Having Fun with Your Camera at Sea World Part 2
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
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.
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.
Next time, I’ll be sure to bring my Canon 40D body with it’s 1.6x magnification factor.
Sea lion and Otter Stadium
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
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.