In the Deep Blue Aquarium

As I said previously, I went to the Melbourne Aquarium on Friday with Klara.  She has been hassling me to take her for ages.  We caught a tram up Flinders Street to the Aquarium.  For those who have been before, but haven’t been for a while, the entrance is now on Flinders Street.

Penguins on ParadeThe Aquarium had Penguins at the moment.  I have no idea if they are always there, but there is a massive display of them.  It is one of the first things you see.

They are behind glass so photographing something like this can be really hard.  You can end up with lots of reflections trying to take photos through glass like this.  To help avoid it, I put the lens of my camera right up to the glass, that way no reflections could be seen.  The only problem was looking through the camera, I should have changed the focusing as well and taken it off spot focusing.

Penguins SwimmingI loved watching them in the water.

FishA fish, I am just going to show the images now.

Jelly FishSharkGoing OverFrom AboveI don’t know that I think any of these are really great shots.  It was a lot harder to take photos at the aquarium than I thought it would be.  It didn’t help that it was school holidays and there were so many people there.

The Aquarium is a nice place to visit, but it isn’t one I do often.  The $35 price tag for an adult to enter is a bit much for me.  It doesn’t take long to go around the whole thing, it really isn’t that big.  I just don’t think you get your moneys worth, which is such a shame.  I must admit I spend all my time walking around thinking about how money I spent and how much I hate it that it cost that much.

Then again, there were so many people there, that I wondered if the place would cope if more people could afford to go.


I was asked to do a small presentation today at a workshop for Emerging Artists.  The talk was about blogging, my work and the internet.  It was really fun and not as scary as I thought it would be.  The group is new I think, it is 1835 Ceative.  I was made to feel very welcome, though I don’t know if I gave them any advice that is really helpful, it was nice to be asked.


I usually do my blog in Windows, all my editing software is in Windows, but I do most of my looking in Ubuntu, that is my main operating system.  If my editing software could be used in Ubuntu I would never leave it.  However, I do have to use Windows, but today I have been noticing an amazing number of adds on my blog, it seems they keep popping up everywhere.  A side panel on the right keeps coming up, and then more adds along the bottom.  It is really frustrating.  I thought if I paid for the upgrade, I didn’t have to put up with this on my blog.

Interesting I don’t get the adds when in Ubuntu.

What’s happening now WordPress?


  1. I think you did a bit of alright with your photos. I’ve never been to an aquarium before, though I grew up by the beach. Hoping to go to the same aquarium sometime this week, just for a look around :-)

  2. Nice pix!
    I think the hefty price helps offset the cost of feeding & caring for the animals in addition to housing them & paying the employees etc. It is a hefty price – but – if you look at the bigger picture – not so bad.

  3. sjophotography says

    These underwater shots are nice, ive been to the aquarium a couple of times and it isnt easy getting a good shot of those penguins.

  4. Gosh, what do you expect – shooting thru glass into a water filled ,backlighted tank? I think ya did rather well in spite of all that……and I liked the images.

  5. Great photos and post, it was so much fun looking through your photos and reading your post. Our nearest aquarium is two hours away, so your photos made me feel like I got to go.

  6. Awesome post, very attractive and entertaining shots, and in my book that makes them ‘good’. I also think the ‘fish’ with the yellow bottom and reflections is a good artist shot, and there’s something extra special about the penguins with the aqua water. I get that there’s no perfectly clear, posed penguin, but it captures their essence well and is very appealing to look at.

  7. Janet Duperré says

    I love the close up of the ray, it looks like he/she is smiling at the viewer. Great shot

  8. Always love your work. Yet, here’s what’s funny. Every time you mention Melbourne, I think about the city here in Florida.

  9. ladyjemini says

    What upsets the most about this place is that the penguins do not belong there. I have seen them and it upset me so much, it just does not look right. Some animals need to stay in the wild. I’m tired of humans taking animals from the wild to be put into very small and unnatural space such as this. Sorry, my honest opinion. If I could I’d be stopping people in supporting The Melbourne Aquarium :(

  10. I really like these. I think they are great. Especially love the photos of the penguins swimming. Great timing. And also the expression on the face of the stingray?

  11. Since you stopped by my blog and liked my little poems, I had to see your offerings. Lovely! I will enjoy visiting from now on. The clarity of the photos is beautiful and I enjoy your subject matter. Thanks for coming by to visit.(I also have another blog,

  12. Hi Leanne… this is another great post :)
    I like the 2nd and 4th images… lots of movement in both and love the colour and light!!
    Congrats on your presentation, bet it was great!

  13. Little Brown Tomato (LBT) says

    So great to be back and see your work! Wonderful pictures! :)

  14. mkriegh says

    Enjoyed these photos. Re reflections, a circular polarizing filter would help though diminish ability to hand hold the camera. I am not sure what you are referring to re: ads. I get one at the bottom of your post but I think that is it. Stuff on the left side looks like stuff you put there. I use an apple computer. Not sure why operating system should have anything to do with it though.

  15. great underwater shots of the penguins. ive noticed the ads when i surf with ie but not mozilla.

  16. Many libraries in the ‘States have passes to area museums and “attractions”, good for free or greatly reduced admission fees. Perhaps such is availalble in your part of the world?
    Re all those ads…Java has recently been hacked, badly, and a lot of people have had their passwords and other information phished. A proper fix is apparently not coming real soon, so if you have not changed your passwords lately, now would be a good time.
    The colors in your aquarium pix are nice! The manta rays photo is good, particularly since only parts of the rays show. The cropping, whether accidental or intentional, draws you into the picture.

  17. saymber says

    You did a fantastic job Leanne – it is VERY hard to take pictures at aquariums and zoos because of reflections, bars etc. All the pictures were lovely and I liked the last one the best! Sunlight through the water illuminating the beauty below. Kind of like going scuba diving or something.

  18. Stunning shots! I love the last two pictures. Melbourne aquarium is possibly the best aquarium I’ve visited so far. I’ve been there twice! And yes the penguins have been there since I was there in July 2011.

  19. I really like how your photos came out. I find it always difficult to make photos in an aquarium because of the lightning they use.
    groetjes, Francina

  20. I really like the swimming penguins one. And the Jellyfish, but i find jellyfish are pretty amazing to look at anyway!

  21. Gorgeous shots Leanne, The penguins swimming underwater and the Fish really stand out for me. Shooting through glass really is a nightmare, but i must say you did a great job here :-)

  22. Leanne,
    Thanks for dropping by on my blog and liking my posts.I am not sure what attracted or intrigued you. But I really feel flattered especially considering that you are what you are. Your photographs are just marvelous. They take me to another place. Thank you for sharing and enriching our lives.

  23. Beautiful photos, Leanne. Have you tried posting a note to WordPress support about the ad concern after upgrading?

  24. By the standards of underwater photography, these are mostly pretty good. I especially like the jellyfish and the first fish with its reflection. At an aquarium, you not only have the glass issue, though artifacts can be removed, but you also have the color issue. One you are below 30 feet, everything is blue and a strobe is needed. Of course you can’t use one through glass.

  25. An excellent set of photos. I especially like the penguins in the first photo. Perhaps waiting for a treat of fish.

    Workshop – It’s pretty cool to be an invited speaker. It must mean you’re quite accomplished and highly regarded.

    WP and advertising – An acquaintance who also blogs on WP had a similar problem when ads began appearing despite having no ads as part of his upgrade package. He raised holy hell about it … mentioning it was a contractual violation. The ads never appeared again after his complaint.

  26. Nice shots, Leanne. The first and third are my favourites. Congratulations on the workshop – sounds like a great experience. Are you going to do more?

    • I don’t know Richard, maybe if I get asked, it wasn’t all bad. I was there to talk about my experience as a blogger, that can’t be too bad.

  27. Your pictures are lovely! I once tried taking pictures at an aquarium … the only ones that turned out were of the jellyfish.

  28. I absolutely adore the penguin photos, although I have to say I adore penguin things end of! I played about when I went to an aquarium last time too :-) good fun and lovely pics!

  29. Hi Leanne ! Wonderful that you got to enjoy a new venture with a friend. Photographing in an aquarium is really hard, especially when the kids keep running in front of you! You did a fantastic job and I LOVE penguins !
    Best of luck to you in your new workshop. I know it will be a resounding success.
    As per the ads at the end, I just ignore them. I think they bug you more than they bug us.
    Thank you so much for your visits and comments this past week. I’m a bit behind as you can imagine due to being sick yet again.

  30. kuujinbo says

    Nice shots. If you would rather use Ubuntu you can use Gimp ( to edit your photos. Never used it myself, but it’s supposed to be pretty good.

    As far as ads appearing while browsing on Windows. Try using Firefox – it has a couple of add-ons/plugins called Adblock (block commercial ads) plus and Flashblock (block unwanted flash ads and videos). Much better browsing experience than IE, if you’re using that.

    • It is all sorted now, turned out the adds were something that Chrome had installed, or something had. Windows loves downloading stuff. I have GIMP, use it, but it is no where near as good as photoshop, plus I would have to stop using all my other software, that would be a tragedy, haha :)

      • kuujinbo says

        Good to hear. :) If I didn’t have to use Windows for work, I would be on some kind of *nix system too, so I know what you mean. But then again also understand about the other software you’re using…

  31. petit4chocolatier says

    I love the photos. Those penguins are adorable :)

  32. Jeepers cats! You were already one of my favoritest photographers to begin with, and now come to find out you run Linux too. How rad is that?
    A friend of mine was interested in HDR, so I sent her a link here and decribed you as the “Empress of HDR”, a term I know you’ve tried to humbly slough off but it’s true. I’ve been “cheating” at it via a single image GIMP script, but now that I finally have DSLR I’m going to have to learn to do it proper. I use a Linux OS myself, so I have to figure out how to do multiple image HDR’s in GIMP or try and find something like what you use but that will run on *nix systems. First though, I’m going to start learning what to do with RAW images now that I finally have a camera that has the capacity to produce them.
    I dunno, I mean if I was all into like blogging awards and everything I would have nominated yours probably sixty times already. But, all said, yours is my favorite photography blog on WP, and now even more since I found out you use Linux.
    Ok, enough of my fanboy gushing for this month. Magnificent photos as per always Leanne. Especially the penguins.

  33. this is stunning! your blog makes me want to take up a photography class, I should probably start saving for a cam. :)

  34. travelrat says

    Like the way that, in many aquaria, you can walk under the tanks, & get some great photographs … almost as good as ‘in the wild’ underwater shots. (you must, of course, never try to pass them off as such, and state where they were taken if it isn’t obvious from the picture.

    With you on the glass; however, sometimes, reflections can work. I photographed a Komodo Dragon at Australia Zoo, and the more glass they can get between me and that guy, the better! But, I caught the reflection of a lady’s foot, which showed nicely just how big he is, as well as demonstrating the pic wasn’t taken in the wild.

  35. I like the photos. But here in germany it is also not cheap to visit a huge aquarium. It would cost 40$ round about. As some said, it is probably because the costs they have. However… near Lübeck we have a very big aquarium which is worth any money. I am not sure how small your was, because you mentioned it was not much to see. Anyway great photos.

  36. I wonder if you could pass off the first penguin pic as the theater crowd at the opening of Arsnec and Old Lace. They’re appropriately dressed, and lingering correctly, rather than actually lined up: a perfect Intermission!
    Thanks so much for stopping by in spite of my absence. I just haven’t been able to catch up with everything – I still can’t figure out how you do this every day!

  37. Wonderful images, Leanne, especially from under the ‘happy-face’ skate (I believe it’s a skate and not a ray?)! But $35 AU? Ouchy! The Shedd Aquarium (and The Art Institute and other Museums) here in Chicago have what is called a “free day”, though not usually the entire day, sometimes just the night. I’ve been in the Shedd once…to do Christmas decorating business, and always wanted to go back, so I’ll put it on my list.

    The zoos and such are very difficult to shoot in, but you did it correctly, with the lens against the glass…so I feel you got some excellent images!

    As for WordPress…pfffttt!!! Some of their ‘innovations’ are downright outrageous…but I won’t go back to Blogger, never!

  38. Woo… these are not ordinary tourist snaps. Your talent and skill shines though. I’m hard pressed to choose favourites but the penguins in the water and the last image mesmerise me :)

  39. I think you did a pretty good job. I know there’s a trick to taking photos with glass and all that. If I remember correctly, if you have your lens as close to the glass as possible, it’ll help reduce some of the distortion and reflections. Just keep practicing! That’s what I say :)

  40. I love the ray, it looks like it’s smiling. The shots are excellent, I’m amazed. And thanks for your visits to my blog too.

  41. Great shots, I think I’m gonna do the same next time I visit the sea aquaria in Rotterdam.

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