Stationary highlights at the S.E.A Aquarium

This is my fourth trip to the S.E.A Aquarium and I can see I’m really making good use of my annual pass. So far, I had been relying on the fastest lens in my arsenal, the Zuiko 50mm F/2.0 lens. The lens is sharp and bright, but focusing on my old E-620 is way too slow to keep up with moving underwater creatures in the dim lightning of the aquarium. After trying for this fourth time, I almost gave up taking anything that moves.

Fortunately, there are still some lazy creatures around like these gigantic lobsters.

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I forgotten to check what the following creature is but it seems ‘stuck’ in between the stones and hence made  a good target for me.

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The following prawn was trying to move, but the speed it swam seems to equal some current in the water that it appeared stationary, though its feet were working very hard.

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As for fishes, most can’t stop swimming and getting a sharp shot was next to impossible with my gear. However, there were still a few that swam around, but do stop once in a while to pose for me.

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S.E.A. Aquarium – Jelly focus

Back to S.E.A. Aquarium again. The first two trips was meant as a recce to find out what are available and where they are located. This time, I’m back to focus on the jelly fishes. I’m aware of the poor lighting, so this time, I brought my fast lens with me, the 50mm F/2.0 macro lens.

Before heading to see the jelly fishes, I decided to have some fun with my fisheye lens, probably my favorite now.

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Shipwreck at the Strait of Karimata & Java Sea zone

Now back to the jelly fishes. I always like watching jelly fishes swimming around the water. They never failed to mesmerize me.

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Jelly fishes at the Ocean Journey zone

After trying for a quite sometime. I continue to find shooting jelly fish (or any moving creatures at SEA Aquarium) a big challenge. The poor lighting limits the shutter speed and getting a sharp focus very very difficult. In the end, I had to do manual focus for one location and wait for a jelly fish to swim to that location to get a good shot. Thus even if I can get a well focused shot, the composition sucks.

After having enough shots at jelly fishes ( I can still see swimming jelly fishes even if I close my eyes), I head for the exit. Taking a few shots here and there but none came out well enough for my liking. One that turns out satisfactory, just satisfactory (far from being called a keeper in photographer’s jargon) was the shot of a Lionfish.

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Lionfish at South China Sea zone

And one shot of the sharks right at the exit turn out ok, though the clipped fin ruined the composition. I’ll concentrate on these one day.

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S.E.A. Aquarium Preview

Tipped off by my friend that the S.E.A Aquarium was very nice and well worth the $88 annual pass for multiple visits, I went ahead and got one. I took an afternoon leave to run some personal errands and when I was finally free at about 4pm, I rushed down to S.E.A Aquarium, got my annual pass and went in for a quick 1/2 hour ‘preview’, before I rushed off to pick up my kids from the childcare.

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The first thing that struck me was the similar looking glass ‘tunnel’ I saw at Underwater World. But what came after that was a welcoming difference.

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There were many huge tanks with many fishes.

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But after a while, I began to realised that there were many similar looking tanks and similar looking fishes. Sure, there are many many fishes… but many similar looking kind, if not the same (S.E.A. Aquarium claimed that there are 800 species of marine animals). I expected to see many exotic creatures but was quite disappointed.

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As for photography, the curvy tanks and the strong lightings made distortions and reflections big challenges for photographers. Getting sharp, detailed shots of the fishes was really really difficult. Maybe that explained why there were relatively so few uploads of pictures taken at S.E.A. Aquarium to Flickr.

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In conclusion, if there would not be regular updates to the species of creatures in S.E.A. Aquarium, I will definitely not renew my annual pass when it expires. With so many huge tanks, I had expected to see rare, exotic creatures of the deep as well as huge fishes. Perhaps the tanks were too big. Even the sharks look like little fishes in them.

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