

Exhibits in glass enclosures

Stingrays traveling in the same direction made this image more interesting. I did have to wait a while for this to happen and also for the unobstructed view of the entire showcase.
Stingrays traveling in the same direction made this image more interesting. I did have to wait a while for this to happen and also for the unobstructed view of the entire showcase.

For those live exhibits behind glass enclosures, a lot depends on crowds, when you arrive, and if the animals are active.

It’s a crap shoot.

The thing to remember is this, if you plan on using your flash, you can’t use the on-camera flash or your external flash on the hot shoe.

Hold the front of the lens right up against the glass and watch for flare.

If the viewing area is dark and you’re animal is lit like when you’re viewing their underwater activity, doing this will help eliminate total internal reflection.

Your viewfinder can sometimes reflect what bits of light behind you and show up in the picture.
Peter Phun Photography

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