Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Aquarium photography basics and tips
Someone suggested that I should start a thread on basic photography tips to take better photos of our aquariums and residents. So here goes. Iím starting off uber basic, this first post will be applicable to anyone with any camera.
1. Understand some basics of photography. You need light, enough light to make a good exposure, and a length of exposure (shutter speed) fast enough to stop any camera or subject motion. On simple camera or cameraphones, you usually have no way of affecting exposure other than adding more light. So if your pictures are coming out with motion blur, add more light. That should raise the exposure speed, minimizing motion blur. Learn to keep your camera as steady as possible, unfortunately, most simple cameras and cameraphones donít have an optical viewfinder but require you to view through the preview screen. Itís much more difficult to hold a camera steady at armís length than it is holding it against your forehead looking through a viewfinder.
2. Learn basic composition. If youíve been following any of the aquascaping threads youíre familiar with a very common and strong one, the rule of thirds. Basically, divide your photo into thirds horizontally and vertically and try to place your center of interest in one of those intersections. Your photo will be stronger that way. Of course, not every photo works well that way, so get a feel of what works and doesnít work for you. Try to have a subject or focal point of your photo, whether itís one fish or the whole tank in all of its planted splendor. One focal point usually works better than a busy photo that you canít figure out what the subject is.
3. Itís in the details. Make sure that the aquarium glass is clean, that youíre not getting any unwanted reflections, and that your background isnít distracting. Shoot slightly downward to frame your fish against the substrate, or frame them in front of some tall plants.
In my next post, Iíll discuss the limitations of different types of cameras and what you can do about them.
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