How to and why?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Stalker, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Stalker

    Stalker

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    As a new member I've picked up that there is always questions on how to photograph fish. I know most people use point and shoot cameras with only the basic functions and sometimes use a cell phone camera to try and take photos.

    As a photograther to help some people out I need to know how your photos come out to help taking better photos. There is basic things that might cost you R10 or so to build some toys to help you take better photos. I've got professional studio equipment to make the job easier for me and it cost me an arm and a leg, now you can make the same equipment out of paper, empty white see through bottle and a tea bag.

    Start posting and add some bad photos so everybody can see what you've done. It is not only you that is going to make the mistake, there will be a lot of other people making the same mistake.
     
    SalmonAfrica likes this.
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  3. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    Hi there

    I have a question but not photo to show unfortunately (I normally delete such shots). It's something I struggle with regularly - I'm often confronted with taking photos of very active fish (Danios, rainbowfish etc), however there is very little light available. I don't own an external flash, and even if I did, it wouldn't be practical/possible in places such as a public aquarium. What can I do in this case?

    Also, what can one do in the face of reflections on glass? Sometimes it's out of your control.

    Regards
     
  4. Skye01

    Skye01

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    @Stalker, thank you... I've seen that many of my pics have "noise", and that really is annoying. When I shoot a lot of my fish I actually press the lens of my camera onto the tank glass, and change the setting to "Behind Glass" and sometimes I'm lucky and sometimes not. I see every one is talking of F-Stop, white balance and shutter speed, but I cant really access all of this on my camera. I have an Olympus FE20 with 8mp zoom, and normally it takes stunning pics as you can see below...
    Incy Wincy Spider 5.jpg19 04 2009 7.jpg

    Then I get crappy pics like these...

    PB050580.jpgP9010352.jpg

    right now I'll settle for consistancy if that is at all possible. Thank you

    Incy Wincy Spider 5.jpg

    19 04 2009 7.jpg

    PB050580.jpg

    P9010352.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  5. mattie

    mattie

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    529769748_HG0uXM3E_c.jpg
    :):):)

    529769748_HG0uXM3E_c.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  6. OP
    Stalker

    Stalker

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    @ SalmonAfrica

    If you let me know what type of camera you use I can help that you can change some settings fot those places where there is not enough light. If you want well exposed photos that is clear you need to the aperture and increase the ISO. let me know your camera and I will check your cameras functions out. It doesn't help if youve got a point and shoot and I tell you all these changes and you can not change anything.


    Reflection is always around and they can make your photos look bad. Remember that if you stand infront of the tank and use a flash the light will be bounced directly back into your camera and bad shadows can appear. Always take a look from where the light sorce is cominf from. Stand with your back towards the light sorce and them zoom into the fish. The light will improve available light on the object and the light will reflect away from the glass. It is easier said than done, but if you get the correct angle you can avoid almost all shadows.
     
  7. gdt78

    gdt78

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    Hi @Skye01,

    Not to hi-jack the tread, but I think I got the same spider here.

    IMG_1417.jpg

    Does anyone know more about this type of spider ?

    IMG_1417.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  8. OP
    Stalker

    Stalker

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    @Skye01, When Ilook at the photos you've taken of your fish, I can see a few settings that iswrong on your camera.

    By setting your camera to "behind glass" it is going to battle to geteverything in the frame in focus. With that "behind glass it is changingyour settings automatically to avoid the glass to be so visible but it ismaking everything warmer(more yellow glare to orange). Glass got a greenish toblue color ant that is why you’ve got the function "behind glass".

    I don’t work with point and shoot cameras but I will help where I can andexplain why?

    You cannot change the shutter or aperture on your camera as everything ispreset, but you can change the white balance and ISO.

    Try the following and let me know.
    * set your camera to macro. this will increase your aperture (smaller F-stop)to allow more light to enter the lens. Your cameras minimum focus distance on"Behind glass" is 600mm(wide) and 1m (tele). If you go closer than600mm your camera is not going to focus sharply on the object. With macro theminimum focus distance is 10cm (wide) and 60cm (tele). This will bring youcloser to your object and the focus will be sharper. The other reason to change to macro is that your camera change the focus point to the centre of the photo and not the complete area of the photo. This will allow from the focus point that 1/3rd in the front will be in focus and 2/3rds will be in focus. This means that the plants in the background will become blurry.
    * the next thing to do is to take the ISO setting of auto and set it to 200.ISO 200 is the most common used ISO setting used to prevent noise to appear onthe photo. Your camera will now automatically change the shutter, but it mightbecome too slow to freeze the action of the fish. If the photo is to dark or toblurry, increase the iso to 400. This will increase the shutter speed and getbetter light. Try to avoid using an ISO of 800 or 1000 as this can create a lotof noise.
    * now to get rid of the greenish blue color of the glass? This is where thewhite balance is going to help you. /your camera got the following settings tochange your white balance: • White balance adjustment, • Sunlight, • Tungsten,• Overcast, • Fluorescent 1, • Fluorescent 2, • Fluorescent 3
    White balance adjustment is going to setup the white balance the best, but itis going to take time. Sunlight and tungsten will add more yellow to your photoand that is why your photos got that yellow to orange glare. If you useovercast or fluorescent it will add more blue to your photo. Try all till youfind the best white balance for your tank setup.

    Give it a try and let me know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  9. OP
    Stalker

    Stalker

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    this is a banded-legged golden orb-web spider (Nephilia senegalensis). it is not venomous and the web is strong.
     
  10. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    Hi there

    I have a Canon EOS 450D with the standard kit lens (18-55mm).

    Thanks, will try that. I had a suggestion that you can essentially 'box' your lens, and pressing the lens in said box against the glass, blocking out any reflection. Is this advisable?

    Thanks in advance
     
  11. Rickus

    Rickus

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    I have a Canon 350D, got it from my sister. She is not using it anymore. The problem I dont know how this thing works. And she forgot all how it work.

    So Im tagging along this thread to learn more.

    One question, we have a Mudskipper in a Paludrium, the glass is fogging up. how can I take better pics of him?
     
  12. gdt78

    gdt78

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    I have a 60mm makro lens, but I am thinking the focal distance might be a bit short for using it to photograph fish.

    Would you agree @Stalker ?

    Altough with lots of patience I did manage to get a couple of good shots.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  13. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    I had the same problem with my mudskippers mate - get yourself a spray bottle and fill it with dechlorinated water. When you want to see your fish better/take photos, just give the front pane a good few squirts, and wipe down with a tissue if necessary.
     
  14. Singularity

    Singularity

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    Just one thing i would like to add, make sure your camera focusses on the right thing, cleaning your glass will help alot as many cameras seem to love to focus on marks on your glass, here is an example to the extreme just to show what i mean.

    The subject was actually the rocks on the right of the frame, but they are soft...
    [​IMG]

    Here is a 100% crop of the image and here you can see that the focus was on the water droplets on the glass, for these type of shots i would suggest manual focus and use live view to zoom in 10x so that you can make sure everything is in focus, this is for slr`s ofcourse.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rickus

    Rickus

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    Thank you, will try this. My dad give my a few pointers on f-stop and shutter speed aswell. Will give a go.
     
  16. OP
    Stalker

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    You can box the lens to the glass. There is a few ways I know on how to prevent reflection but I hardly use it as I've got a globe diffuser for my flash. With your camera youve got a lot of things on the menu to help you improve the quality of the photos. You must just know what they are and how to use them.
     
  17. OP
    Stalker

    Stalker

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    @Rickus

    If you've gotthe manual go through there and check the basics out> if you haven’t got amanual try to find one on the net and download it. With the 350D it is notalways the most friendly usable camera as you need to go into a few menu's tosetup your camera. As we go along go in your menus and look for things you canchange to improve the quality of your photos.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  18. OP
    Stalker

    Stalker

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    @gdt78

    A 60mm focaldistance is going to be too short to take photos of small fish. If you usemanual focus it will work the best. With a fix focal length it becomes theusers responsibility to zoom in and out by moving the camera closer or away.Fish is normally too fast and you are going to battle to focus and zoom. Amacro lens only got better quality glass, more lenses within the lens and theglass is coated with a Nano coat to prevent glare on the lens.

    I will recommend a zoom lens between 18mm to 105mm F3.5 for the best shots. Itis a good lens for any type of photography.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  19. gdt78

    gdt78

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    Thanks @Stalker, you are actually spot on.

    Last question:

    I see you recommend a zoom lens between 18-105mm.

    Which one of the folowing lenses would you use as an alternative lens for photographing fish.

    75-300mm or 18-55mm ?

    I would say probably the 18-55mm right ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  20. OP
    Stalker

    Stalker

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    For small fish I will use the 17-300mm lens.

    this photo was taken with a 18-105mm lens with the follow settings:
    F5.6 (aperture)
    1/80s (shutter)
    ISO 200
    focal distance of 105mm
    White balance - flash
    I used a Nikon SB900 flash set at:
    OEV 0.0 with tank light on.
    [​IMG]

    for bigger fish I will use the 18-55mm lens. Big like 15cm big and bigger
    Normally with a longer focal distance you will loose light so you will need to up the ISO or make the shutter slower. If you make the shutter slower you might get blurry photos if you don't move your camera with the fish.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  21. Rickus

    Rickus

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    Manual, check. My dad is a bit clued up with cameras. He is also helping my. Last night I discoverd that the lens is broken, must have fall or something. Will get a new one asap.

    Question: ISO, with old cameras was the film speed, Correct?
    But a digital camera doesnt have a film.
     

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