What's the technique to take pictures of sea live at the aquarium, while avoid using flash?

by Calyth   Last Updated October 16, 2017 17:18 PM

I was at the Monterey bay aquarium, and their exhibits are awesome.

However, I found it quite challenging to take pictures with my Olympus EM-10 Mark II.

I happened to rent the 60mm macro, which came in handy. However a couple of things made it real challenging:

  • The thick acrylic seems to do something optically... I had the best luck making sure I shoot perpendicular to the surface. If I shoot off 90 degrees, I had little hope of getting the focus right at all.
  • The 60mm macro was capable of f2.8, but the aquarium is still generally quite dark. I had my ISO up at the 800-1250 range, but that's still around 1/50s shutter, which isn't necessarily fast enough to freeze the subjects.
  • f2.8 also have a pretty shallow depth of field, so I may have to stop down to get the whole creature in focus, which feeds into the lack of light option. Focus stacking is generally not an option because the subject moves, and I'd have very little hope aligning them.
  • Some of the exhibits explicitly banning flash photography (totally understandable), so using flash, even if I can arrange to avoid reflection, may be a no go

What else could I do to maximize my chances of taking sharp, reasonably good pictures?

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