Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Georgia Aquarium Photoblog
The teleospouse and I had an opportunity to visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta just before the new year. The Georgia Aquarium is a huge facility (the biggest aquariumn in the world is the claim) that is right in downtown Atlanta. It makes an interesting contrast to the North Carolina Aquarium which is less of an engineering marvel but it does benefit from its NC beach location which allows a lovely mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities. Both are definitely worth seeing if you get a chance. My posting on the NC Aquarium is here.
We went to the aquarium the Sunday before New Years and it was slammed. Most of the photos are of the huge tanks because the smaller exhibits were generally obscured by kids standing with their backs to the camera with noses and fingers pressed to the glass. Occasionally through the mass of kids and the smeary glass you would catch a glimpse of a fin.
Case in point, I took several photos from this location and this is the only one that came out well enough that I can even describe what I was trying to do. I wanted the kids on the rail in the background reacting to an otter in the middle ground with people in the foreground to establish my location on the other side of the tank. This is a bit of a dark corner of the aquarium, especially on a rainy day, and my choice of subject -- kids and otters -- won't hold still for a long exposure.
But, fortunately, the aquarium offers huge tanks and overhead exhibits and there is plenty to look at no matter how crowded it gets. I only mention the crowding so I can point out that the photos here are not representative of the overall exhibit. There are lots of smaller tanks and criters but they are difficult to photograph in a crowded room where you can't use your flash.
This guy is fairly easy to photograph because he sleeps most of the time. He likes to lay in out of the way, hard to see corners of the tank and snooze. He wakes up every few minutes to swim to the surface for a breath of air and then he finds another corner to hide in for a few more Z's. The result is that the hundreds of kids look in the tank, see a few fish, get bored and move along to the next tank leaving the view more or less unobstructed when the turtle makes on of his regularly scheduled appearances.
The Teleospouse snapped this shot of me in the tunnel that runs along the bottom of the tank with the whale sharks in it. I love the science fictional look that the tunnel's joint ring gives to this image.
These jelly fish are sufficiently slow-moving that you can get a decent shot of them even in the dim light...
... and I wasn't the only one taking pictures of them.
Several of the photos in this set remind me of Kelly Freas book covers for Laser Books. Here is an example. The Laser cover specification called for a full-face portrait of the main character in the lower right side of the cover. Several of the photos my wife took of me at the aquarium follow that format exactly.
This is a low-resolution copy of a copyrighted Kelly Freas book cover (Laser Books #34 - SEAS OF ERNATHE). I added the name of my blog and copied it to my flickr account so I could comment on it. You can contact www.northernstarart.com for more information about the painting. I boosted this image from their site.
Here is an example. There are several more in my Ga Aquarium set in Flickr.
Here's a nice shot of the Teleospouse with the whale sharks. We took rather too many photos of each other but one wants to have a person in the photos to show the (generally colossal) scale of the place... and she was handy.
I cannot resist mentioning that, although she sometimes complains that I am inattentive, most of the photos she took of me show both eyes and a nose while in my photos of her I was lucky to get an ear.
I like this one too.
The banquet hall has windows giving views of the Beluga whales and the tank with the whale sharks. These offer some of the best views of those exhibits. This photo was taken from the banquet hall. If you go to the aquarium be sure to check out the view from the banquet hall if it is open when you are there.
This is the main viewing window of the Beluga whale exhibit. I like this photo because of the Sponge Bob Squarepants jacket in the foreground. It works better in bigger sizes.
If this guy had just held his head still this woulda been a great picture.
These are just a few of the photos we took at the aquarium. If you want to see the rest this link should bring up a slide show and, if that doesn't work for you, this one should take you to my flicker set for the aquarium.