Members tips to taking good fish photos

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marcus created the topic: Members tips to taking good fish photos

Here is a post to help people/members get good results from there cameras. post your tips, tricks and advice on how to get the very best shots from your camera. from close up to full aquarium shots. the close up advice will be very good as a lot of people struggle to get clear shots of sick fish. feel free to post as many tips you like. ;)


My tip is choose a high ISO and fast shutter speed. getting the balance right means you can take photos without using a flash ( just tank or day light). this in turn gives good colour and removes the reflection of the flash on the glass. turn the lights in the room down or off will also remove reflections. don't always choose the very highest ISO as the grain and quality will suffer. playing around with the 2 to get the right balance is whats needed. if you go over the top the aperture will close down the back ground or foreground and could make focus harder. this doesnt happen as bad with digital cameras but if you want the effect of just the fish in focus the above is how to produce it too. If you can choose a ISO/stutter speed and maintain a aperture of 5.6 you should get good results. good luck and I will look foreward to some really good tips/tricks and a better photo comp next month. B)

Please keep on subject here. off topic discussions will be deleted :P

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Win replied the topic: Re: Members tips to taking good fish photos

well for me, a square to the tank, normal pic with flash is out of the question, i always get something like this...



so what i have figured out thru trial and error...

use a tripod (stability)

use high ISO, and generally i also use the close-up function(as marcus stated, faster shutter, less chance of a blurry pic because the fish doesnt get as much time to move when the actual pic is taken)

use alot of extra lighting, your flash on the camera itself will likely just make a bad photo (thank you glass reflections)

ANGLE YOUR CAMERA TO THE GLASS! ive found typically i like to shoot either off to the left or right AND above or below my pic, ie working with 2 different angles both left and right, and up and down, will give me the clearest pic. it just minimize the ability to get a reflection off the glass. never take a pic square to the front glass, it never works well!

and the rest basically comes down to patience and playing with the different configs of your camera, i like closeup, high iso, sometimes if i have a fish that just wont sit still i toggle the camera over to the moving target function (blur reduction). i notice typically i lose detail in color when i do that, but sometimes there is just no other way to take a pic of some species that refuse to sit still for the camera.




thats how i have my setup, off center, angled up/down and left/right depending on where the subject of the photo is. extra lighting, like if im angled up, i put the light below the lense, if im angled down, its above it, if its angled to the left, i put the light on the right, and vice versa, what your trying to do is keep from picking up a reflection from your extra lighting.

and take LOTS of pics. digital cameras dont require film, so dont been stingy with the shutter. its going to take some patience.


also, digital cameras with autofocus are a general nightmare for filming fish in a glass box filled with water. the camera usually tries to focus on the glass (if your square to it) or the substrate or decorations. basically the stationary stuff is what it tries to focuse on unless your fish is big and takes up most of the viewport.

so what i have found, alot of time you can trick the camera, you can focus it on one of the objects in your tank by tapping the shutter button to trigger autofocus, get a clear focus, then move the camera to your target (while still holding the shutter button to keep that focus locked in) and move it in and out till you get the same clarity on your target, and take the pic. (that technique is mandatory for me when i use my old nikon)

you just gotta play with it and see what you can make work for you in your situation with the equipment you have available. trial and error helps alot but without some atleast basics on how to film a fish in a glass box your going to have a long day on your hands and knees infront of a fish tank swearing wishing that digital point and shoot had a manual focus on it like an SLR camera lol.
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marcus replied the topic: Re: Members tips to taking good fish photos

Win wrote:

well for me, a square to the tank, normal pic with flash is out of the question, i always get something like this...



also, digital cameras with autofocus are a general nightmare for filming fish in a glass box filled with water. the camera usually tries to focus on the glass (if your square to it) or the substrate or decorations. basically the stationary stuff is what it tries to focuse on unless your fish is big and takes up most of the viewport.

so what i have found, alot of time you can trick the camera, you can focus it on one of the objects in your tank by tapping the shutter button to trigger autofocus, get a clear focus, then move the camera to your target (while still holding the shutter button to keep that focus locked in) and move it in and out till you get the same clarity on your target, and take the pic. (that technique is mandatory for me when i use my old nikon)

you just gotta play with it and see what you can make work for you in your situation with the equipment you have available. trial and error helps alot but without some atleast basics on how to film a fish in a glass box your going to have a long day on your hands and knees infront of a fish tank swearing wishing that digital point and shoot had a manual focus on it like an SLR camera lol.


the reason the auto focus don't focus is they are controlled by infrared. it See's the glass. I tried using a telephoto lens but it just wouldn't focus and I gave up. I had to return to a shorter 50mm len. shorter lens seams to work better with auto focus on glass.

then I had the problem of the fish watching me rather than just swimming around. thats why I wanted to use the telephoto, so the fish would act normal. :laugh: I do have the option to turn off the auto focus and I should have tried that.

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Mohandas Gandhi
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Win replied the topic: Re: Members tips to taking good fish photos

marcus wrote:

Win wrote:

well for me, a square to the tank, normal pic with flash is out of the question, i always get something like this...



also, digital cameras with autofocus are a general nightmare for filming fish in a glass box filled with water. the camera usually tries to focus on the glass (if your square to it) or the substrate or decorations. basically the stationary stuff is what it tries to focuse on unless your fish is big and takes up most of the viewport.

so what i have found, alot of time you can trick the camera, you can focus it on one of the objects in your tank by tapping the shutter button to trigger autofocus, get a clear focus, then move the camera to your target (while still holding the shutter button to keep that focus locked in) and move it in and out till you get the same clarity on your target, and take the pic. (that technique is mandatory for me when i use my old nikon)

you just gotta play with it and see what you can make work for you in your situation with the equipment you have available. trial and error helps alot but without some atleast basics on how to film a fish in a glass box your going to have a long day on your hands and knees infront of a fish tank swearing wishing that digital point and shoot had a manual focus on it like an SLR camera lol.


the reason the auto focus don't focus is they are controlled by infrared. it See's the glass. I tried using a telephoto lens but it just wouldn't focus and I gave up. I had to return to a shorter 50mm len. shorter lens seams to work better with auto focus on glass.

then I had the problem of the fish watching me rather than just swimming around. thats why I wanted to use the telephoto, so the fish would act normal. :laugh: I do have the option to turn off the auto focus and I should have tried that.


lol thats great if your camera has lenses to change out lol. mines a point n click thats all integrated lol. seems the majority of people out there own these instead of the high end models with lenses and what not. of course the stuff may not apply if you own a 700-800 dollar SLR with a pack of lenses to pick from, you may have a better option available, but these tips should still work with that, the theory is the same! honestly i think manual focus is the way to go with taking pics of fish. atleast that way you know exactly what the end result should be.
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Noddy replied the topic: Re:Members tips to taking good fish photos

just one tip, clean your tankwindows before starting the photoshoot! :)
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Win replied the topic: Re:Members tips to taking good fish photos

Noddy wrote:

just one tip, clean your tankwindows before starting the photoshoot! :)



absolutly mandatory also!
nothing ruins a nice pic quicker than a dirty front glass!

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PAUL replied the topic: Re:Members tips to taking good fish photos

additional info: try to read and understand the manual of the camera itself.
i haven't done that because whenever i had problem with our camera, i just complain
and my kids will do the much needed adjustment for me.... and we have this fast
shooting camera that could take several pictures in one press only...
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south_east_oscars replied the topic: Re: Members tips to taking good fish photos

all i would really add to the shutter speed/iso balance and clean glass . is be patient , and if your camera supports it continuous shooting is a good idea .
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Virindi replied the topic: Re: Members tips to taking good fish photos

2 years since last post I don't care here is what I say from my experiences with a DSLR since I have my orandas and my oscar now.
- I found I have better sharpness when the camera is straight in front of the glass, no angle.
- The subject has to be close to the front glass, if he's far away behind a lot of water you lose sharpness because of the distortion.
- Have a powerful light, don't flash straight on the front glass, from the sides or from the top will work better.. flash or light.
- the depth of field is narrowed because everything looks more flat. A large aperture (low F number) is great for better light and less ISO, but there's a good chance that the fish won't be entirely in focus. Still, keep it very open shoot shoot shoot and keep what's acceptable.
- post processing, play with contrast, colors, sharpness, crop the image..

1/125s F3.5 145mm ISO 5000


1/200s F3.5 163mm ISO 4000


1/200s F4 200mm ISO 1250
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