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Three photographers dive in with tips for shooting at the Ripley's Aquarium

Bernard Weil, Rene Johnston & Steve Russell - Staff Photographers

Believe it or not, the aquarium at the base of the CN Tower has finally opened.

The aquarium operated by Ripley's features 450 species of fish swimming in 5.7 million litres of water!

The aquarium also offers challenges to photographers.

"This place is awesome," says Rene Johnston who reported on the progress of the aquarium for the Star's Layar edition, "Great fish and challenging light." See Rene's video on Pepper the Giant Pacific Octopus

His offers this advice for shutterbugs trying to get great pictures, "The biggest problem will be crowds. Photographer should go early in the mayor go later when crowds are lighter." The aquarium will be open 9 to 9 daily.

Bernard Weil also part of the Layar edition says, "now that all the exhibits are operating. With more than 16,000 marine animals on site, there's definitely a wow factor going on here."

As far as photography goes, "Shooting inside is fairly easy. If you want more than a silhouette of your kids gawking at the creatures, bring a flash, but watch out for reflections against the glass."

As for me, a scuba diver, the displays reminded me of dives I had made in the past.

I was impressed with the tanks, there are a lot of tanks with curved glass so I was worried about reflections. The layout and lighting design are great and there are very few reflections of from other tanks, lights or exit signs. With reflection in mind, a trip to the aquarium is a great day to leave the white shirt hanging in the closet and wear something darker.

My advice is to try to shoot as square as you can to the tank glass to minimize distortion. 

                                                                                                                    -Steve Russell 


RENE JOHNSTON - A shark swims past the underwater tunnel in the massive tank named Dangerous Lagoon.


RENE JOHNSTON - A diver cuts the ribbon to open the aquarium.


BERNARD WEIL - Framed by a large model of a prehistoric Megalodon jaw, Mayor Rob Ford took part in opening ceremonies at Ripley's Aquarium.




RENE JOHNSTON - Some of the sharks in the lagoon measure up to four metres.


BERNARD WEIL - Paige, 6, and mother Jessica, of Burlington watch a Sawfish being surrounded by Sand Tiger Sharks while in the 96 metre long tunnel under Dangerous Lagoon.


BERNARD WEIL - A Sawfish swims in the 2.9 million litre Dangerous Lagoon.


STEVE RUSSELL - There are a pair of lighting sweet spots under Dangerous Lagoon, these are great places to silhoutte the fish, turtles and people.


RENE JOHNSTON - A worker steps down a ladder at Ray Bay.


RENE JOHNSTON - The saltwater tank at Ray Bay has three types of stingrays, Southern, Cownose and Roughtails.


BERNARD WEIL - Harrison Varley, 7, and brother Samuel, 4, watch a Southern Stingray make its way up the glass.


BERNARD WEIL - A Southern Stingray smiles for the camera as a Cownose Ray floats behind.


STEVE RUSSELL - Don't be afraid to zoom in and shoot tight on the animals. You might capture the animal in a sneer!


STEVE RUSSELL - Be sure to find out the feeding times for the various tanks, especially when divers are doing the feeding.


BERNARD WEIL - What looks like a submarine is actually accessed through an opening from the Discovery Centre, gives guests a panoramic view in Danger Bay.


RENE JOHNSTON - Pacific Sea Nettles swim in the Planet Jellies area.


BERNARD WEIL - Pacific Sea Nettles float in the world's largest kreisel tank (a tank designed for jelly fish with a slow circular current) as guests take photos.


RENE JOHNSTON - The sides leading to the tank are mirrored offering a different view.


RENE JOHNSTON - Be sure to turn off the flash and if you don't shoot at an angle so the flash does bounce back to you.


STEVE RUSSELL - Australian Spotted Jellies float in one of the five tanks in Planet Jellies.


BERNARD WEIL -  A Zebra Shark circles around Damien McDonald, 10, of Toronto, in the Rulers of the Reef exhibit.


STEVE RUSSELL - A goldfish watches guests arrive in the lobby area.






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At the same time Marineland is being exposed for the cruelty it inflicts on animals, this monstrosity opens in downtown Toronto. Photograph it? How about boycott it!

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