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  1. #11
    Senior Member Jakezori's Avatar
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    you can get a dark background with the right settings... also, having a black background helps =)

    having a lens with good bokeh if your background is lighter

    tamron 17-50, no extension.. I just returned my tamron because of vignetting though and got the sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 MACRO and love it.
    Photography, Technology, and Fish





  2. #12
    Algae Beater snapshooterr's Avatar
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    Black backgrounds are the result of having the rear of the tank vastly (3 ev/f-stops or more) underexposed in relation to the exposure for your subject. You can do this pretty easily if you are shooting with the aquarium lights by...
    1. Having a black background (as mentioned).
    2. Shading the rear of the aquarium - Move your light fixture as far forward on your tank as possible. Place a black card/paper/something between the light and the top of the tank to shade the back half of the tank. When shooting, make sure your fish/subject are in the illuminated, front of the tank.



    I'm not sure how getting closer to the tank with a camera “blocks” reflections. What creates reflections is having light illuminating objects (camera, photographer, ect) on the outside (camera side) of the glass brightly enough to (partially) over power the light illuminating the subjects that you are photographing on the other side of the glass. The darker the background, the more pronounced the reflections will be.


    The best way to eliminate reflections in the glass is to have it dark enough outside the aquarium that nothing is bright enough to be recorded in the photo's exposure.

    In the set-up you have for the tutorial, the most effective way to eliminate reflections would be to place a solid, black gobo in-between the light-source(s) and the camera position. Similar to the ones that you have darkening the background. This will also prevent light directly entering the lens and causing lens flare. Which is a likely cause of the haze in the images (either that or cloudy water).


    Having the water level so low makes the fish look like they are trapped in the resulting photos. Seeing the substrate and the surface of the water in the photo, only a few inches apart looks unnatural. When shooting, I'd say having either the substrate OR water surface in the image is beneficial to most photos. Having both is odd. I'd suggest not mounting the camera on a tripod (handhold) and have the tank pretty-much full of water. The fish are going to act more naturally and at ease with a normal amount of water.

    Handholding the camera is definitely more work and will take more but you'll end up with improved results. You'll need to shoot with a shutter-speed that's fast enough to avoid camera shake and/or use flash instead of the spotlights. And, you'll need to be quick with the focusing. Just shoot lots & lots of frames and pick the best of them.



  3. #13
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    I do not have a really badazz camera (it is a Canon IS3) It is good and has some nice features but nothing like a EOS or Nikon D.

    How would I go about getting the best shots with what I have?



  4. #14
    Algae Beater snapshooterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spydermn View Post
    How would I go about getting the best shots with what I have?
    You don't really need a badazz camera to get alright photos of aquariums & fish. Here's a few tips that'll work for any type of camera.

    • You'll have trouble using the on-camera flash without ending up with reflections in the glass so I'd suggest not using it.
    • Clean your aquarium spotlessly. Glass (inside and out), gravel, water and filter. The less guk you have in your tank, the less guk you'll have in your photos.
    • Shoot straight through the aquarium's glass. The more of an angle you are to the glass, the more distorted your images are going to be.
    • Get as much light above your aquarium (toward the front) as you can. Whether you use a really bright aquarium light, lots of desk lamps or an off camera flash (via sync cord) it's hard to have too much light illuminating the tank. Make sure that the light isn't spilling out in-front of the tank as it'll cause reflections, emphasize any imperfections in the glass and potentially cause lens flare.
    • Make the room the aquarium is in completely dark. The lights over the aquarium should be the only ones on. This will prevent reflections in the aquarium glass.

    There are a ton more things you could do to help get good aquarium photos with your camera. Try typing "aquarium photography" into Yahoo!! (yahoo!!'s better than google for this).

    Post some images in the AC Photo Gallery forum and get some feedback.

    Cheers, Chris



  5. #15
    Tim
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    I was just asking about this on another forum. Thanks for posting this tutorial. It's a lot harder than it looks to get a good shot of a fish. It's hard enough to get them to pose for me in the little outfits I made for them, not to mention getting that tiny top hat to stay on. Okay, i'm kidding but I have had little luck with eliminating glare from the glass.
    Pet Goldfish Care is all about routine maintenance.



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  7. #17
    Senior Member OhNo123's Avatar
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    Another way to get rid of reflections on the glass/water is to get a polarizing filter. These things can be very expensive depending on the brand/quality.



  8. #18
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    Thanks, are there any suggestions on a good camera and editing software?



  9. #19
    Senior Member tbonedeluxe's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the tips and links
    for getting better pics with our cameras.
    The video was very helpful also. I'm starting to feel more confident
    on taking better shots with the camera i have.
    Its a Fugi finepix Z33WP
    "Let there be Light!"



  10. #20
    Senior Member GraphicGr8s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSVaquascaper View Post
    Thanks, are there any suggestions on a good camera and editing software?
    Editing software? Best of course is Photoshop. Cameras? Any DSLR would give you a decent chance. I personally shoot Pentax cameras. I've got film and digital. And I've shot both on paid assignments. K10D is a nice camera and they are available refurbed or used for decent prices. Canon and Nikon have their fanboys too. I shoot with K10D and a Vivitar 385HV with radio triggers. That's my go to gear as of late. Sure I've got a bigger better more powerful flash unit. But the Vivitar works for the fish tank shots and a whole lot more and I am not dragging hundreds of bucks around when it's not a paid gig.

    With an off camera flash you can also control the lighting to get the dark/black background by adding a snoot to it.



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