Advice taking pics - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-12-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
Advice taking pics

I have never realized how difficult it was to take a picture of a fish through glass until I bought my first digi camera a few days ago and gave it a shot (no pun intended haha). I tried until Epsilon was obviously getting impatient with my failed attempts. Every single pic was either unfocused or the reflection of the glass was too great to see past. I didn't go for the cheapy camera either-its a 160 dollar samsung, so its got plenty of options, so the problem is definately the user! Do any of you have advice for conditions, or options on the camera like flash and stuff like that for optimal picture quality? If so, I will post a picture of my lavender Epsilon and some of his lovely offspring.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-12-2008, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
Well, I feel silly posting that new thread earlier; I guess I didn't realize so many others had already commented on aquarium photography in the past. Oh well, I am still learning about this forum stuff-its kinda new to me. Anyhow, if anyone has anything to add to the advice already in this forum-feel free.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-12-2008, 06:46 PM
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Does your camera have a macro option? I find I take the best pics using this feature. Turn off any room lights and just use the tank light. Turn off the tv and close the curtains to cut down on any reflection. Wait for the fish to come near the front of the tank to get your shot. You'll need to have a very steady hand or a tripod to help reduce blur. And have lots of patience. I find I usually will take 30 or so shots and get maybe one or two decent pics from that.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-13-2008, 07:34 PM
Tripods (or another solid object to lean on) helps a lot. Also, check to see if your camera has a "aquarium" setting- I know Canon ones do, but not sure about Samsung.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-13-2008, 08:07 PM
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I have the same problem with my point and shoot Cannon, I have found a few things help

Problem #1 the camera wants to focus on the glass.

I have found it helps if you turn the aquarium light on, turn the room light off, and turn the flash off.

You can increase the depth of field by moving the camera away from the aquarium and zooming in all the way. Do not use the digital zoom it will not help for this.
You may try to fool the focus. Turn the face detection off if applicable. If the object being photographed is 6 inches from the glass move the camera 6 inches away from the opposite side of the glass press and hold the button half way allowing the camera to focus, then move the camera all the way up to the glass and press the button the rest of the way.

once you have mastered the focus...

Problem #2 there may not be enough light causing slow shutter speed and blurry images.

Since a tripod wonít help as the fish are mostly what is moving you will need to keep the shutter speed faster than 1/30th of a second, a bit faster is better. Rather than increase the aperture which will reduce your depth of field, which isnít even an option on many point and shoot cameras anyway. Most point and shoots do have an adjustable exposure. most are factory set at 200 or 400 but will go all the way up to 1600 on some (this is like film speed) above 1000 may look grainy so start there and you may want to move up if you still canít capture enough light, or if you find you have plenty of light at 1000 move down as you will get a more pleasing image with lower (this will vary by camera). If this doesnít work and if you have an shutter priority setting set the shutter at 1/100th of a second, and go to 1/60 and 1/30th if needed. Keep in mind decreeing the shutter speed decreases aperture which will increase the depth of field (hopefully I didnt confuse myself just there) but I have found slower than 1/30th is pretty much blurry and useless without a tripod.If you still canít get the light right you will need additional lighting.

Lastly I would like to add if you can barrow a Digital SLR, My nikon D-70 takes great hassle free photos of the aquarium.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-14-2008, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
Thanks alot everyone, I will try to take some good pics this weekend after I clean the aquarium-hopefully with some experimentation I can get some decent pics to post on Monday!
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-14-2008, 03:03 PM
willow's Avatar
have fun,sometimes you can add a little bit of food
to the aquarium,that should bring the fish to the front for you.
just a little tiny bit of food,otherwise it'll look like a snow storm
in the pictures.
look forward to seeing them. :)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-19-2008, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
Okay, I finally got some okay pics using shutter speed @ 1/15, ISO at 1600, no flash, and a little option on my camera for taking pics closer than 8cm (its a little flower icon). I had an aquarium light plus an overhead ceiling light. I tried all kinds of combos for these features, and finally got it! Thanks for your help. Now, I guess I have to make a photobucket account so I can post the pics. So, probably Friday I will have pics up under the betta forum. Thanks again!
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-19-2008, 10:04 AM
willow's Avatar
good news.glad you were able to figure it. :)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-19-2008, 12:05 PM
Originally Posted by FlaNatural View Post
Now, I guess I have to make a photobucket account so I can post the pics.
you dont have to do that unless you just want to.

you can click on Post Reply, or start a new thread... type in whatever you want to say and then scroll down where it says Manage Attachments and then browse to find the pic on your computer then upload and it will post it right from your computer. being i have not posted any myself on this forum, i'm not sure what size is allowed so if the pic is to large you might have to resize it first.

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