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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I think I've been making some real progress both with the camera and in photoshop! Hope you enjoy! :D



Danios and WCM are fast, but I manage to get some decent shots







Najenshan



Community Shot:



Hope these things didn't break your computer. :icon_redf
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I'm shooting with the Canon EOS 10D-- it's an older mid-level digital SLR. A good solid camera to be sure. I'm using the 18-200mm lens from Tamron which is just great because it can do a lot.

iroc-- s10's a good camera. A good 1/3rd of the battle is in the editing though, so look up some photoshop tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I actually allowed U. Gibba into the tank. When I got my plants from ASW, there were a few strands in my microcarpea that I could have easily removed-- but I let them be. It's annoying at times, but I think it's pretty. In the old days, Amano also had a number of beautiful layouts featuring U. gibba. It added a sparkle to those layouts.
 

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really? I find it to be too wild. I guess your scape is more condusive to wild plant growth. I would probably use Eleocharis vivipara if I wanted the wild thin leaves look. The bladders seem too distracting.

It does not detract from the scape but it is a pest and gets in everything, completely up to you to keep it.
 

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Thanks guys! I'm shooting with the Canon EOS 10D-- it's an older mid-level digital SLR. A good solid camera to be sure. I'm using the 18-200mm lens from Tamron which is just great because it can do a lot.

iroc-- s10's a good camera. A good 1/3rd of the battle is in the editing though, so look up some photoshop tips.
I know how to use PS (in fact my mother wrote the manual for the 1st edition :hihi: ) but I never seem to be able to get the lighting right any tips you can offer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
iroc-- I'm sorry, I wouldn't be able to say much on that. I have 110w over my 18gallons, but usually when I photoshoot I use half of that-- I normally just leave on my 10000k bulb because the tank looks better cooler I think. For the fish though I blast it all so that I can use super-fast shutter speeds. I really wish I had the lens and hand control to take photos of fish with better aperature instead.

turbo-- thanks, I love that shot too.
 

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Great photos! Seem sort of blurry though. Not PERFECT but way awesome enough for me :-D.

Do you up the contrast? I'm wondering how you create those cool effects.

And one more question. When you take full tank shots, what kind of background do you use? It seems to glow. And do you use flash?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Maru-kun-- When you photograph, the goal is not just to get the clearest photo. The goal is the same as other art: communicate the beauty and feelings that you wanted to communicate.

For that purpose, you have to try and use both blurring and sharpening (as well as contrast, brightness, darkness, saturation, etc.) to best focus/communicate with your photo. IE, in some places in these photos, you want to make it more blurry than it was in the actual photo.

For instance, with the fish shots, I selectively sharpened the just the fish in photoshop (using a layer mask), because if you just sharpen the whole photo, than it's harder for the viewer to focus his eyes on the subject (plus the unnecessary noise is tiresome and distracting). In the last photo, I used a shapening filter and masked so that parts of the water surface, higher parts of the moss, and shadow sections are blurrier-- ie, make the things closer and in focus even sharper, and blur the "background" even more so that close seems closer and back seems even farther. :D

Contrast is a really useful thing to play with, but it also ups saturation. Sometimes it's better to use levels to make the darks darker, the lights lighter, and still not have WCM as orange as a harlequin rasbora. :hihi:

As for my full-tank shots . . . I wish I owned a flash unit. They're expensive though. On the other hand, over exposure is the enemy of digital photography. A photo that's too dark still has the information in it (though albeit if you lighted it you get more noise which is irritating). A photo that's over-exposed doesn't have the information in it. IE, making a photo that's too dark brighter is usually more viable than making one that's too bright darker. For my background I just use the white wall behind the tank, and the lights for the tank. I usually only use 1 of my 2 55w bulbs.

One thing I found useful is to take many, many photos-- hundreds if you can. If you have a good tripod and cable release like me, than you can take photos where the plants, tank, etc. are fit exactly the same in each photo--

but you can move and adjust the lighting. For instance, I like to take a bunch of photos with the light at the front of the tank, a bunch with the light in the middle, and a bunch with the light at the back.

If they fit over each other perfectly (because your camera didn't get moved from photo to photo), than you can overlap them as layers in photoshop and use the layer masks and other tools to combine them-- so you get all the information in the photo you want, and get rid of all the information you don't want.

For instance, if I move the light to the front of the tank, I will get a lot of good detail on the rocks and plants in the front of the tank, but I won't get the nice "gradient" effect in the background. While, if the light is at the back of the tank, the gradient is there, but everything else is just too dark.

What's the solution?

Take both photos, layer them in photoshop, and use a layer mask so that the gradient effect is the background, behind the more detailed plants/rocks/foreground from the photo where the light is at the front of the tank.

If you're really evil, it's also a nice technique to get the fish and ripples positioned just the way you want 'em. ;)
 

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Ahh Thanks very much for your wise words. I so need to take a graphics class. Maybe on my senior year... Still gonna take photography next year :-D.

I'll fiddle with it. I just love how your photos looks like not just photos but like paintings. Compared to paradise's photos they are more flowing and artistic. But I do love paradise's photos. So sharp and detailed and perfect lighting.
 
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