What the jellyfish taught me

I love aquariums. When last I visited Vancouver, my old stomping grounds, I made sure I squeezed a trip into the aquarium. At the time, they had a huge jellyfish exhibit going on. This is a great opportunity to practice some niche photography.

First, jellyfish don’t really have an “up” and a “down” – so capture them when they are in the frame. This guy below was perfectly framed (who cared if he’s “upside down” – could just rotate the photo!)  The photo shows him in mid “swim” with all his tentacles.

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Second, they move deceptively fast, so don’t hunt them, pick a spot and wait. These little guys were so cute – but so fast.  You’re already dealing with low light conditions and because of the water flow and zippiness of these guys, lots of bubbles in the water AND the glass of the tank.  So, I focussed in on one spot and waited for someone to glide across and got him that way.

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Third, it isn’t always about the big picture – go ahead, cut off a tentacle. These guys were huge!  They didn’t move as fast overall, but different parts of them moved fast.  I wanted to show the beauty of their colouring so I zoomed in to get the underside.  They also twisted a lot in their movement (unlike the previous white and purple guy) so it made for some interesting compositions.

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