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Author Topic: My tips for taking pics of fish  (Read 1240 times)
Ron H
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My tips for taking pics of fish
« on: June 20, 2011, 03:43:10 AM »

Hi all, Goldiegirl asked if I would give her some of my tips on taking pictures of fish, so I thought I would share...
(1) First of all I move the aquarium light to the very front of the tank (still leave it on top of the aquarium) this will get some illumination onto the fish and reduce some of the shadows, then turn off any lights behind you so they dont reflect off the front of the tank, watch out for other things reflecting off the tank as well, like sunny windows, if this is a prob, do it at night...
(2) A digital camera with a manual mode is essential... for the picture below I turned the flash OFF as it refects off the front or back of the glass and create a hotspot in your image  ...  
(3) With most cameras that have a manual mode (and some that dont) you can change the ISO film speed (old film camera jargon)... If you can set it 800 or above (that will help stop some of the blur), you will get a bit of grain in your image, but that is one of the trade offs. In the image below I set it to ISO 1000...
(4) The last setting you will need to change is the white balance setting, set it to fluorescent if this is your aquariums light source or tungsten if you use an incadescent light (like a ordinary light bulb)...
(5) Last of all the cameras aperture and shutter speed have to be set, for the image below I used a shutter speed of 1/125 and an aperture of F4 with a 40mm lens, you may need to experiment (digital cameras are great for this as you can just delete it if the exposure is off) but try to keep the shutter speed around or faster than 1/125 to stop the fish blurring, if need be adjust the aperture to tune your exposure. Because fish are mostly on the move you may still need to wait until the fish slows down a bit to get a sharp pic...
I only have digital SLR cameras but I just checked and I was was able to do these settings on my partners compact digital camera which does have a manual mode ...
Hope this is of some help and my explanation is not too complicated, hope to see some great pics... cheers all > Ron.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 05:13:22 AM by Ron H » Logged
fantailer
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 05:33:47 AM »

Wow! Are you an expert?
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Ron H
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 06:00:58 AM »

 Cheesy  No, Im not a pro but there is always hope, wildlife photography has always beeen my hobby and passion... and I read a lot of photography books and magazines... also one of the components of my education was instructional design (lol) good to be able to use it... hope you were able to follow it all... cheers fantailer > Ron

PS: forgot to add one of the other ways you can try to get a good pic is by tracking the fish with the camera while snapping the pic (try to use a faster shutter speed 1/250 or faster and ISO number over 1000) also you could try using a tripod or similar (for this you need to have your fish be reasonably still).... > RH
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Hanna
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 06:10:20 AM »

Ron, he's a gorgeous fish, striking Grin

Very good tips, thank you mate. I love taking pics of our fishies too.

Cheers
Hanna
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Nossie
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 03:47:40 PM »

Great info! Smiley Gotta look into it when I'll grab a newer and better camera Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 03:27:09 AM »

No worries,  Smiley I am happy to share with you all something that I know a little bit about... just as you all have been so helpfull  sharing your knowledge of fish and all things fishy Cheesy ... if you have a go and you are having some problems let me know and I wil be glad to help or discuss it... cheers > Ron
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fantailer
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 04:26:39 AM »

Are you an expert? Never mind Tongue
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 04:32:12 AM by fantailer » Logged
Nossie
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 04:30:13 AM »

You already asked, fantailer Grin
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fantailer
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 04:31:39 AM »

Oh yeah. Cheesy Shocked Cheesy
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MB Gold
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 10:22:28 PM »

I've had my camera for over a year and I just recently started playing with the settings, lol Tongue  Your tips are great, tried some earlier today with really nice results Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 06:34:25 AM »

Can you please post them?? Smiley Provided that they're photos of your fish Wink
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MB Gold
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2011, 01:09:04 PM »

Lol, all fish pics Wink  Just got a few plants and changed my light bulbs so I'll post some in the photo section Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 03:35:15 PM »

THANK YOU, RON!  Cheesy Wonderful tips, I can tell you really know your stuff! It was great of you to write out all of your tips and tricks for getting a nice photograph, karma  Smiley. I recently got a new digital camera and am still learning how to use it, and your suggestions have been very helpful. Cheers as well  Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2011, 07:07:18 PM »

wow thanks all,  Smiley  great to hear some of you have tried it out and had good results, ... sorry I have been off for a few days working and setting up my new Aquarium   Wink  .Cheers > Ron
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Nicole
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2011, 07:22:36 AM »

Thanks a bunch!  Any tips for video?
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BigBob
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2011, 08:32:34 AM »

That is an amazing shot. Thanks for the tips. How would you go about taking a pond fish photo?
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Ron H
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2011, 04:24:50 AM »

Hi Bob and Nicole, with video I think from memory you can also set the white balance to an indoor light setting, also the video camera's autofocussing may try to focus on the glass, you can reduce reflections off the front of the glass, by turning off the lights behind you, that may help a bit, you can also try using the manual focus but on the modern compact video cameras I find its a little impractical and not that easy to do...
Bob, I have done a few pond pics here at (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) ... the one real problem I had with taking these pics was trying to reduce the sky and some of the surrounding trees etc  from reflecting off the water surface and causing what looks like a double exposure on the image, I had to find a position where the refections were not a problem and shoot from there... as for white balance use the daylight, or cloudy or shade setting (whatever is applicable)...
as for ISO speed, I used 800 that day (it was cloudy and F.B moves a lot) but if its bright outdoors set it to 400... with the aperture I used F5.6 and shutter speed was 320 and 400 (cloudy day and the light kept changing), a faster shutter speed will give you sharper pics if your fish are constantly moving around like F.B. was that day... hope this is of some help and if I have missed anything feel free to ask... > cheers Ron
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Ron H
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 01:24:38 AM »

Hi again, I have another tip that may help those with compact camera's...
I was listening to my brother whinge about how slow his new compact camera was at capturing action, so I had a look to try and sort it out ...
the prob was that when you press the shutter button there was at least a second interval before the shutter fired, by the time this happened the moment was all over and the picture was ruined...does this happen to you???
anyway what you need to keep in mind is that the camera's shutter button works in two stages! 1st stage is to press it halfway and hold, then the camera will set the focus and exposure (exposure/focus is now locked)... 2nd stage is to press the shutter btn all the way and the camera fires and captures the picture...
so the thing to do is to frame the subject and follow it if need be, press the shutter button halfway and hold, so it sets the exposure and focus, then keep following/framing the subject (while still holding the shutter btn halfway) and when the moment is right press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture... there shoud be no camera lag and the camera should take the picture right away...

one more thing to keep in mind is that if your subject moves to far forward or back while you have the focus/ exposure locked, (and fish are a bugger for this) remember it is moving out of focus range that you have just set so you will have to start again and refocus/set the exposure etc or the subject will be blurry... hope thats not too complicated... cheers all > Ron
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 01:27:26 AM by Ron H » Logged
GoldFishNoob
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2011, 01:30:33 AM »

Awesome picture! This would work so well me for me...if I had a tank light and a good camera! Doh. >.<; lol
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Skwishee
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2011, 01:15:44 PM »

Haha I wish I had a better camera, the only good photos I get are when Lucky occasionally stays still!

Great tips Ron! *karma*
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Ron H
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2011, 04:17:37 AM »

cheers Skwishee, and I agree most fish are very hard to photograph, capturing moving subjects takes patience and time...
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breniboo789
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2012, 09:37:18 AM »

Thank You! Hahaha I was terrible at it!
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burdettdonna
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Re: My tips for taking pics of fish
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2012, 01:17:00 PM »

I had fun reading to comments. Thanks for sharing tips about marine fish keeping though.
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