Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Underwater without the wetness

For those of us who don't own underwater camera equipment or have any inclination to learn to dive, shooting photos of fish and other water-dwelling critters in their natural habitat isn't too feasible. Unless, that is, you've got a handy aquarium with just the right animals in it.

There are several large aquariums in South Dakota that provide the opportunity for underwater shooting without the wetness. I'm probably missing some, but I can think of big fish tanks in Yankton, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City and Spearfish.

These were taken at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium west of Yankton. It's dark interior and plain walls behind my camera position made it easier to shoot fish than most places. I could use a tripod and experiment with adding flash held against the glass to light the animals.

I really doubt I'm ever going to come up with crappie and largemouth bass in a natural looking environment any other way.

I'm positive it's not going to happen with paddlefish or snapping turtles, either.

At the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, large underwater viewing areas give a great look at huge trout.

It's especially fun when people are feeding the fish from above and you get a chance to shoot a "feeding frenzy" from below.

This time of year if it's a bit too chilly out for comfortable shooting, head to your nearest aquarium!

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