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How to take aquarium photos?

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  • How to take aquarium photos?

    For those moments when you feel like taking a picture of a fish in your aquarium at home or in the zoo, how can you do this to make the perfect shot? In a regular aquarium there is much light to work with, but it's a bit harder in those cave-like aquariums at the zoo (I guess flash is not an option?).

    Any of you got any hints?

    EDIT: Now I noticed this was a photo sharing section... But if I get any tips I can make it one
    Last edited by Pigelin; 03-17-2010, 04:13 PM.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
    Canon EOS 500D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, Canon EF 50mm f/1,8

  • #2
    What I have found in terms of using flash is that it depends on the angle of your camera to the angle of the glass and just how far away your subjects are. I have had some great luck with my own tank and when I have been traveling where there have been large ones.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/teedlepeep/

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    • #3
      When I went to an aquarium last week, there was a "no flash" rule. Of course, this didn't really change how I was going to photograph things, but sometimes it doesn't even matter if you want to use flash. My best tip is to use a prime lens and high ISO. I wound up using my 85mm f/1.8 most of the time, and an ISO of 2500. And at f/1.8 that was just enough light for the tanks.

      See? Turtle (by -Nicole-)
      Nikon D600 | D90 | Sony NEX-3
      Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 | Nikkor 70-300 | Lensbaby 2.0 | Nikkor 85 f/1.8D | Nikkor 105 f/2.8 VR | Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 | Nikkor 10.5 f/2.8 Fisheye | Sony 16 f/2.8 | Sony 18-55 | 2xSB600 | Orbis Ring Flash Adapter
      My Flickr

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      • #4
        Fit a rubber lens hood to the lens and press that against the glass, this will remove any reflections from the glass. With the rubber hood on the glass you could use off camera flash with some success, if it is allowed.
        best regards
        Kev
        http://www.photosbykev.com

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        • #5
          Ive been looking around on the strobist website, and he mentions a technique of using a piece of paper on the side of the fish tank and an off camera flash which fires through the paper. Using hes standard procedure of exposing for the ambient then under exposing and using flash to balance out the shot. He had some interesting results obviously only in cases where flash is allowed but worth a read maybe
          You cant fool all of the people all of the time, some of the time all of the people will some of time but not all of the time as some of the time all of the people will some of the time but all of the people will not all of the time !!

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          • #6
            I just ran across a reference to this on a different forum.
            Aquarium photography How to photograph your goldfish in tank
            Ross
            ARKreations - http:/photos.arkreations.com
            Nikon D300 | D80 | SB-800 (x2) | SB-600 (x2)
            Nikkor Lenses: 14-24 f/2.8 | 24-70 f/2.8 | 50 f/1.8 | 85 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8 VR II | 70-300 VR

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            • #7
              Nice picture Nicole! I really like the bubbles For now I don't have anything lower than f/3,5... So my EOS 500D wouldn't be too glad about the high ISO I would get where you took your photos. But I'm thinking of getting the nifty fifty

              Originally posted by krossk
              I just ran across a reference to this on a different forum.
              Aquarium photography How to photograph your goldfish in tank
              Thanks for the link krossk.
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
              Canon EOS 500D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, Canon EF 50mm f/1,8

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              • #8
                The nifty fifty is a godsend in aquariums. I've used that in combination with my old D50 to take pictures in aquariums too. I definitely didn't use as high an ISO there as I'm willing to with the D90. So it is possible to use a lower ISO depending on how the lighting is.

                One fish, two fish, red fish... (by -Nicole-)
                Camera: Nikon D50
                Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
                Aperture: f/1.8
                Focal Length: 50 mm
                ISO Speed: 800

                Also

                Fish (by -Nicole-)

                Camera: Nikon D50
                Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
                Aperture: f/1.8
                Focal Length: 50 mm
                ISO Speed: 400

                It totally depends on what kind of lighting is in the tank. But I do notice that my one constant is that I seem to be using f/1.8 a lot! So if you do enjoy taking pictures in low light situations, a lens with a high aperture will be very helpful.
                Nikon D600 | D90 | Sony NEX-3
                Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 | Nikkor 70-300 | Lensbaby 2.0 | Nikkor 85 f/1.8D | Nikkor 105 f/2.8 VR | Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 | Nikkor 10.5 f/2.8 Fisheye | Sony 16 f/2.8 | Sony 18-55 | 2xSB600 | Orbis Ring Flash Adapter
                My Flickr

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                • #9
                  I agree 100% with Nicole. I took tons of photos at the aquarium here and used my 50mm 1.8 wide open for most of the shots. By the way, Nicole, those are some fantastic shots you posted!

                  Catfish

                  Lionfish

                  EXIF is the same for both photos:

                  Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi
                  Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
                  Aperture: f/1.8
                  Focal Length: 50 mm
                  ISO Speed: 640
                  Exposure Bias: -1 EV
                  Flash: Off, Did not fire
                  Susan
                  Mostly Canon stuff
                  My Flickr
                  Facebook - new photos always posted and always happy for new "likes"!
                  Website going through an overhaul!

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