150829 Aquarium - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Two minutes of audio and images from a visit to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in downtown Toronto.


There's no escaping the fact that this is an aquarium. The displays are well done and the viewing conditions are good, but it's a theme park and it sounds like one. The crowds were heavy and children were common, even into the evening, and the plinking background music was inescapable. The most usable audio was recorded near the jellyfish tank and in the tunnel under the main shark tank, which happens to be where most of the photos are from as well.

Comprehensibility wasn't a big priority for the audio mix – it wasn't really an option in the first place – so I found usable sections from a few of the recordings and then mixed them together with abandon. There was some negotiation between the order of the photos and the audio clips, since neither needed to be in any particular sequence, and then the timing was tuned a bit to make it match up a little better. I'm still new at all of this, and learning as I go, so the process is taking its time. 


I didn't use this photo in my earlier post about my trip to the aquarium, but it's turning out to be one of my favourites. (It's the yellow fish.) What I can't decide is if and when I want to go back; it's an exhausting place to work. While I would do some things differently next time, I'm not convinced that my results would be dramatically better with a reshoot. There's no escaping the fact that this is an aquarium.


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