North Carolina has three state aquariums. Two of them are in the Outer Banks area covered by Both charge an admission fee. Each aquarium is designed and arranged differently, with unique features and themes, so if you visit both, there will be little or no duplication.

Good Advise For Snapshots In The Aquariums:

When you visit, you're going to want to take some photos. But there are some problems to be overcome for good useful snapshots. First, the extremely thick glass or lexan of the tanks sometimes makes getting a sharp image tricky and difficult. Some cameras with auto-focus will not focus properly on glass or shiny surfaces, so be aware of that. Secondly, it is much too dark inside for cameras without a flash, so you will definitely need your flash. But therein lies the third problem. Whenever you take a flash photo of anything in a glass/lexan tank, or behind a glass, lexan or plexiglas barrier, while facing square into the tank or barrier, the flash will glare in the shiny surface and wash out your subject. Basically the flash bounces right back into your camera, like looking into the sun.

The WRONG way above, and
the RIGHT way below.

Here is a simple trick to minimize or even eliminate that problem, and get much better photos. Face the glass/shiny surface at a 20-30 degree angle when you take your photos. The flash glare will bounce off at the same angle, but in the opposite direction, and you will get little or no hot spot in your photos. Now you can take some photos home that you'll be proud of.

If you want to be really professional, pay attention to what you see on the glass. Most people look right through the glass at their subject without paying attention to the glare or reflections that are ON the glass. These come from bright objects, such as lights from other displays, or light coming through a door from another room. Even the reflections of other people can spoil your shot. If this happens, you can usually change your position a little to get a more advantageous angle, where the glare or reflection is less noticeable, or even gone. Doing so will make for better photos also.

Now it is time to see the photos we have for you. This is essentially just a picture tour showing some of the interesting creatures you will find in both facilities.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island, is located in Manteo, just off US Hwy. 64/264 Business. This location has a large "outdoor" exhibit area that is really indoors, somewhat like a giant greenhouse. The entire roof is one giant skylight. Alligators are on display here, as well as otters, which understandably are a great favorite among the visitors.

The touching pool below is
a real favorite with kids.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, is located just off NC Hwy. 58 in Salter Path, between Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach on Bogue Banks. This location has a nature trail just outside the back door, which leads along a boardwalk, providing access to a marsh area off Bogue Sound. The Great Egret photos below were taken there.


Related Links -

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Copyright © 2003 Fred Hurteau           * Copyright information and image use policy *

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