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You’ve probably tried taking photographs of aquarium fish and didn’t get good results. We’ll try to give you some tips; first, you need to identify all the variables that you are working during such photo shoot.
1. Glass: reflective surface that stands between the lens and your subject.
Using on camera flash or any type of light source from the front will produce highly destructive reflection. To ensure glare free image position your lights directly to the right or/and left of your subject. A backlight can be utilized as well.
2. Subject: Fish are constantly in motion, so when photographing with natural or continuous light higher shutter speed is required. Minimum shutter speed should be set to 60/sec. However with highly active and fast moving fish, you might want to increase the speed to125/sec. for ability to freeze that movement.
3. Keep your model happy: Best time to photograph your fish is during water change when the level of the water in the tank is low.Low level will insure that the fish will swim past the lens.Also with lower water the speed of fish’s movement would generally be slower.
4. Size of your subject: A fish that is smaller than 5 inches will require a macro lens. However if you do not have one, then extension tubes can be used on any lens as an alternative.Please note: when using extension tubes you are increasing the length of your lens so digital camera sensor will become more sensitive to movement (thus will require higher shutter speed and stability for the camera. So using a tripod will be necessary. ) Please note that when using the extension tube image will result a narrower depth of field.Keeping water level low will help you to get your fish into the frame faster and thus reduce shooting time.However if you do not want to disturb your fish’s habitat you can keep your tank at its normal level but embrace your self for long anticipation.
Set camera to manual focus.
Wait for your fish to come into that focal point. Keep your fish food close.
Set camera to auto focus and choose “Automatic selection” as your AF point. Camera should be able to focus on the fish automatically. Success with auto focus will depend on camera model.
Have fun. It’s like going fishing!
Here is one of the final shots:
For more info on equipment used see: Photo and Grip Equipment for Clamp Lamp Studio