Tips on taking pictures of tank?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Photography' started by TheSteve, Aug 20, 2004.

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  1. TheSteve

    TheSteve Astrea Snail

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    Are there any tips/tricks on taking pictures of your aquariums?

    Steve [smiley=pimp2.gif]
     
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  3. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you shooting with a Digital camera or a Film Camera?
     
  4. TheSteve

    TheSteve Astrea Snail

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    I am using a digital camera.... ;D

    Steve
     
  5. seawillow

    seawillow Coral Banded Shrimp

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    I could use some tips, too...or maybe I just need a new camera [smiley=grin2.gif]
     
  6. Birdlady

    Birdlady Finback Whale

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    Flashes are usually not needed and can cause glare and flash back. Lighting from you tank should be plenty! Also, pull curtains or shades on windows that face the surface of the tank you are trying to shoot - they reflect. Same with lamps etc.

    I have a zoom lens and try to use that so as not to scare the fish.

    Use the Macro Feature if you have one......it lets the camera focus automatically at very close range. (check my gallery, I have pics of 2 Bettas using Macro)

    For moving critters, you may need to use an auto focus if you have one. I also find, pressing in the button HALFWAY until you have what you want in the viewfinder, then finish pressing all the way - cuts the delay time in half with the digital camera.



    :D
     
  7. Birdlady

    Birdlady Finback Whale

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    Oh yeah, TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS! I find if I shoot 20 pics....there may be 2 that turn out really great! and the rest may be kind of boring. That is the beauty of digital! You don't have to pay to find out what you got! Just delete, and take more!
     
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  9. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    All Digital Cameras and Film are balanced for 6500K the colour temp of day light. Having said that most dig cams have "White Balance" Modes. These modes can adjust the overall seine to a neutral white. But this compensation requires a base point. This base point would be white in most cases (or 18% Grey) Now there is no standard for white, each camera has a different white. So if you have the ability to set your white balance manually it is important that when you set it the camera is looking at a scene that is mainly white. Like your sand bed. As most of us use a combination of bulbs with different K ratings I would suggest shutting off your Actinics to achieve a "Better white".
    Next every Camera has a minimum focus distance this is the smallest distance from the front lens of the camera to the subject that the camera can focus. this is different in every camera but is usually between 2.5-3.5 feet. Then most cameras also have a macro mode (usually a the button is a flower or magnifier glass) this mode allows even closer focus but also has a minimum and Max focus distance. It is important to know the limitation of these modes. A lot of Digital Cameras do not use TTL viewing (through the Lens) of the subject you are about to take a picture of. Because of this out of focus picture are very common.
    Next is preping for photos. Please clean you glass before you shoot. dirty glass will cause the look of a soft focus picture, If the camera can focus through the glass covered in Algae the Algae will act as a soft focus filter.
    Use a Tripod if you can. You can purchase then for $10.00, just a little crappy one will work
    Finally shoot a ton of images, Change setting to see what the results will be like just for fun. The bottom line, in my books, is everyone love seeing pic especially of others Tanks. So no matter how bad you think the pic is share it its fun to see peoples tanks and it fun to show off your labour of love

    P.S. Here is a little experiment I did with the white balance of my Camera under 10000K MH and 220 VHO Actinics

    Jason
     

    Attached Files:

  10. beamer

    beamer Sea Dragon

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    Good info Jason!

    I'm also wanting to learn more about my camera. I didnt know how the white balance works. I have started using a Nikon D 100 that my husband used at his office. He found a fugi that he liked better so I get the Nikon. ;D. He's looking into getting me another lens for it so I can do some wide angles and close ups. I've started reading the manual and that sure makes a difference. ::) On another site there is a professional photograher that has just started his own forum. He's going to be giving private lessons to anyone that is interested. (Dallas area). Since I basically know nothing about photography he has suggested my getting and reading Close ups in Nature by John Shaw. I plan on going out this weekend to get a copy or may just order one on line. For those that live in the Dallas area he is going to their homes where he can help and teach using the individuals own tank. Wish I lived closer where he could come to my home but I will be going to his instead. Anyway I thought someone else might be interested into looking into the book that I mentioned. I paid $5.00 bucks for the screen saver that he made and I love it. He does a good job with pics. and I'm looking forward to learning everything I can from him. I'm also looking forward to learning all of the tips that I can from you guys. Jason you have given me a good start here. I like the experiment that you did. Did you do custom white balance settings on all of these or did you mostly use the auto.
    Thanks!

    Cindy
     
  11. TheSteve

    TheSteve Astrea Snail

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    Wow [smiley=afro.gif] That is all kinds of helpful thanks! [smiley=fish.gif] I will be giving it a try this weekend..

    Steve
     
  12. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So Cindy are you talking about Travis?
    The Nikon D100 is a great camera. SLR Digitals are far Superior to the Point and shoot that most have. I have yet to take the leap To Digital SLR mainly because I already have 2 digital cameras and 3 135mm SLR and 1 6X4.5 camera. I'm going to wait until Canon comes out with something I can't live with out. Then I can use all the lenses I already own.

    As for the white Balance Test. Only the one that says Custom white balance is custom. The rest are preset in the camera. It's a Fuji s602Zoom