The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to photography and editing. I have a Canon T5i with the kit lens, as well as a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM.

I use a tripod, and I use live view quite often. I use AF first, and then make manual adjustments when needed. I shoot mostly in Manual Exp Mode in order to get a good feel for the different settings, and to get the picture I want.

The only flash I have is the on board, for now. One of the things I am trying to do is determine whether or not the colors, and overall photo, come out better with or without flash. I know it would be better if I had an off camera flash, but for now that is not an option.

I am using the Canon software to edit RAW photos. Right now I do not have any other software, so this will have to do for now.

I welcome any advice or tips for better capture or editing. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Boeseman's Rainbow no flash 1/125 F/1.8 ISO 800


Boeseman's with flash 1/200 F/5 ISO 800


Neon Rainbow 1/125 F/2.2 ISO 800 (this one I edited a bit more than the others, mostly for sharpness, contrast, and NR)


Threadfin Rainbow 1/200 F/7.1 ISO 100 Flash



Thanks for looking, and for your feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Some of these are slightly out of focus, with fast zippy fish like your rainbows. Try using back button focus if you aren't already, but I generally manually focus. I focus in on an area and wait for the fish to come into the zone. A faster shutter speed like 1/250th or faster. The aperture should be stopped down for more depth of field. #2 and #4 are the best photos, those photos have all the same things in common. They have a faster shutter speed and deeper depth of field. Photographing fish requires lots of patience, take your time and you'll be rewarded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some of these are slightly out of focus, with fast zippy fish like your rainbows. Try using back button focus if you aren't already, but I generally manually focus. I focus in on an area and wait for the fish to come into the zone. A faster shutter speed like 1/250th or faster. The aperture should be stopped down for more depth of field. #2 and #4 are the best photos, those photos have all the same things in common. They have a faster shutter speed and deeper depth of field. Photographing fish requires lots of patience, take your time and you'll be rewarded.
Thanks for the advice. The photos with the flash allowed for faster shutter speed and higher apertures, which is why the depth of field and sharpness is better. I feel like using the flash takes a bit away from the color of those fish though, granted I am only using the on board flash but i am not sure how much difference that makes.

Do you notice that the color of your fish look better in photos without flash, or just in general when viewing without a camera?

I notice that you are using an external flash, do you position it off the camera? If so, is it above the tank or next to it?

Thanks for the help. I find photographing fish to be a huge challenge, and a great learning experience.

Edit: I saw your rig on your thread, makes sense now. But, I also just remembered one other question, did you do any post on those pictures, or are the straight from the camera?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Thanks for the advice. The photos with the flash allowed for faster shutter speed and higher apertures, which is why the depth of field and sharpness is better. I feel like using the flash takes a bit away from the color of those fish though, granted I am only using the on board flash but i am not sure how much difference that makes.

Do you notice that the color of your fish look better in photos without flash, or just in general when viewing without a camera?

I notice that you are using an external flash, do you position it off the camera? If so, is it above the tank or next to it?

Thanks for the help. I find photographing fish to be a huge challenge, and a great learning experience.

Edit: I saw your rig on your thread, makes sense now. But, I also just remembered one other question, did you do any post on those pictures, or are the straight from the camera?
The colors with the flash look better to me, without it the colors look dull/washed out. It's weird to me that the colors look better with flash than without it.

Depending on my mood, I bring out the flash and set up the rig aiming down into the aquarium. Some days I just crank up the ISO and turn on both banks of LEDs. If I'm really in the mood, I set up two flashes and wait. You can pick up flashes and radio triggers for pretty cheap.

I do bring my photos into lightroom since I use raw files and do some slight editing in post. Slight contrast, exposure and sharpening, pretty much all I touch. I don't really spend much time editing fish photos, may be a few minutes per photo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The colors with the flash look better to me, without it the colors look dull/washed out. It's weird to me that the colors look better with flash than without it.
Maybe it is just me, but I felt like the flash wipes out some of the blue on the Boesemani Rainbow. However, I can see that everything is much sharper and less washed out with the flash in those photos.

Here is a fish that I feel really loses something with the flash (onboard) and as such is a bit more difficult to capture.

Pearl Gourami f/2.2 1/160 ISO 800 no flash


Same fish f/7.1 1/200 ISO 200 shot with flash



I feel like with this guy the flash erases the nice pearly type effect of the Gourami. It is incredible to me how different the colors look between the 2 photos.

Neither of these were edited very much, I left the WB as it was from the camera and just edited for size on the forum. I didn't really have time to edit them, and also wanted to allow for suggestions as to how others might handle editing these. I am aware that the one without flash doesn't have the best focus, but wanted to really use it for color comparisons.

Thanks again. I appreciate all the advice, and the challenge of improving my ability to capture photos of fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Maybe it is just me, but I felt like the flash wipes out some of the blue on the Boesemani Rainbow. However, I can see that everything is much sharper and less washed out with the flash in those photos.

Here is a fish that I feel really loses something with the flash (onboard) and as such is a bit more difficult to capture.

Pearl Gourami f/2.2 1/160 ISO 800 no flash


Same fish f/7.1 1/200 ISO 200 shot with flash



I feel like with this guy the flash erases the nice pearly type effect of the Gourami. It is incredible to me how different the colors look between the 2 photos.

Neither of these were edited very much, I left the WB as it was from the camera and just edited for size on the forum. I didn't really have time to edit them, and also wanted to allow for suggestions as to how others might handle editing these. I am aware that the one without flash doesn't have the best focus, but wanted to really use it for color comparisons.

Thanks again. I appreciate all the advice, and the challenge of improving my ability to capture photos of fish.
It is more noticeable on this fish. The flash does wash things out there more.

IMO for editing for these photos. A slight bump in exposure, they seem slightly under exposed. Bump the contrast a tad to get the fish's color to pop.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,942 Posts
The on board flash will usually not create desirable color. If you don't have OCF try throwing extra light on top of the tank just for the pic. This will allow you to increase shutter spread and aperture so it's more likely you will get a really sharp photo. Sometimes you can catch the fish when it slows or stops so use continuous shooting mode. I also use LR like pandjpudge for slight editing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for the suggestions and feedback. Below I edited it for brightness, contrast, and a bit of sharpening. I do not have LR, but I shoot in RAW and use the program that came with the camera for now, Canon DPP.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Try giving darktable or rawtherapee a try, both a free programs that might be easy to edit photos with. They are supposed to be good alternates to lightroom, I haven't really poked around with them myself though. But I do see them often recommended for those starting out and not wanting to dive into lightroom right away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Depending on my mood, I bring out the flash and set up the rig aiming down into the aquarium. Some days I just crank up the ISO and turn on both banks of LEDs. If I'm really in the mood, I set up two flashes and wait. You can pick up flashes and radio triggers for pretty cheap.

I do bring my photos into lightroom since I use raw files and do some slight editing in post. Slight contrast, exposure and sharpening, pretty much all I touch. I don't really spend much time editing fish photos, may be a few minutes per photo.
Ok, so finally I have OCF, and LR. I got the full Adobe CC monthly package since it was so cheap, but boy is there a learning curve for some of that advanced stuff. I haven't taken a ton of fish photos lately, but want to start giving it a go now that I have the OCF.

I got a cheaper one from Best Buy, Insignia brand. I can trigger it with my T5i pop-up flash. The question I have is about getting it setup properly to capture the type of photos you get, and also to black out the background if possible (I have mostly seen this in marine tanks).

do you have any recommendations for proper setup with the OCF. it seems as though i cannot get the shutter speed faster than 1/200 with the flash in use. any thoughts on fec, or any other flash settings either in camera or on the flash (Insignia NS-DXFL2C). I think it is meant to be a knock off of the Canon 400 or so series of Speedlite.

TIA
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,942 Posts
OCF won't generally work with HSS (High Speed Sync) which is normally anything over 1/250 SS. You can buy a trigger to do that I believe. You really shouldn't need anything faster than that anyway. When using OCF you want to get the Flash right on top of the aquarium looking down into the water.

Blacking out the background is usually accomplished by using a very small aperture (large number) and the best ISO (100). What you doing is making the exposure black (if pic was taken without flash) and the flash is lighting just the subject. You can also blacking out the background in post-edit with Adobe.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
do you have any recommendations for proper setup with the OCF. it seems as though i cannot get the shutter speed faster than 1/200 with the flash in use. any thoughts on fec, or any other flash settings either in camera or on the flash (Insignia NS-DXFL2C). I think it is meant to be a knock off of the Canon 400 or so series of Speedlite.

TIA

I think typically the flash duration is short enough that it can give you a faster effective shutter speed. Go into a dark room and open the shutter then trigger the flash. Your shutter speed is "effectively" whatever the duration of the flash is (usually considerably faster than 1/200). The caveat is you have to work in pretty dim light so the ambient light doesn't have a noticeable affect on exposure.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top