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Old May 25, 2006, 12:22 PM   #1
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I have a brand new Canon Rebel XT and am taking it on vacation with me. We're headed to Sea World as one of our stops. Do you have any suggestions on how to photograph inside their exhibits? I'm thinking it will probably be like walking up to a glass aquarium and I'd like to get some pics of my kids looking at animals. Novice here -- layman's terminology would be very helpful to me.

Thanks!
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Old May 25, 2006, 3:33 PM   #2
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If the exhibit is indoors, it will be challenging. I will assume you do NOT have an external flash capable of bouncing (if you do, please say so as that can help).

You have 2 challenges: low light and reflection off the glass/plastic.

Reflection off glass: this can be solved with a circular polarizer filter (CP). It's a filter that goes on the front of the lens and you turn it. It has two benefits: first for your case it cuts down on reflections. The other benefit is when it is used outdoors on a sunny day it will deepen the blue of the sky and add more contrast & punch to the clouds. There are several threads in the forums here on how to use a CP. Unfortunately is is also like putting sunglasses on your lens - it lets in less light so shooting indoors becomes more troublesome.

Low light - you'll be indoors and probably have lighting not conducive to taking good hand-held pictures. You have two options - 1 use some sort of camera support so you can take a picture with a longer shutter time - which you probably don't want to do. It takes a real geek to want to lug a monopod or tripod on a trip through Seaworld :G (I put myself in that category as I'll bring a monopod to the zoo). So, that means you have to use flash to get your pictures. Without bounce capability you will get some reflection off the glass. Your best bet is to shoot at an angle to your kids and the glass rather than strait on. When you shoot strait on you'll invariably get a picture of your flash in the glass and that really ruins the shot. Shoot at 45 degrees and the flash will not show up in the picture as badly. You'll still get some light bouncing off the glass but it will be more difuse and not a bright spot in the glass.
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Old May 25, 2006, 3:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the hints. I do not (at this point) have a flash that will bounce, but I do have the polarizer and the monopod. I guess you'll have to include me the geek group :-)! I'll try to post some photos when I get back. Thanks again!
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