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Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

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Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

Post by CAAIndie on Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:43 pm

What are your tricks for taking pictures of the fish in your tanks? We have been fooling around with coming up with a strategy that works well, but how do you take your best photos? I have access to a couple of really good quality SLRs, and tried lighting the tank from either side too, but shots still aren't up to snuff yet. Auto-focus seems to be out of the question for active fish. Does anyone simply pick a spot with manual focus and just be patient? Flash or no flash? One has to be careful to avoid the reflections, so I try to avoid it. What kind of setting do you use? ISO or shutter speed?

We are going to try it again with more natural light in the room in the morning. The quick moving fish are tricky to get shots of for sure. I'm curious to hear about the many different methods that you all use.
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Re: Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

Post by Shell on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:19 am

When I actually use my camera (as opposed to being lazy and just snapping with the iPad!), I use a tripod to keep it steady, but leave the top loose so that I can swivel the camera from side to side. I generally turn the room lights off and the aquarium lights on. I always turn the camera flash off, and I usually position the camera about a foot or so from the glass. One thing I should do, but often don't, is ensure that the glass is clean, both inside and out!! Lastly - I take *many* pictures and then go through and choose the ones I like best!!!!!

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

Post by mikebike on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:47 pm

I use a Canon G10 digital camera.
it has a close up and auto focus.

I hold the camera as close to the clean galss as I can and partly hold down the sutter button to lock the focus on whatever object I am focusing on.

If the fish/critter I wish to photograh will be in a tank with no ojects the right distance away to focus on I can pre focus outside of the tank on an object the distance I will be from the fish I will be photographing in the tank.

Then shoot as many photos as I can.

It is easy to open the photos on the computer and delet the ones you don't line and learn from any mistakes you can pick out.

A tripod and remote relase is a good way to leave a camera set up prefocused ready to shoot.
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Re: Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

Post by nyleveiam on Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:18 pm

For photographing dogs running or playing I learned to use the sport setting and just fire away.  There will be several photos that are breathtaking and everyone thinks I am a super photographer, but... that sport setting is my secret since it will instantly stop movement.
I tried it the other night on the fish tanks but didn't have quite enough light for the lens I selected.  
I hope to try again this weekend, and will use my fastest lens and maybe even a movie light to one side of the tank.  
Here is an example of a dog and cat stopped in mid stride:

Or, a simple shake of the head:


It SHOULD also work for swimming fish, with enough light.
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Re: Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

Post by nyleveiam on Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:01 pm

Sorry, it DOESN'T work thru glass... I spent almost an hour and shot about 50 different tries and the sport setting doesn't get the focus right thru the glass. I'll stick with dog photos, I guess!
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Re: Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Photos

Post by ownedbycats on Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:34 am

I have a glass lid on my tank and (provided the glass is clean Embarassed ) turning on a bright flashlight and resting it so the light points straight into the tank, can give enough of a boost for a better photo and won't send all the fish into hiding like the flash will since it's steady light. Unfortunately, I still haven't figured out any way of turning off the red autofocus light short of turning off autofocus.
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