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Photo Tips Needed


airwen

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Hi-

I've just been admiring everyone's gorgeous pictures in this forum! Nice job everybody. :)

I'd like to know some tricks, tips, etc. to taking good fish pictures. All my fish photographs end up like a blurred orange streak.

Is there anything that has worked well in photographing fish for anyone? Any information would be greatly appreciated!

(Sorry if there is another post about this or something, I couldn't find any.)

Airwen

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Sit still for a very long time! :lol: Really, a digital camera is the biggest help b/c there are a lot of wasted shots! Also, use a camera with a macro function to take close-up shots and then use an editing program to zoom, crop, etc. That's all I can offer as far as pix. go - experimentation and patience. Now, will a real photographer please step in and give us both some real advice! :rofl

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My best shots have been with a digital camera and a flash. The trick for me is to just hold the camera against the glass to prevent a flash return on your pictures. I find that if you don't use a flash on a digital camera you have to remain 100% perfectly still... and so do your fish.

You will find that 75% of your pictures will NOT turn out. So it's like finding a diamond in the rough when you get the perfect one. Just be patient and try different things. But like I said what works best for me is to hold the camera right against the glass and wait for the right moment. Another trick is to shoot the picture on a bit of an angle to the tank. That decreases the flash too.

Of course this is for my camera... it's not a top of the line camera but it's still a pretty good one.

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I also use a digital with a flash. I usually just take the pictures on a bit of an angle to the glass so that the flash doesn't reflect too bad. If it does, it's typically off to the side in the photo so I can just crop it out.

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Well I took your suggestions to heart right after I got my first fancy goldfish (I've had goldfish for.. 11 years now, and this is the first fancy one I've ever had) today. I saw this chubby little Pearlscale at the LFS about a week ago, and I was near there today and realized I'd never get him off my mind if I didn't buy him. He is adorable, and so much easier to photograph because he moves so much slower than my other fish. Here's the devART file:

http://www.deviantart.com/view/21760801/

The orange one is Carrot, my other mutt goldfish, who I've had for 9 years and who got in the picture, but she moves too fast to take good pictures of so it's the best I could do.

I hope to get more, better pictures soon. Thanks for the help! :)

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Thanks. He is adorable. :heart My mum thinks he has a tumor cause he's so fat, but he's perfectly round and acts normal so I doubt it. I am hoping he'll grow to be more brightly coloured and that the notch in this fin will grow out. It's not diseased, it just looks like someone was hungry and took a chunk out of it. :( Hehe I'll shut up now; I could talk about my unnamed fish all day long. :D

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I too use a dig camera and flash, I take heaps and heaps of shots to get a few good one. Fancy's may be easier as they dont dart around like comets do. I find taking pics of Fred (Lionhead) alot easier then Mullow (Shubunkin)

by the way airwen your pearlscale is georgous!! so cute :)

I hope to get one in near future aswell.

Let us know what you decide for a name.

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Guest scott123

if u r using a film camera use 800 speed film a fast film will help eliminate the blurr. Also hold your camera with booth hands as steady as possible some people would tell you to use a tripod but I dont see how you could with the fish moving around all the time. I wouldnt use a flash if u can help it to reduse glass glare from the tank. Leave your tank light on and that should give u enough light for a good exposure. If u have windows in the room where your tank is be carefull to avoid getting the reflection of the window in your picture u may want to wait till night if u do. Get as close to your tank as possible. If u have an auto focus camera u may want to set it to manual focus to avoid your camera focusing on the wrong things.

hope this helps if it does maybe u can help me figure out how to get my pics from my compuer to the sight. lol I can take a picture but I cant seem to work a computer!

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Can you get your pictures from your camera to your computer, then save them as a file in a folder somewhere? If you've got that far, all you have to do is upload them to an image host, like photobucket.com or imageshack.us, or even Yahoo photos. I think there's a Sticky about it. Or Pinned, or whatever it's called here.

I've got an Olympus digital camera. I also have a cheap Kodak digicam, but it doesn't work as well. Both make my pics really yellow if I don't use the flash, because the tank light has a yellow cast to it, and I suppose the photo brings it out.

I am going to try using a tripod, once I can figure out how to set the darn thing up, and take pictures from far away and from a slight angle, which reduces glare, apparently. I can zoom and crop on the comp.. I will try that and see how it works. Thanks for the tips!

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  • 3 months later...
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I'm with y'all all the way with digital cameras. You can take as many shots as you want without busting your bank on blurry shots. Here are my tips:

If you don't use flash you capture your fishs' color more accurately, if you do use flash it can drown out colors.

It all really depends on the type of cam you have and its control/settings but without flash, use a tripod. It's a good idea to wait till your fish is not moving around like crazy :krazy: but it's not necessary that they have to stay still like a statue. Play around with ur shutter speed, the faster your shutter speed the more "frozen" and hence sharp your image...but too fast of a shutter speed and not enough light gets processed so you end up with a black or dark image...try playing around with the various speeds. So without flash, use tripod, bump up the shutter speed, patience and then click.

For flash, the main problem is glass glare. To avoid this, stick the lens right up to the glass. In order to take clear images this way you have to have some sort of macro setting otherise the object (your fish) may be too close and it'll be blurry anyways...some digi cams even go as far as having super macro for super close up shots. Another thing you can do is try shooting at a slight angle. Play around with it, you'll get the idea of where the flash glare is with respect to the camera view.

Some cameras (I know the Canon powershot series) have special modes that you can use..one of them is "underwater" ...this does help focus through glass and in objects in the water. Great for taking fishy shots.

Also, back to the "type" of camera... If you're pretty interested in photography I highly recommend you get a digital SLR type and not the autofocus type because the autofocus, as its name implies, focuses on what it thinks is the subject of your photo and can sometimes focus on stuff you don't want it to. I find that I'm in more control with my SLRs.

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I've used digital cameras for about 6yrs photographing my goldfish. It depends on what kind of camera you have to what settings you need, some wont let you customise much, others will.

For starters you'll need a fast shutter speed, most cameras will allow you to change this setting. I use around 1/250th of a second for my fish. This is will full external light (sun and tank lights) no flash. The thing with shutter speed is if you go higher (say 1/2000) then you will have black photos because not enough light can reach the sensor. Also if you use a slow shutter speed (1/10) then your fish will all be a blur because it is taking in too much light and info and will come out blurred.

For flash, well my camera does 12x optical zoom, 45x digital zoom, so i can sit on my couch 2m away and take photos of the fish that will fill the whole picture and still be in full focus, but normal budget type cameras definately wont be able to do this. You will need to be up close and i find the flash washes out colours, unless you can customise them. So try to use as much natural light as possible, this part is a bit of trial and error, have a play around with your camera and see what comes out best :)

Some cameras come with a macro mode. My camera has a macro mode up to 0cm, so an object can literally be touching my lens and it will still be in focus. Most cameras will only do up to 2-3cm, which is still good for fish as long as they are not any closer :) This is my lionhead using macro mode, 1/250 shutter speed and camera flash. Can you see the darkened areas around the fish? I think it adds a good effect, but other times its bad, this was because i was too close to the tank with the flash. Theres been no photoshopping apart from me adding some funny text :P

http://tbbw.customer.netspace.net.au/fish%20010%20copy1.jpg

I find these are the basics for getting a clear focussed picture, there are many more, but alot of family cameras don't allow you to customise things.

I wouldn't recommend getting a DSLR as a family type camera, unless your going to get into some serious photography. They are big, you have to play with lens' (VERY expensive lens' mind you..) and the body alone will set you back around $1300 for a good one and then you need to buy lens' etc. There are plenty of "prosumer" type cameras on the market which will do everything in your wildest photography dreams without the price tag. Any good digital camera will let you set your focus, i find i have NO troubles focussing on the things i want.

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Guest labrat99

My $.02 ....

A lot of people are recommending no flash, I've gotta disagree with that advice unless you have a digital slr in which case you can set the ISO speed high enough to freeze the image. Otherwise you're almost sure to end up with a BUNCH of blurry pics and maybe one or two decent ones.

For a digital point and shoot, use the flash and shoot from a slight angle, not straight on. That way the flash does not reflect back into the lens! Also. shutter lag can be a problem so I usually hold the shutter button halfway down to get the camera to lock on the subject and set the white balance, then when I'm ready to fire the shutter it goes right away without delay.

Also having some type of photo editing software is very helpful.

I hope this helps...

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  • 4 weeks later...

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