02-19-2010, 12:43 PM
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What settings are you using with your camera, and what's your level of experience as a photographer? What 'modes' do you use with your camera, or do you know enough to dabble w/ the manual modes?
First thing to try would be to zoom out all the way and get as close as possible to the tank. By zooming out, the lens is at its 'fastest'. The more you zoom in, the more light you'll need to get an equivalent exposure. By utilizing the maximum speed of the lens, you won't force the camera into high ISO modes, which tend to get grainy (assuming your tank is not actually grainy...make sure that the 'grain' in the pics isn't actually tiny particles in the water reflecting light into the camera). The lower the ISO the better for grain, but then you need to make up for that w/ more light or longer shutter speeds. If you're using the automatic modes, try the Manner/Museum or Stage modes w/o flash as well - if the tank is really well lit, you may not need it, and it could just be bringing out the particles in the water.
As far as 'washed out', you may want to try using the different color modes available with your camera. I see there's Low/Natural/High available - try them out and see if you like one better than the others.
Let me know how that works out for you.