/ photography

Pictures taken in Ancol Seaworld

Seaworld has the biggest seawater tank in the South East Asia.  Seaworld's tank is 24 x 38 x 5.5-6 metre depth depending on location and contains of 5 million litre of seawater.  To imagine how much is 5 million litre of sea water, you can imagine the average tanker truck carry around 5000 litre of fuel.  5 million litre is equals to 1000 tanker trucks.  That's a whole lot of water.

The actual plan was to test the wide angle EF-S 10-22mm, however I ended up in taking pictures with the EF 50 mm f/1.8.

Shooting condition

In order to took make fish looks interesting, a picture of fish should show the fish doing fishy things.  And photographing from behind curvy acrylic screen is a difficult challenge.  The camera's autofocus system is confused with the curves.  Moreover as the tank had only limited lighting, a fast lens is a necessary and with my camera focusing at f/1.8 has its own challenge.  That's due my camera's manual focusing only allow focusing down to f/2.8.  Flash is useless due to acrylic will reflect the light and destroy tie image.

To make matter even worse, things from behind acrylic will have a lot of colour fringes.

With Canon EF-S 10-22 mm

A tankful of predator

Print this image 2 metre tall and you'll feel that you were surrounded by those red bellied piranhas, fish with the baddest reputation on the planet.  There are thousands of them, and I'm making mistake of capturing them in portrait.  Showing it in landscape would introduce even more thrills to the viewer!

Sorry that I could only took one image worth of showing, the others were sucks due to motion blurs.  That's it the fish were moving and my lens is slow.  I can make some darker image and brightens it later on computer, however I prefer to use my trusty Canon EF 50 f/1.8 lens.

Next time I'll have some more picture from the ultra-wide, since ultra-wide is really tough to use!

With Canon EF 50 mm

Most of my images in Seaworld are sea dragon.  Seaworld only had 3 leafy sea dragons.  They used to have 3 leafy sea dragons and 3 weedy sea dragons, however the weedy sea dragons died, and only 3 leafy sea dragons left.  They've been keeping the leafy sea dragons since they were small, starting in December 2008. 

They are very beautiful creature and swim and dance very gracefully.  Now that they are mature enough that probably starts to mate.  I'm unsure whether they are really mating or just dating.  I believe you know why do I took so many of their pictures.  

Shooting condition

The sea dragon's tank is very cold at about 14o Celsius.  As a result a lot water condensate in front of its tank making photography a difficult challenge.  Seeing with eyes is not a problem, as eye automatically compensate for changes, however camera really have problem.  Its autofocus system is driven crazy focusing between the sea dragons or the acrylic.  And the resulting image often has water beads and shadow on it.

I use my micro fibre cloth, which usually cleans my filter to wipe the glass so it became dry enough to photograph.

We are not allowed to use flash to took their picture, probably due to their nature, the sea dragons can be easily stressed.  That's why I use high ISO and fast aperture of f/1.8 and f/2.8 when I need more depth of field.

I also use Continuous AF or AF Servo mode on my camera, otherwise on AI Focus or Single Focus mode the camera didn't feels that it locks to the sea dragon but it actually locks.  The camera will then stops the shutter.  On some situation I even use manual focus, which my camera not designed too do with fast lens of f/1.8.

Enough talking, now enjoy the pictures!

The leafy sea dragon

That was the standard picture of leafy sea dragon found on most book. 

dragon tail whip

the dragon tail whip, when it was dancing and manoeuvring at slow speed.  It was a very elegant dance.

dance of the dragons

While these two dragons in the front is doing their mating ritual, another dragon just appears from behind, probably jealous.

dragon mating dance

Dragon mating dance, they will roll to form this shape. 

dragon mating ritual

When they dance and forming this shape, the really looks like a sea weed.

I'm so sorry for the noise and some of the blurs.  It is really tough to photograph them!  They are the best I could get, probably next time.  I even have some pictures of the dragons swimming side by side and one dragon stays on top of the other however they just not as interesting as these pictures.

Now wish the best for those dragons, so they could really mate and have healthy offspring.

That's all for today!  I wish I could visit Seaworld again next weekend time so I can took more pictures, not just sea dragons but other fishes as well.

PS: for you who are brave enough, you can swim with the shark on Shark Aquarium.  The sharks there had quite a reputation of biting man.

You also swim with the fish on the main attraction tank too!