101 in 1001: #46 Visit the Aquarium

A couple weeks ago, when the fella was in town, we spent a couple hours one afternoon at the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, UT. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while now and visiting an aquarium was #46 on my list of 101 in 1001.

After all, I’m pretty sure I have sea water coursing through my veins instead of blood. The ocean calls to me. It really does. Water. I need it (says the girl who lives in the desert).

Did I ever tell you I won the floating contest at my 5th grade Field Day? It’s true. We started out with about 20 competitors in the pool and one by one they eventually sank. It was down to me and one other girl. The teachers finally called it a tie after 15 minutes but I could have easily floated for another 50 minutes. (That’s my kind of competitive event.)

I think it’s the weightlessness of it. Water I mean. Or rather the weightlessness I feel when I’m in it, near it. That feeling of total surrender as you eventually let go and allow it to hold your limbs and carry you. The way it muffles and blocks all the noise around you as you submerge. How your breath and heartbeat are the only sounds amplified when you’re under it. The feathery fan of your hair waving around you like an anemone.

Sometimes, when I take a late-night bubble bath, I’ll sink down into the water and let it lift me. To remind me what it feels like. Listening only the the quiet drip of the faucet. Slowly running my fingers over and through it. Watching my chest rise and fall, my breath sending a soft lapping against the basin’s rim.

As a child, when someone would ask, “If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?” most other kids would say, “a bird, so I could fly.” But I’d always say, “a fish, so I could swim.”

If anyone has any great tips for photographing fish, jellies, octopi, and other sea creatures at an aquarium, please leave a comment. I struggled with the lighting. It was really dark, but if I slowed my shutter speed, I got blurry fish obviously. I upped my ISO and lowered my aperture setting, but still … guidance and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Although here’s one really cool shot I got of a lion fish …


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