Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Inga 07-04-2010 09:52 PM

Photo tips for the beginner
Well, since I have been sitting around waiting for changes in my water quality, I have been practicing taking pictures of my Barbs. Turns out it isn't nearly as easy to get a decent picture of fish as it is to take photos of my well trained dogs. If only I could train the fish to stay when it is told. ha ha

Anyone here really good at fish photos? What tips might you suggest to a beginner? I have seen where pro's take a flash and attach it to the tank shining down so they don't get shadows or glare from the glass. Is there any other, easier way to get good shots?

If I wasn't disgusted with my decision to go with plastic plants before, I sure am now that I have seen these crappy plants in pictures. ha ha

Also, how do you adjust the camera settings to capture the vibrant color on the fish?

this is what I got so far.

I feel like I am stuck with close ups to cut out the look of the crappy plastic plants. :roll: :lol:

PrettyKitty187 07-05-2010 12:57 AM

I leave the tank light on and put the setting on the camera to the outdoor lighting well as sit further back and zoom on the fish instead of trying to get close and take the pictures...they are turning out pretty good now as opposed to the previous ones

the picture you have looks REALLY good too :-D

bones14 07-05-2010 02:14 PM

On my camera I lower the exposure compensation,otherwise it's too bright.I also set it to the sports setting for the movement.I'm still trying to figure it all out myself but this is working the best so far.Hope it helps.

Inga 07-05-2010 02:49 PM

I have a Canon camera so I have a sport setting and I will try that. It seem the low light is enough to blur most of the shots even with the tank light on. I usually turn the room light off and that seems to help. My camera has an auto flash and when it flashes I generally get a big flare off the glass which ruins the shot. All I can say is "thank God for digital" because I tend to shoot a hundred and get maybe one shot I like. I am still waiting to get one shot I really really like or even LOVE> :-P :-D

zof 07-05-2010 02:54 PM


Originally Posted by Inga (Post 417739)
My camera has an auto flash and when it flashes I generally get a big flare off the glass which ruins the shot.

Tape a thick piece of paper over the flash if you don't have an off button, I would think all canons would have an off button thought, maybe look in the settings.

Inga 07-05-2010 03:02 PM

It probably does, I was just in too much of a hurry to actually read the manual. ha ha I did however create sort of a soft box effect by putting a wax paper box over the flash. That worked well but was frustrating because it fell off on my best shot and created a glare.

Aqua Jon 07-06-2010 11:10 PM

that photo looks great!

Looks like you just need to capture them in focus and you're set!

Inga 07-07-2010 07:16 AM


Originally Posted by Aqua Jon (Post 418661)
that photo looks great!

Looks like you just need to capture them in focus and you're set!

Thanks. I find that I can capture 1 in focus but when I have more then one the camera will decide which to focus on leaving the other at a slight blur. The Tiger Barbs move so quickly and they school so it is a little harder to get them in an individual shot. My Gourami is pretty brave and hangs out looking at me while I am trying to take his picture. Now, If I could just get him to turn sideways instead of completely facing me. ha ha

squilky 07-07-2010 07:29 AM

I know a lot more about photography than I do fish keeping, so hopefully I can help out...

A lot also has to do with the type of camera you have. With most point and shoot cameras, there is something called shutter lag. There is a slight delay from the time you press the button to take the photo till when the shutter actually releases and takes the photo. Plus, most point and shoot cameras have very small lenses. Especially in the Canon elph line. This small opening only allows a small amount of light in. So often times, it "darkish" conditions your camera will have trouble focusing. On a lot of cameras you can set the focal point. Most cameras by default have a number of focus points and it will automatically select what it thinks you are trying to focus on. Check your manual and see if there is a way to manually specify the center focus point. If you leave it up the camera to try to guess what you are trying to focus on, it will often focus on a rock, plant or something larger in the tank. Especially with smaller fish like barbs.

Here are a few tips I can share. See if you can find a desk lamp or even a small work light to light the area. Try to angle it in such a way that it lights the tank you are trying to shoot, but doesn't reflect off the glass or cast hard shadows. You may need to use a piece of paper over the light to "soften" the light and shadows. The extra light will help the camera focus a little quicker and provide enough light that you can use a faster shutter speed, which should reduce the likelihood of having blur caused by the fish movement. Also try setting your camera on macro mode if possible. This changes the way the camera focuses and it will be able to focus on smaller objects like a fish.

Most cameras also have a "burst mode" which takes a series of photos in rapid succession. Try turning this on. It's usually located in the same menu where you turn on the self time. It's usually indicated by an icon that looks like three photos placed one on top of the other. Normally when you press the shutter it only takes one photo. When you turn on burst mode, it will keep firing photo after photo. It will stop eventually when the buffer to write to the memory card fills up.

Hope these tips help. I think overall it will be frustrating with a point and shoot camera because of the shutter lag and difficulty focusing that I mentioned earlier. But as you pointed out, it's digital, so shoot away. No harm done. If you get one good shot out of 50, it's all worth it.

kitten_penang 07-07-2010 07:31 AM

sport settings need bright lights.i tried using the sport mode and most of the pics came out dark.the camera settings were built in so there's no changing anything.i find in macro shots croping is the fastest and easiest way to make the pic look good =)
exactly the way you did.

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