Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monterey Bay Aquarium Otters

There's a new freshwater otter exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I wasn't able to make it down for the member days, and wanted to go check it out before the summer tourist season started and realized I'm pretty much out of time. Anyway, I ran down there today and checked it out.

It's amazing, of course. Multiple species, each in their own habitat, and you can see them much better than at most places they have otters. They also have some very cool freshwater tanks. I just grabbed the camera, a 50mm f/1.8 lens and some extra batteries. The otters are challenging to shoot - they move amazingly fast, and there's not a ton of light. At ISO 800 and at f/1.8 there were a lot of shots lost to motion blur. Next time I'll bump up the ISO and accept more noise in the hope of getting more action shots - most of what worked this time was in some kind of pause in the action. Still, I'm not sure how much it will help - they're really zipping around quite fast.

I put some shots up over here if anybody's curious. Some of the fish shots came out well, and by now the jellies are old friends so I pretty much know how to shoot those.

One thing that's still a bit odd is that the Katrina victim penguins have gone home so the penguin area's looking a bit underpopulated. They'd taken in some penguins from an aquarium in New Orleans until they could put things back together, including three rockhoppers which definitely added some character. They've been gone for a while but it still feels a bit weird to have them gone.

How do you ship penguins? FedEx.

In other news, I have some great model shoots scheduled for the next couple of weeks. As always, these things get rescheduled, people flake, etc. so no details until the shoots happen but there's hopefully some exciting stuff coming up.


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