Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sea World

In the last part of my vacation blog series, I visited Sea World San Antonio.  Sea World was having its Memorial Day "Here's to the Heroes" event where military personnel were offered free admission to the park.  I can never argue with a company that is willing to go so far for our troops.  Beyond that, I think that Sea World gives you fantastic value for your money.

My personal mission with this visit was to get a great picture of Shamu jumping out of the water.  On previous visits with my point and shoot, I either didn't have the zoom or the shutter speed to get a good shot.  To put it lightly, I had a lot of great pictures of Shamu back in the water after a jump.

First up is "Azul", the dolphin, beluga whale, acrobatics show.  There is a lot of color in this show, from parrots to synchronized swimmers.  I really worked on my exposures after the show to be able to really capture the color.
Here, the trainer was hitching a ride across the pool.  A fast shutter speed and a little luck were needed.  The dolphins kicked up a lot of water and she was "splashed out" in a lot of the pictures.

Next up was the Sea Lion comedy show.  This show has always been a favorite of mine.  Lots of laughs to be had.

If you notice, the sun shining on the light colored ground makes it very bright compared to the set and actors.  It gets pretty tricky when shooting.  What I did to counteract that was to darken the picture using the 'levels' tool, then enhance the lighting by decreasing the brightness.  The ground is still a bit bright, but much better than the beginning.

This is one of my favorite shots of Shamu.  The cloud of water around Shamu was produced with a fast shutter speed.  I had the camera set to burst mode so that I could hold the shutter down and let the camera fire off consecutive pictures.

I think I still have some room to improve on these pictures, so I really want to go back again soon.  We'll see what happens next time.

Finally, we get to the fireworks.  These were preceded by a concert by the Lackland Air Force band.  It was a great show and great fireworks afterward.  The structure in the background is the Steel Eel Roller Coaster.  This is well worth taking the family to see.

Until next time...

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