Aquarium of the Pacific

Fall 2017, Winter 2016

In both 2016 and again in 2017, I had the opportunity to photograph at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach California.

The Aquarium’s mission is to “instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.”  The Aquarium is the fourth most-attended aquarium in the nation. It displays over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits that represent the diversity of the Pacific Ocean. Each year more than 1.7 million people visit the Aquarium.

In February 2016, I participated in a mini-workshop at the Aquarium offered by the Annenberg Space for Photography.   The “Annenberg” is a true gem of Los Angeles - a world-class photographic museum that is free to the public.  It has no permanent collection on display, but rather features temporary themed exhibitions.  The Annenberg sponsored this workshop which gave us 2 hours to photograph in the Aquarium after it had closed for the evening.

In the Fall of 2017, the Aquarium sponsored its own “Photographers night” modeled after the 2016 event.  This time, I participated as part of a field trip with fellow photographers from the Thousand Oaks Photo Group.  Unlike the first experience, they limited the number of photographers and permitted us to photograph for almost four hours.

Photographing aquatic animals through glass tanks in dimly lit settings is a real challenge even for experienced photographers - perfect conditions to test members of a photo club.  What might not be known is that the challenges extend to the editing process.  It’s just darn hard to get it right.

Thanks to the staff of the Aquarium and to the Annenberg for organizing the first event.  Yes, we had fun.