Need some photo junkie help please - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Just start shooting. It's really the only way to learn. You'll look at the pictures and say, "Why does it look like that?", "How can I make it better?", and so on.
That was what I was going to do but the thought of messing with all of those settings without knowing what they would do is intimidating. I would hate for my wife to pic up the camera to get a "first" from our baby to only end up with a blurred mess from the camera! I can hear it now.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 05:57 AM
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I don't know much about nikon lenses, but my canon 100mm f/2.8 macro is a piece of work... A beautiful lens that takes awesome pictures. Cost me a few hundred though. They're not really multi use lenses, good for portrait or macro shots, but I'd use your kit lens for everyday point and shoot situations.

SLR are definitely not as easy to nail down as point and shoots, but image quality is worth it when you get the hang of it. I'm still getting used to my camera and getting better choosing different lenses for different situations. I did invest about 100 dollars in getting a remote flash rig for my tanks, 3 remote flashes triggered by pc cable. Works like a charm for shooting macros and quickly moving fish
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bsmith View Post
That was what I was going to do but the thought of messing with all of those settings without knowing what they would do is intimidating. I would hate for my wife to pic up the camera to get a "first" from our baby to only end up with a blurred mess from the camera! I can hear it now.
Ah, you have to get you hands dirty and make lots of mistakes. Here's a secret. Even the pros don't get it right the first time. They'd shoot hundreds of pictures to get the right one.

What I do is bracket my shots, meaning one f-stop below, at, and above to cover your bases. You can do the with shutter speed too. You can experiment by extending your bracket range by more than one.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 07:09 AM
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were u asking what F2.8 is and why its good? thats the maximum aperture hole in the lens. the bigger the hole, the more light can enter and the more shallow your depth of field is.

the smaller the number, the larger the aperture hole.. F1.2 is bigger than F2.8. typically the bigger the max aperture, the more expensive the lens. with more light rushing down the lens, the shutter speed can close faster because it will get enough light for your picture faster.

also, the more shallow depth of field with the larger aperture. if you take a picture of a shrimp, the eyes will be focused but the nose and tail will be blurry. if you set your aperture to 8.0 for example, less light will enter the lens, but the eyes, nose, tail of the shrimp would be in focus...

i hope thats what you were asking?
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 05:48 PM
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http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d31...uide/index.htm


If you can $wing it and you can find one, I highly recommend the Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8 DX. Super fast glass for super fast fish & babies!
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info roybot. Im going to have to look over that when I have a bit more time for sure.

Allright here is the moment you have all been waiting for. Crappy pics I took for you to (hopefully) tell me what I did wrong. I think the issue is not enough light but ill let you be the judge. I will try to post what info I can about specific pics. Thanks again!

Macro pic of a CRS in a dark room with the tank light and flash as lighting. Very unfocused, you will see this circumstance repeat itself quite a bit.


I dont think this would have been a horrible shot if I had cleaner glass on the tank and more (diffused) light.


I think this one is good, what would make it better?


How do I get more clear defined focus?





For a FTS what needs to be done, more lighting with the flash turned off?


I hope lighting is the cause I could not get the camera to focus on the fish. It would only focus on the slightly further back portion of the pic.


Thanks again for any input!
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 06:37 AM
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i've been using my gf's d90 for a few months now so i'm lost with ya, lol.

I do manage to get a few good shots, although it seems to help if I manually focus using that little ring thing on the lens.

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Im not sure how to manual focus. The ring on the lens I though was for zooming in/out.



PS-Can you click/view the pics I just posted? My photobucket is acting strange...
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 06:47 AM
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the thin ring between the lens and the body, forgive my terminology im a cam newb also. Her cam might be diff, idk lol. Not the thing that brings the lens in and out.

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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 02:11 PM
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Yeah, manual focus would help. The camera doesn't know where the point of focus is. It guesses.
There's usually a switch MF/AF. Switch to MF for manual focus and then you can change the focus 'ring' on the lens.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bsmith View Post

I was hoping that with a camera of this caliber (I know its still an entry DSLR and nothing special all things considered) I would be able to kind of "set it and forget it".
that's called a" point and shoot". you pay more for more flexibility, not less.

+1 on the 2.8 macro lens.

I made a simple aquarium photogrpahy handoout you might find helpful... I'll track it down later for ya.

Don't worry, you'll learn what you need faster than you think!
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 02:56 PM
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The af/mf is at the base of the front of the camera body. The focus ring is the ring more towards the front of the lens than the zoom ring... the one that the motor moves in AF mode.

You are probably too close to focus too. The minimum focal distance is sorta far on the cheapo 55-200 lenses.

In MF, zoom AND focus all the way in, then move yourself and the camera backeards and forwards to find your minimum focal distance. Macro rigs usually have rails on the tripod for just this purpose
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 11:53 PM
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here it is. Might help, might not.
http://www.macclellan.net/Aquarium_Photography_101.pdf
It was more for point-and-shoots for reefs, but some stuff still applies.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith View Post













For a FTS what needs to be done, more lighting with the flash turned off?


I hope lighting is the cause I could not get the camera to focus on the fish. It would only focus on the slightly further back portion of the pic.


Thanks again for any input!
Most of the pictures probably were'nt focused because you were too close for the lens. As mention before, its called minimum focusing distance, and the exact amount varies with each lens. Thats why the last picture came out the way it did. Try taking a step or two backwards and zooming in instead. I disagree that you need to manual focus, I never manually focus. If you're manually focusing, you're doing something wrong with the autofocus. What is this, the 70's? lol... Really though, manual focus should only be for very very specialized circumstances that you probably would never encounter.

As for using the pop-up flash....Dont! It only produces crappy uneven light, and makes pics look washed out. For FTS and otherwise, just focus on something in the tank, preferably a plant or piece of wood, and take the pic without the flash. Everything around the tank will probably be black, but thats okay, as it showcases the tank itself.

As for what would make the second picture in the above quote better, its main issue is it lacks composition. One of the more important "rules" of photography is not to cut anything off. Only seeing half the fish makes it awkward to the viewer. Also try googling the rule of thirds. Barring that, sometimes heavy editing can save a pic like that ( I did this in like 2 minutes, no nitpicking lol...)



Try having a look at my journal, specifically the last few pages, to see if you can maybe get some inspiration or an idea of the "rules"....and if you see anything that catches your eye, let me know and I'll explain how to achieve it, or at least come as close as you can with your equipment

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...pdate-4-a.html
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:29 AM
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My best advice is to back up from the tank. Most people try and shoot way too close with the stock lens on the camera. I back up, shoot in a large format, then crop.

Do you have photoshop? If not, download gimp, its free and has a lot of useful tools.

Also, turn off all your room lights and just leave the lighting over the tank. This will reduce glare and bounce back.

Are you shooting in manual or automatic? I prefer to shoot in either aperature or manual. This way you can adjust your depth of field (fstop).

If you are having issues with your flash showing up in your pics, do a VERY slight angle downward, this will bounce your flash out of the picture.

Also, consider investing in a slave flash or slave bulbs to put in a clip lamp. These will focus the light on your subject and yield better results.
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