Gelling with Jelly’s

I was at an aquarium and became transfixed with the slowly rotating drum in the jellyfish tank. The rotating drum was equipped with what looked like LED lights and created these shifting color patterns in the jellyfish tank.


It looked great in person, but I had issues taking a good photo; ideally, I needed a tripod for a great shot, but I didn’t have one with me. The problem is speed and light. The LED lights created this groovy lava lamp effect; I needed to slow down the shutter speed to capture the lighting. If the shutter speed is too fast, the camera will not capture all the light and look too dark. You can increase the exposure to fix the issue; however, that can create a fuzzy or noisy background. Higher exposure in an aquarium would pick up food particles, glass reflection, and waste in the fish tank.


Usually, you will decrease the speed to remove the noise, but the jellyfish wouldn’t hold still; it was very rude of them. A slower shutter speed would translate the jellyfish movement into a blurry photo.


This is a long and technical way to say the photo was terrible. Then I started playing around with my favorite edit, gradient map, which selects and replaces colors in the image. Below are the results of my labor; photo two in the below set is the unedited version in case you wanted to see my starting point.

Published by JMP traveler

I’m a world traveler and an amateur photographer, to date, I've visited six continents and twenty seven countries. Due to bills (and a desire to eat), I am forced to work a mundane nine to five job to pay for my true passion. This blog is a way for me to share my crazy creative side, to share my travel photos with cheeky stories, travel tips, or details on how the photo was taken. Come join me as we travel the world together, without having to leave the house or get out of your PJs.

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