The first show that our family enjoyed very much in Seaworld of San Diego was the Shamu (Orca or Killer Whale). And it was a bummer that I forgot to take a short video clip which would have recorded our experience with enriched media.
Not knowing about the seating plan and how fast the Killer Whale in a very weted stadium, I changed my zoom lens from Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 to Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6. In hindsight, I may be better off with the Sigma but I don't know. I was totally unprepared for the wet shooting in the shooting. There were three killer whales in the performance and they were superb in the performance as I couldn't see them coming and my zoom setting was always off for the next shot. I zoomed in too much, which I should have kept it around 75mm to 150mm to cover the bigger part of the body.
I was late to the stadium and ended up in the front rows where the Killer Whales performed their splashing scenes with water. It was both fun but way too much for photography. My sweetie had a plastic bag and it was both good and bad. It does the weather proofing for me well but the wrapping of the plastic was bad on my Pentax K-x as they prevented me change setting as I couldn't see the LCD, menu, and others. I would have shot it with AF-C with 5 or 11 points. Instead, I stayed with AF-A with center point throughout. I set for Tv in 1/400 and 1/500 sec.
1/400 sec, f/4.5, 220mm, iso 160, 0 Ev
Please note the guy in raincoat on the back
SR not stabilized, likely off focus, I hit shutter too soon
I get lucky for this one as the Orca comes from nowhere and very fast
As much as I enjoyed the performance, the Seaworld trainers could be cunning. All the simple raincoats costing $8 a piece and all warnings were out for the audience before the show. And to a certain degree, we knew what was coming. And when I saw most of the front rowers gather in blankets and raincoats, my sweetie quickly took out two jackets and a plastic bag for me. She was the best house-keeper for my white K-x as she was rightly concerned about the well-being of my month old white K-x. The plastic bag has saved my K-x and Tamron zoom lens, I think. So much for the weather proofing in K20D or K-7, I certainly wouldn't risk it bare naked in the scene
The show of muscle from the trainer, the beginning of the cunning plot for those audience not prepared to buy $8 raincoat.
Showing of muscle
signal for the splash
Gang of three killer whales lining up for the synchronized splash to the audience. The whales outsmarted all the preparation of human audience in the show. They ran in sync and splash meticulously in 15 to 20 foot gap distance to the audience. They worked as if no one could escape the splash, it was quite amazingly cunning but fun to those who were cheapo like me NOT buying the raincoats and towels from Seaworld. The memorable towels likely cost north of $20. Of course, I had the highest scream of exuberance and admiration on the plot while my boys kept saying "Bad boy and Bad boys, the Shamu" and "No fish for the Shamu".
No one can escape the splash
and the three Orca did the splash almost
I was soaking wet on my pant with the splash when the Orca came to my side of the stadium but I was happy and the weather proofing from the plastic bag worked like a charm for me. It would have been better had I prepared for the shooting with AF-C and a better weather proofing idea with transparent covering for the LCD and top mode dials. Shooting a supplemental video would have been perfect to capture the essence in the show.
A real treat for wonderful performance
Impressions & Notes
- Purple Fringes are very apparent in many of the shots taken while in Seaworld; otherwise, the zoom does fine for me for long shooting in a stadium. A better zoom lens to replace the Tamron zoom will be Pentax DA 55-300mm and I prefer to have the DA instead of DA-L as I can use the quick shift focus in shooting both still pictures and video.
- I missed the TAv mode in K20D as I can try to remember to set the aperture to avoid the purple fringing with Tamron zoom. Many shots in f/5.6 had the undesirable purple fringes.
- A video would have been better to complement the experience
- Plastic wrap works fine with K-x for a one time weather protection but in hindsight, I would have preferred a transparent material so that I can make changes easily in the shooting.