Photo tips for Aquarium photograpy - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Photo tips for Aquarium photograpy

Since I didn't see any threads on this, I figured I'd start one.

Who has tips on taking great pictures of your tank?

So far I've found what works best for me is tank lighting on, my camera on a tripod, and using my cameras flash. Diffusing the flash is a must so you don't get terrible glare, but I don't have a softbox, so I am still experimenting with ways to make it work.

Does anyone else have any helpful tips or resources?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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I wish I had a tripod, it would help alot. I've been turning on the tank lighting and turning my camera flash and any other ligthing off (it was also night time,s o there was no daylight) and set my white balance to flourescent.

I've also managed to shoot a few good pics with my camera flash on, but i've only got it to do it with no glare once, can't tell you how I did though.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 10:51 PM
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aquaticplantcentral.com has a aquarium photography forum I have found very useful.

Also, you will find most people here do not use flash at all and rely on longer exposure times.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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I was debating whether or not it was better to try a longer exposure vs flash. I was trying to go for a second in time vs blurry fish, but I haven't really been successful in either endeavour yet.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 10:56 PM
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I have yet to take a good picture, even with a tripod.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle
Who has tips on taking great pictures of your tank?
I have had a hard time using the flash for anything other than macro shots. I just make sure all of the other lights in the room are out. I also set the ISO to 800 if I am taking pictures of fish/shrimp.

I know it is kind of cheating, but one thing I have found is Photoshop. Don't start yelling yet...Hear me out. Even for those, who have a camera, where you can adjust the white balance, it is difficult to do it well and consistantly. If there is anything white in your tank (the small label on my heater) you can open the picture in Photoshop, and adust the entire picture with that piece of white as the control. I don't have Photoshop here, so this is from memory. I'll add to it if I have missed a step.

zoom in until the white piece is kind of big, even if it is pixelated. select Edit>levels (not Auto levels). When the box pops up on the bottom right there should be three eyedropper icons. One filled with black, one grey, and one white. click on the white one, and then click on the piece of white in the picture. Hit OK, and zoom out. the whole picture should now be correctly color balanced.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2005, 11:49 PM
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The three basic rules to remember are
1. Have the room dark but the tank well-lit. You can also use a circular polarizing filter to remove glass glare (they also deepen colors, which is good for these shots).
2. Try to keep the shutter speed high -- fish are quick and darty.
3. Always shoot at an angle to any glass or reflective surfaces.

Another way to reduce flash glare would be to use a sync-cable, holding the flash over the water while taking the shot from a different angle.

Something I do with the tripod is to set it up focused on a nice scene, then wait for the fish to come to you. A remote shutter-release is good for this. I find chasing the fish around just scares them and rarely works, unless you have a lot of patience. Infact, leave the camera sitting by the tank for hours to days before taking the shots. This will get the fish used to it, and make your task a lot easier.

Plants are gone, but my 33gal and I are back after a long hiatus.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 12:05 AM
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Some ideas here...

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...08&postcount=2


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 03:31 AM
 
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I second cich on the polarizer filter, GET ONE!

They achieve a dramatic effect.

Polarizers are unexpensive filters, you mount them in front of the lens, and they can rotate freely.
For how a polarizer works, look at the link below, but what it achieves, is that the reflections on the glass are gone, so instead of taking a picture of you and your camera reflected on the glass, you see a perfectly transparent glass.
Take a look in the link below (scroll down) at the picture of a body of water. Withouot polarizer you only see the sun reflected on the water, with polarizer you see through the water all the way to the bottom.

I wish I had a slide scanner or digital camera to show some examples of my own.

http://www.geocities.com/cokinfilter.../polarizer.htm
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Ah yes, the polarizer. I have been meaning to pick one up, despite not having much use for one currently (I don't live near water). I am very familiar with polarizers, having done my share of fishing, I know what a good pair of polarized glasses can do for your game.

I'll have to pick one up and give these tips a shot
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle
Ah yes, the polarizer. I have been meaning to pick one up, despite not having much use for one currently (I don't live near water). I am very familiar with polarizers, having done my share of fishing, I know what a good pair of polarized glasses can do for your game.

I'll have to pick one up and give these tips a shot
I am very happy with my polarizer. I don't live near water either, but I really like what it does for shots with the sky. It really picks up the detail in the clouds. I am looking forward to using it taking pictures of my tank. I am sad to say I hadn't thought of it. Thanks for the tip!


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 04:02 PM
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Polarizers are causing a tremendous loss of light. That's okay in bright sunlight, but not good if you are taking pictures inside, where you already have to mess with ISO and long exposures. Instead of using flash and trying to get rid of reflections with a pol filter, skip the flash, use tripod and make sure no other light sources than the tank that you want to photograph are causing any reflections.

For close-ups of your fishies use flash, and try to avoid reflections by zooming in, and shooting at a slight angle. A flash adapter that lets you separate the flash from the camera is very helpful. Flash from above avoids the whole reflection issue...


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