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Does A Background Help With Photos?


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  • Regular Member

I haven't decided how I feel about a background. I don't like most of the standard ones I've seen. Black ones look good on a lot of tanks I see, but I have a more natural look going, so I don't know if that would work. Anyway, I don't have one right now and I'm wondering how much difference it makes in being able to get good photos. Thoughts?

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  • Regular Member

I definitely notice a difference in photo quality depending on the background I have. For most fish, a black background makes them more photogenic, but I have a dark butterfly telescope who is difficult to photograph with the black background because she tends to blend in. My camera seems to pick up details better when there is a high contrast between the fish and the background color.

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  • Regular Member

I wonder if one could find aquarium backgrounds that have a blue gradient; like from light to dark blue? That could simulate the background of a deep pond, no? Or maybe you could try one of those textured aquarium backgrounds where it looks like a rock wall (like the second picture in this link: http://www.watergardeningdirect.com/acatalog/Aquarium-Backgrounds.html )

As far as good photos go, the lighter colors tend to reflect light better, giving your photos "fuller" lighting and letting your camera photograph at a higher shutter speed. (less blurring!) Or at least, that's been my experience. :o

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  • Regular Member

I might try it. I was also thinking about trying maybe an earth-toned fabric of some kind that would give some texture, but not be so stark. I really like the moden look, like what you have, but I also like the natural look. Hmmm.

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  • Regular Member

Commis, they do sell those at my LFS, in two different dark tones. Both are gradient. They have a third one there too which I absolutely love, the blue tone is slightly more purple, kind of like the blue on my avatar. The problem with that one is that it is made for tall tanks and if I'd have to cut it down for my own tank most of the gradient would have to be cut off.

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  • Supporter

personally, i don't think a background makes a difference.. infact, i think it has more to do with the angle of the lens when you're shooting and how good your camera is.. ie, i used to have a camera that liked to focus on bubbles rather than the subject.. i've upgraded to one that does this less, but that does not mean that every pic i take is 100% infact in 50 photos i take, 5 or 10 will be good and perhaps 3 to 5 of them will be excellent.

background or no background, who here can say that every pic they take is perfect? in my opinion, i think the background is more for show and has little effect on the result of a picture where it concerns focusing on the subject.

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  • Regular Member

The thing I'm not so crazy about with backgrounds is that they add color that in my opinion is distracting from the colors of the fish. I know the paneling sure isn't the most beautiful background but I like how it doesn't distract from the fish at all. If it wasn't for aquarium glass having this green/blue tint to it, my fish would look like they are just floating along the wall in my living room, and I kind of like that.

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  • Regular Member

I use material. Right now I have black. Sometimes I use wrapping paper. You can get it in all kinds of colors. But most the time you can get smallish pieces from the scrap bin of cloth for a buck or two that well do wonderfully.

Depending on size for tank you can use all sorts of stuff. Saw a tank once where they used floor vinal(sp). You can use construction paper at least till it gets wet. Even seen someone manage to paint a scene on a piece of wood and put it behind the tank.

Your only limited by your imagination.

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  • Regular Member

lots of light and fish that are holding still is helpful

that said I find I get less reflections at night with the room light off (no window light) and use spot lights focused on the fish

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  • Regular Member

If you can adjust your exposure time it helps. I have to do mine somewhere between minus 1 or 2 but yes my tanks with black on the back are easier to get good photos of.

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  • Regular Member

Thanks everyone. I think I'll probably try out a background and see how I feel about it. I've just been having a hard time getting good photos and I started to wonder if the background (or lack thereof) might be a factor. I have some leftover fabric in the closet that might work.

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