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Box Jellyfish seen at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Box Jellyfish seen at the Vancouver Aquarium.
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Contest Finalist in Deep Blue Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Underwater Fun Photo Contest
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3 Comments | Report
TripletGirlsMom January 12, 2016
Lovely photo of some amazing creatures. Well done!
RyanStratePhoto PRO+
RyanStratePhoto January 12, 2016
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback and comment.
Beno62 PRO+
Beno62 September 15, 2016
Crazy... Very strange looking poached eggs!
RyanStratePhoto PRO+
RyanStratePhoto September 28, 2016
yeah, they are cool. Probably about the same size too.. well maybe a bit bigger but not by much.
NannieM October 16, 2017
Very beautiful photo. Very well done.

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Behind The Lens

I took this photo at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. This is a great place to take photos of things you might find hard to find in the wild. Not too mention its not a bad opportunity to get some underwater shots without having to invest in those pricey underwater housings.
It was the just the right time of day for this busy place.. we went to the aquarium late in the day, close to the time it was closing to minimize the amount of other people there. Walking into the aquarium you pass these amazing gigantic aquariums full of Jellies. It was stunning and breathtaking. The aquarium in this photograph was a really tall circular one, you could see right through it to the other side, which meant when someone was looking into the other side you could easily see them. Luckily there weren't very many other people there since it was closer to the time they close and I managed to capture a shot without any faces pushed up on the other side of the glass looking at the Jellyfish. Great time of day to get some amazing shots, about an hour before closing or so.
The lighting was perfect in this part of the aquarium. I didn't want to use any sort of flash for a few reasons, the background was very dimly lit and inside the tank was lit extremely well, with brilliant light radiating from the top and bottom of the tank since it was a circular tank. I didn't need to use any additional lighting or flashes, instead I increased my iso and worked with the light provided. Part of the reason for this was I also wanted to be courteous to the other people in the aquarium.
For this photo, I used my trusty Nikon D5200 camera with my Nikon 105mm macro lens. As we were in the aquarium with other people, I tried to minimize the amount of gear I was carrying, it was also a lot easier to get around inside with just a handheld setup not using a tripod. I wanted to be as courteous as I could to the other people visiting.
I loved the colors and the lighting of the tank. The jellyfish immediately caught my eye as I entered the room, they were breathtaking. There were so many of them! I've always really loved jellyfish. They seem like they're out of this world. I wanted to capture what I was seeing, the vivid colors, the business of all of the jellies, and try to make it feel like they were vast and expansive as they would be in the wild.
Of course, I shoot everything in RAW format. I didn't do too much in the way of post processing aside from darkening the shadows a bit, turning up the contrast a bit, and fixing the white balance. I wanted to make the colors pop but not over process it at the same time, I think I managed to find that perfect balance for this particular photo.
In my camera bag
In my camera bag, you will always find my camera body of course, now its a Nikon D610 (full frame fun!). I also will never leave the house without my Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime FX lens, it is amazing for so many applications; its a must for anyone shooting Nikon as far as I'm concerned. Also I will carry my 70mm-300mm FX Nikon telephoto, Nikon 105mm macro FX lens, and the kit Nikon lens 24-85mm FX lens, between the 4 lenses in my bag I'm able to do macro, landscape, portraits, you name it and it can be taken care of with one of the lenses. You will always find a tripod attached to my bag, my Nikon SB-800 speed light, Kenko auto extension tubes, a variety of filters (CPL and variable ND filters mainly), and some cleaning products since keeping your gear clean is a top priority! Another thing I like to keep in my bag are some small glow sticks and flashlights / head lamp, as you never know when you'll need them...the glow sticks are more my toys for when I want to do something fun like light painting. Light painting can be a great way to pass the time waiting for that perfect shot at night, not too mention ITS FUN!
In terms of this photo, the best advice I can give you is to be patient, be courteous, and be persistent. If you're shooting inside a place like an aquarium, there are going to be other people and you want to be as courteous as you can be. That means no bright flashes in people's eyes, which also might not be the best for the sea life, that also means no huge photo shoot type setups with tripods and lights setup all over the place. You want to make sure you're not in the way and not bothering people trying to enjoy the aquarium. Being patient to allow people to view the same thing you're viewing, then move on..eventually you'll get the opportunity to take the shot you're after. Being persistent will allow you to eventually get the animals or fish in a way that will lend itself nicely to a photo. At times, I would even put my camera down and have a seat, which would allow me to look around and study the scene. Coming up with a plan before starting to shoot as well as waiting for the right moment where I wasn't going to be in the way of anyone else. But don't forget to look up. You don't want to see everything through the viewfinder do you? So be sure you are enjoying yourself first and foremost, taking a look around, taking your time, the photos will reflect that I think, and remember its not a race after all.

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