Why does Aquarium discourage flash photography?

Why does Aquarium discourage flash photography

Our guests know perfectly well that the flash on their mobile phones and cameras must be turned off when entering the Aquarium. The corresponding information on tickets, the “no flash” signs on the exhibits, the audio announcement and our aquarists politely remind visitors of the necessity to disable the flash on all of their picture taking devices. Let’s see why it is important to turn off the flash when touring a public aquarium.

You should avoid using flash on the exhibits even if you take pictures of plants or of an animatronic mosasaur. The light can bounce off the surface and reflect onto live specimens residing in the neighboring exhibits.

Both visitor and animal safety and welfare are top priorities for our aquarists.

A flash  ̶  just like a loud pop  ̶  may provoke stress and lead to an adrenaline rush. If the stressor does not go away, the organism remains in a state of anxious readiness, which can result in unpredictable and uncontrollable behavior. For instance, marine mammals can refuse to perform on the program conducted at the Dolphinarium.

Many of our guests have noticed that the exhibits feature dimmed lighting, and in some areas light levels are kept as low as possible. Excess artificial light may distress some animals – for example, when exposed to bright light, an octopus turns white and may release a jet of ink, which can hurt the animal if it is kept in an enclosure. That is why octopuses at the Primorsky Aquarium are housed in a separate room where their tanks are faintly illuminated with red light comfortable for the cephalopods.

The occasional use of flash will leave an animal shaken but unhurt and make it retreat into its hiding place. But imagine how tank residents will feel participating in an endless “light show” for 10 hours daily, six days a week, if flash photography is allowed. These conditions seem to be harsh for visitors as well. In addition to spoiling the visitor’s experience and making the photo background too light, the use of flash may pose a threat to health and safety since a series of flashes can easily disorient some visitors or, which is even worse, trigger attacks in visitors who suffer from particular diseases.

It is not only public aquariums that discourage flash photography. Museums and art galleries have begun prohibiting the use of flash photography because it can damage pigments in paintings. Some pigments are really sensitive to light, which makes chemical reactions speed up. To reduce the risk of damage, museums and galleries carefully control the lighting.

On-camera flash doesn’t always produce the best photographic results because the light typically bounces off the acrylic surface and creates a reflecting in the photo, and animals hide out. When in the forest or at the aquarium, make sure that your flash is turned off before taking pictures.

Please be mindful of yourself, others and the environment.