Recently we worked at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. They have large, clean aquariums with many species of tropical fish. Tripods, which are essential when using slow 100 ISO film, are allowed. Only fish in sharp focus will be considered for publication, so, we always check before traveling to a photo location and make sure tripods are allowed. Here is a lionfish now on sale at Cafe Press.
Derk had an interesting day at Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida. He used his Nikon D200 digital camera, no flash, and no tripod. The pictures are great! We worked there on two earlier occasions using film, flash, and tripods. So, it came as a welcome surprise that the digital camera, alone, could do the job.
Mote has the usual aquarium type tanks for tropical fish. The biggest problem photographing in that area of the facility is the ever present hobby photographer or visiting school group.
Mote also has a huge aquarium tank for manatee. It is necessary to use wide lens because the manatee are big. The best perspective for a picture is from the lower viewing area where you make an underwater shot. Reflections on the aquarium glass can be a big problem there.
Here are a couple of Derk’s pictures. The Jellyfish is available at kphotos.imagekind.com/TropicalFish as poster or framed print and the clownfish is also available there.:
This week we have been working in Key Largo, Florida, USA. Great place to photograph marine fish (John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park) and marine mammals.
Fortunately there was no rain and the waters above the coral reefs were not riled up so visibility was wonderful. We took the snorkel tour from John Pennekamp and photographed at White Banks. We swam with many, many more fish than when at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia!
We also photographed dolphin/human encounters and should have great film from there. Lighting might be a problem as ambient light was low due to approaching storm clouds. The film is being developed now.
While on the dolphin property we photographed ibis birds exhibiting unusual behavior. A large group- 15 or more – were standing in a huge puddle, maybe 1/2 foot deep, some were bathing while others appeared to be drinking. We’ve never seen them bathe before.
We spent 3 days last week working in Tampa, Florida, USA. We photographed the Tampa Convention Center, St. Petersburg Times Forum, Marriott Hotel Marina, Tampa Aquarium, and Channelside Mall. One day was devoted to learning new PhotoShop techniques in a NAPP seminar.
Fortunately we had good weather for photography; clear skies with just a few interesting clouds floating by. We had a tripod, but, only used it at night. A tripod and extension cord for strobe are usually employed in retail aquarium stores where the tanks are small. But, with large public aquarium tanks the fish have so much room to move that we do just as well hand holding camera with flash on body.
Now we are assembling a set of new tropical fish pictures for a photo buyer. The hardest part of the job is correctly naming the fish. If we cannot determine the name from reference books or the internet, we contact the Aquarium staff and ask for help.
Look below at Brian White’s comment on photographing in bright light. He is right and we neglected to share that we make our pictures in early morning or late afternoon when in an area known to have bright light. The afternoon glow on buildings from sidelight as the sun is low on horizion is very pleasing to the eye.
After taking some time off for the holidays, we are back to work. Spent a day photographing at Mote Marine Aquarium, Bradenton, Florida. They allow tripods and flash so that makes it possible to get good images.
A picture of scorpionfish and toadfish together made an image that would look good framed on a wall so we scanned it for CafePress. It will be added to a set of slides we will send to one of our regular photobuyers soon.
It can be seen with other animal pictures in Framed Art Pictures and here. BTW if you enjoy reading about our adventures in the world of stock photography add us to your Technorati Favorites .
New animal photographs have been added to our popular Christmas Decorations section of Photo Accents at Cafe Press.
Alligator, tiger, orangutan, elephant, and giant panda have joined eagle, macaw, camel, bull dog, ferret, parrot, giraffe, tropical fish, lizard, lion, and raccoon. Each hanging ornament picture is on high quality porcelain with a ribbon for hanging included.
Hanging ornaments make fun favors for holiday parties, add a special touch to gift-wrapped packages, cool overhead fan pulls, and make unique Christmas tree ornaments.
Mick’s comment about yesterday’s post on Red Devil Cichlid got me thinking about fish. When my sons were young, we enjoyed keeping tropical fish: angelfish, neon tetra, red-tailed swordfish and more.
Recently, we went to the beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast and encountered Red Tide for the first time. It’s a naturally occurring single-celled plant called algae. The algae or phytoplankton produces neurotoxins that are transfered through the food chain and can kill fish, birds, marine mammals, and humans that eat something in the affected food chain.
When the algae is prevelant, the fish die and the beach becomes littered with dead sea life. You can smell the odor while still in the car approaching the beach. Nobody was swimming or sunbathing. Nobody was even walking. We only stayed long enough to photograph. Very surprised to find cowfish in these waters.
We photographed a lot of fish tanks at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago last week. One of our favorite tropical fish was the Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) from Nicaragua. That fish tank was photographed by Derk with our digital Nikon.
The digital picture itself is fine, but each fish is only about 2 inches long. We wanted to open a new section in our Fish Lover Gifts shop for Red Cichlid Tropical Fish.
The Cafe Press design format for adult clothing uses 10 inches wide design. After enlarging the digital picture we decided to turn it into a drawing. Isn’t PhotoShop great? We have often used Poster Edges effect for clothing.
It took a lot of research, but, we finally found a film processor, located in the Chicago downtown Loop, who would develop E6 slide film in 4 hours- Gamma on W. Superior. Eight rolls were developed. Everything came out looking super, so, nothing needs to be re-photographed.
Yesterday we worked the Shedd Aquarium and surrounding area for 3 hours. It’s a cool spot from which to photograph the Chicago skyline. Millennial Park is another good place for skyline pictures.
Shedd has interesting exhibits showing different water levels occurring in nature and the fish and reptiles that live in each different water level. There are also special tanks for the areas in the world with cichlids.
Herp lovers will enjoy the large lizard exhibit. There are frilly dragons, bearded dragons, chameleons, gecko, basilisk, komodo dragons, and more.
Today we worked the stores and area of North Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, including Water Tower Place. The newest upscale shopping mall is 900 North Michigan. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Oak Tree Restaurant there.
A favorite photogaphic study of mine is store windows and reflections. Even better is having a pedestrian looking in the window, too. Tiffany’s Michigan Avenue windows were some used today. That film won’t be developed until next week. then we’ll add a window reflection picture here.
Several hundred images are made on slide film and digital camera flash cards during every photo trip. Today we worked reviewing and organizing the images made in Atlanta, Georgia.
A side benefit is reliving the experience represented in each photograph. But, we have a magazine photobuyer waiting for the images. In this case, it means scanning the slides and burning a CD.
Below are 2 pictures made in the digital camera. The beautiful flowers are growing at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The lionfish is swimming at the Georgia Aquarium.