Keep your anemones closer!

“Keep your friends close; keep your anemones closer” as seen on a t-shirt at the Seattle aquarium. Not to mention urchins, seastars, giant clams, and other fishy friends.

Aquarium photography is hard. Most things are behind glass that varies from clear to water-splashed to grimy, or are under moving water. There are lights everywhere, reflecting off water and glass alike. But sometimes it’s possible to get an angle that allows a half-decent photo.

The first photo is my favourite, perhaps my second favourite of the day after the close-up of the octopus tentacles. I love the reflection of the anemone in the underside of the surface of the water above it, both for its colour and its striking symmetry. With all the tiny barnacles on the black rock, it’s almost as if it were in outer space…

The second photo is probably my next favourite: the plumose anemones were just so delicate and had so much detail just waiting to be captured. My phone did a really nice job of focusing on the tiny tentacles too. I wasn’t sure what colour to make this. I was tempted to take out the colour caste to make it black and white, but I felt that the picture lost something in the process. The original blue tint felt more natural and more effective somehow.

Next up are some sea urchins in a touch-pool. It wasn’t until we were able to watch some live sand dollars in Parksville that we realized urchins have soft tentacles as well as the well-known hard spines. Very cool! In the touch pool you could place a finger between the spines and have the tentacles latch onto your skin briefly.

Sea star on the glass: irresistible! Unfortunately I cannot remember the species, though it may have been a blood star.

I was thrilled to see live giant clams and hadn’t appreciated they were quite so large. I mean, I knew the shells were large but for some reason I hadn’t made the connection that the animal’s body would completely fill that shell. Fantastic to see, and the little orange blenny (not an eel as a nearby young lad’s father insisted on calling it) just adds the perfect contrast.

Walking through the aquarium to the outside exhibits (seals, sea lions, sea otters, etc), the corridor goes directly under a tank full of salmon. They’re a bit chaotic in this shot (they arranged more symmetrically later!) but it’s still really cool to see a large school of fish from underneath. I like how there’s no sense that they’re in water; the impressions is that they’re just floating in the air.

Classic clownfish and anemone pairing. Just lovely to see. The clownfish would occasionally wiggle its way through the arms of the anemone as it having a scratch. (OK get it out of your system… It’s Nemo!!! Happy now?)

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2 thoughts on “Keep your anemones closer!

  1. Oooh I love all these Andy! You did such a good job taking photos through glass!

    I always find myself mesmerized by the jellyfish in aquariums. I can watch them for ages!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Josy! It really helped being able to lay my phone flat against the glass. Yes! That would make such a relaxing backdrop for working 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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