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SubscribeHow to take good Aquarium photos, input required please
keithgh
 
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Apprently it was recently lost I thought I had all the info but only the link.

So lets start it up again

Keith

Last edited by keithgh at 21-Oct-2004 00:31

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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Report 
keithgh
 
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EditedEdited by keithgh
Taking photos.

Put as much light as you can as you tank is big spread it out a bit very close to the front and close to the back as well.

Set the camera at the highest resolution as poss (if you don't know how to do that ask some one who can). By doing it this way when it is resized to about 90+ it worth looking at.

Take many shots at these angles approx 15d to the side and 15d looking down.

Don't worry about the flash at the very top as this can be cropped out.

Other than removing all objects heaters etc give the glass a very good cleaning inside at least twice. Also the outside I use pure metho spirits and kitchen paper. Don't forget to clean the glass top as well.

Do it at night with all the light off this will eliminate a lot of glare.

To make sure the water is perfectly clear don't feed them the day, of the night you intend to take the photos.

Have the computer set up and running and check as you go along just in case.

I have Adobe Elements and can do a fantastic job.

I wish I had known all the above when I first started it would have saved a lot of problems

If you have MS XP here is possibly the best "Resizer" to use. It is very simple and quick.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/default.mspx

This Camera site should be able to assist you with any of your camera queries.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/

Keith

Last edited by keithgh at 20-Oct-2004 23:31

Near enough is not good enough, therefore good enough is not near enough, and only your best will do.
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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Nick
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Very good suggesstions Keith although I have had alot of success without using a flash. Plus it saves you the time of having to crop it out of the pic. Just another little tid bit for everyone to consider.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Pammy
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and if you don't use a flash, attach the camera to a tripod. As the shutter speed will be longer without flash... if it isn't on a sturdy surface/tripod the picture will come out blurry.

especially do this when using a digital camera.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile Homepage Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Nick
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Going by some information I had gotten from the old thread, which was very helpful, I'll try to remember all that I read.
First and foremost the best time to take pictures is at night. Turn off all lights except for the light in the tank. Most cameras have what's called a Macro function, this function is for close-ups and most cameras have it. It is best identified by a flower icon, better known as "flower power". This is your best option for nice clear photos. Another important note is that you DO NOT need a flash. True that you can crop it out but from my experience you get better photos without and it's less work later on. The one big problem I have had is blurry pics, caused by an unsteady hand. This can be remedied by use of a tripod or if one is not available, use a small table or a stack of books, Any stable surface will do. So now your all set up and ready to take pics, however one big problem I would say all of us have, is that fish are not exactly photogenic. Be patient and a little psychic, your fish will probably not pose for you, so be ready when they decide to do it on their own. Also keep in mind, even professional photographers say it is very difficult to take pics of fish and aquariums. I would say that out of every 20 pics I take, maybe 1 or 2 are keepers. Hope i've helped more than i've confused.

Last edited by Jessnick at 23-Oct-2004 11:11
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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I'm another who prefers to never use a flash. I find the pics are more natural looking without it.

For tank shots - all the lights out except those in the tank. Set the ISO as high as possible, this will give you a greater range of speed. The higher the speed the sharper the image. Blurry photos occur when the shutter speed is too slow and registers handshake, or movement in the tanks as a blur.
For tanks with a lot of light up top exposure can be an issue. The camera automatically sets the exposure based on the light at the center resulting in the top being over exposed and glary. Play with camera, you can trick the exposure ! Aim the camera at the brightest part of the tank and half press the shutter so the camera sets the shutter speed, then without releasing the button move the camers to the place you want to photograph and fully depress the button to take the photo. This may result in the pic being a little dark but you can play around setting the exposure in less bright parts of the tank until you get a light setting you like.
Try to hide all equipment, if you can't hide it, remove temporarily where possible.
When you get the photo you like crop out everything except the contents of the tank, this includes hood, stand etc. See all those great tank pictures you find on the net ? Do you ever get to see Amano's wallpaper of container of fishfood ? Nope , never.


For Fish -
Use the macro function. Be very patient Use the highest speed possible (again the hisghest ISO setting will give a faster speed)to prevent blur. Try to aim a little ahead of the fish so if it moves it moves into the frame. Don't worry about trying to position the fish into the center of the frame, remember you can crop out the unwanted parts of the photo. Take hundreds and if you're lucky you'll get a few keepers.Keep the camera near by at all times, the magic momemnt may present itself when you least expect it.

Keith has given one truly wonderful piece of advice - have the computer cranked up and ready to roll, so when the memeory is full you can quickly download and then get out shooting again.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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I'm with Bensaf's advice, though one thing to take into account is that with high ISO settings you can get a lot of background noise, which can make your photos look rather grainy. In the end it is all a matter of balancing: higher ISO if you want to capture moving objects, lower iso with longer shutter times if you want to get overall sharper photos. I would always put the camera onto a solid object and never shoot with the camera in my hands, in general the last is always a waste of time. Also, when you finally find your fish in that pefect spot, take as many photos as you can, then you have a better chance of finding that one good shot in there.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bobtography
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Here are my tried and proven suggestions:

1. Put camera on a tripod;
2. Use a shutter release so as to not shake the camera;
3. Place the lens directly on the aquarium, but do not move it around on set-up so as to not scratch the tank;
4. Wear dark clothing and stand directly behind the camera to reduce possible glare;
5. Don't use a flash;
6. Take 10 gazillion pictures and hope a few are useable.

I invite you to check out, and hopefully enjoy, my work at www.bobtography.com. Have fun!
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
labrakitty
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I have a video camera which takes pictures and last night I took a picture of one of my fish wiht it that was sick. This morning it died. I really need to no how to get pics of it. I have atleast one picture of most of my fish I ever had. Except I took lots of pictures of fish that have died with my grandpas digital camera. Then someone broke into his factory and stole eall the computers and stuff. He also stole the camera with my pictures. My grandpa haden't given me the pictures yet.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
guppymax
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The fish are gone or the picture is blurry when I photograph my fish. Do any of the digital cameras except the SLR(expensive) cameras have really fast shutter speed? Would it be better to use a 35mm SLR(not digital and scan the film)?

max
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
moondog
 
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you can get cameras which are not slr or the more expensive d-slr which have settings for different conditions. usually you will see a flower (macro mode), a running person (sports mode), a night scene (darkness mode), etc. you can find digi cams which have these presets which will automatically adjust your apertures and shutter speeds (where applicable) and let you take better pics of your fish



"That's the trouble with political jokes in this country... they get elected!" -- Dave Lippman
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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guppymax

What brand and model of camera do you have.

This site should have your camera and a forum that will be able to assist you.

Another thing do you have an instruction book? If so it should be able to tell you how to adjust the settings.

This Camera site should be able to assist you with any of your camera queries.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/

Keith

Near enough is not good enough, therefore good enough is not near enough, and only your best will do.
I VOTE DO YOU if not WHY NOT?
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Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
guppymax
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I have a Fujifilm MX-1200. What do you all recommend?

max
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Calilasseia
 
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I use an Olympus OM30 SLR with T20 flahsgun attached to a tall angle bracket so I can point the flash to avoid 'flash bounce'. I also use a 70-120mm zoom lens and extension tubes (ranging from 12mm to 36mm) which allow excellent quality closeups without having to get close enough to the aquarium to spook any nervous fish.

My settings: ISO 200 film in the camera body, aperture set to smallest possible (which on my 710-210mm lens is f22), set shutter speed to 1/60 second (because that's the fastest speed that syncs with the flash), and use full manual mode. Take a look at my photo album and see some of the results - this is a link to some of my latest shots:

http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/forums/Photo%20Booth/53917.html

Oh, and if you can, try and make sure the glass is clean beforehand, as a camera magnifies the presence of ANY dirt or algae on the glass enormously!

Learning to angle a flash on an angle bracket to provide illumination without that 'nuclear bomb flare' effect on the back glass of a relatively bare aquarium is the biggest challenge if you're a manual photographer. If you're using a digital camera, with a flash in fixed position in the camera body, then you're effectively stuffed. Although it's hideously expensive, a digital SLR with accessories is probably the way to go in the future, but then most people here would probably prefer to spend their spare £3,000 or so on a brand new reef aquarium


Panda Catfish fan and keeper/breeder since Christmas 2002
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Calilasseia
 
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Double post.

Key features to remember when photographing fish are:

[1] shutter speed needs to be fairly quick to eliminate camera shake and/or blurred fish movements, particularly if photographing fast-swimming species;

[2] aperture needs to be set to a narrow setting, because this increases depth of field (i.e., the region within which objects are in focus).

However, since shrinking the aperture as in [2] reduces light hitting the film (or CCD chip), then some form of compensation is needed to avoid the shutter speed plummeting through the floor if you're using a camera in automatic mode. Which usually means a flashgun.

Then, you've all the fun and games of attaching the flash to the camera in such a way that the flash doesn't bounce off the back glass. If you have access to one, a coiled 'telephone cable' type connector, allowing you to position the flash over the water on the end of a clip-on arm, so that the flash actually illuminates downwards into the aquarium water, is the ideal setup. But, if you haven't got one of those cables, then an angle flash bracket that puts some distance between the camera and the flashgun is the next best thing. Especially if it allows you to tilt the flashgun so that the light doesn't bounce straight back into the lens off the glass.

Usually, with film cameras, flashguns suynchronise with the shutter at either 1/60 second or 1/125 second, depending upon model and manufacturer. These speeds are fast enough to avoid camera shake and blurred moving fish. If you have a spare £2,000 burning a hole in your pocket, however, the Olympus OM-4Ti with F280 dedicated flashgun combination has a shutter that syncs with the flash at a whopping 1/2000 second - almost fast enough to freeze a bullet in flight! Needless to say, I want one

Panda Catfish fan and keeper/breeder since Christmas 2002
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
longhairedgit
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I have a canon powershot s2 IS , its fairly new to the canon range , it retails for about £350-400 and has a super macro, special light settings and can go to iso 400, which in an averagely illuminated tank is plenty. If the macros abilities are in doubt i have taken a picture of an aphid in perfect focus with all features visible,and have taken pictures of a discus eye that totally fills the frame through glass (obviously) and in low light conditions.

It shares many of the features of the extortionately expensive canon EOS range, processes in raw image format if desired , has interchangeable lenses ( apparently you can use eos lenses on it) and shoots video too. It also has some of the same software as the eos, plus the telephoto is 10x optical and has digital too, which means i can take pictures of the moon, full frame and in focus. The flash speed is completely adjustable too. When this site is working properly ill show you some pictures ive taken of my fish with it, including a lenthwise photostitch of one of my tanks

Not bad for a 10th of the price of a top range eos.

ps- should people really be using powerful flashes to take pictures of living fish? methinks not! Photoshock can kill fish ya know!

Last edited by longhairedgit at 27-Aug-2005 03:47
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
HOKESE
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im far from a pro,and have taken sum good ones but mostly they were unclear from my fish not willing to pose 4 me,i was getting disheartend untill i just red all the above,the camera i use is a sony cybershot 5.0 megapixels-dsc-p10,is this ok.it does all sorts of things, but for the pro,to the normall user like me i dont use half the stuff,but i was really cheap from a closing down sale,and i needed a digy camera so i grabed it.

Last edited by hokese at 03-Jan-2006 01:21
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:25Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
longhairedgit
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EditedEdited by longhairedgit
Post InfoPosted 02-Mar-2006 13:40Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
shell
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EditedEdited by moondog
HOKESE Wrote:
mostly they were unclear from my fish not willing to pose 4 me...to the normall user like me i dont use half the stuff,but i was really cheap from a closing down sale,and i needed a digy camera so i grabed it.


Hokese, You dont need all the fancy stuff to take good shots. After doing an underwater photography course some years ago, I found that the key to taking good shots of your fish is looking up. If you take the shot from an angle below the fish you will find that they have more shape and look more lifelike. You do have to though, predict what they are going to do next as it does take a few seconds for the camera to take the shot.

It is also best to not use a flash as the light will reflect poorly and you will not get a photo with accurate colours. You are best to use the tank light, if not point a torch at whatever you are wishing to photograph. Again dont do this straight on, put it on an angle around 90 degrees from where you are.

Hope this helps!
Shell
Post InfoPosted 18-Apr-2006 08:59Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mughal113
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hi all...new to the forum (have been reading for long though) and its my opening post
I have a cannon S60. Works pretty fine if the features are well understood and praticed .. It has a good macro mode and one quick shutter mode. I have tested it by taking photographs of a moving ceiling fan and beleive me i could see the three blades without the slightest of the blur...
The price ranges 350 to 400$ and i think its worth the deal.
Prefer going without the flash in the dark room and it really gave me some good quality pics.
Post InfoPosted 16-Jun-2006 12:26Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
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