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Thread: Aqua photography.

  1. #1

    Default Aqua photography.

    I had tried countless time to take a good pic of my pet arowana using a Nikon D40. Before the shot,i cleaned the tank,off all the light outside the tank and just by using the 2 huge tank light above the tank. The problem is i just cant get a good pic of my fish. I had off the flash trying to get the natural colour of the fish,but its turn out blurish as the fish is moving at all time. I really need some professional help here in order for me to get a good shot of my fish.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    I'm no professional, but have taken pics of my arowana.

    Your lens are probably not fast enough (ie aperture not wide enough) to have good shutter speed for the tank lights.

    Either you increase the tank lights, or get a faster lens, eg 50mm f1.8 or f1.4.

    I'm not sure what tank lights you have, but it's possible f2.8 might barely make it.

    I haven't tried using an off shoe sync cord to put the flash above the tank, but I think it would frighten the fish

    Gd luck and have fun
    Last edited by midicity; 20th March 2007 at 11:09 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by midicity View Post
    I'm no professional, but have taken pics of my arowana.

    Your lens are probably not fast enough (ie aperture not wide enough) to have good shutter speed for the tank lights.

    Either you increase the tank lights, or get a faster lens, eg 50mm f1.8 or f1.4.

    I'm not sure what tank lights you have, but it's possible f2.8 might barely make it.

    I haven't tried using an off shoe sync cord to put the flash above the tank, but I think it would frighten the fish

    Gd luck and have fun
    tks bro, im using T5 light for my fish,but i believe u r right, my stupid std D40 len might be too slow that. I might consider changing the len.Beside that any other thing to take note?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Flash does not really give unnatural color. In fact, it can bring out the brilliance if u use it as a fill-in flash. You mentioned motion blur by the fish, therefore a minimum shutterspeed of say 1/60 secs is a must.

    Use aperture priority, set F5.6, ISO 400, use flash. Partial meter on ur fish and try to ensure that the shutterspeed shown is at least 1/60 secs. If not, then u have to up your ISO value(no choice here, unless you add more tank lights).

  5. #5
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    at f2.8, there won't be much DOF anyway...

    Well, you may want to try using stronger lights or else, up to 3 flashes (1 from top, 1 from left and 1 from right) all triggered simultaneously.

    Nikon's AWL can achieve this, but for you with a D40, you'd need a SB-800 or a SU-800 as a master unit.

    With such a set-up, you'd be able to shoot well at approx f5.6 - f8 for good clean shots at ISO 200 - 400.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonafido View Post
    I had tried countless time to take a good pic of my pet arowana using a Nikon D40. Before the shot,i cleaned the tank,off all the light outside the tank and just by using the 2 huge tank light above the tank. The problem is i just cant get a good pic of my fish. I had off the flash trying to get the natural colour of the fish,but its turn out blurish as the fish is moving at all time. I really need some professional help here in order for me to get a good shot of my fish.
    Please visit the photography section of www.aquaticquotient.com
    We have folks there who can help ya...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Off-camera flash(es) from the top of the tank works best in your situation.

    BC

  8. #8

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    One big caution with using flash on your arowana depends very much on the temperament of your arowana. If it is a jumpy aro and frightened by the flashes, it could cause it to jump, hurt itself, stop eating etc.

    If you are taking other fishes, you should have less concerns with flashes.

    It depends on how many fluorescent lights you have inside your tank. If you push it up to 4-6 tubes, you should have enough light to give you fast shutter speed without flash. I've done it before.

    As you will be taking the side view of the arowana, it should be ok to take at even f1.8 as the fish is likely to be swimming parallel to the tank walls. Make sure you focus on the eyes and take a lot of shots.

    If you do decide to use a flash, you cannot shoot with a DSLR mounted flash because of the reflection off the glass. If you shoot from an angle, the fish will look distorted because of the 12mm glass

  9. #9

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by wong1979 View Post
    Flash does not really give unnatural color. In fact, it can bring out the brilliance if u use it as a fill-in flash. You mentioned motion blur by the fish, therefore a minimum shutterspeed of say 1/60 secs is a must.

    Tks u very much for ur advise bro, but for taking Aro,flash really make the Aro look yellowish and orangy,its actually hide the natural colour,thats y i want to do it without flash. I will try to set the shutterspeed as what u mentioned.



    Use aperture priority, set F5.6, ISO 400, use flash. Partial meter on ur fish and try to ensure that the shutterspeed shown is at least 1/60 secs. If not, then u have to up your ISO value(no choice here, unless you add more tank lights).
    bro, i really dunno how to set the ISO value?just recently got the DSLR still at the exporing stage,will be better if clubsnap got a buddyclub we could tag along and learn from all the Shifu here.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    at f2.8, there won't be much DOF anyway...

    Well, you may want to try using stronger lights or else, up to 3 flashes (1 from top, 1 from left and 1 from right) all triggered simultaneously.

    Nikon's AWL can achieve this, but for you with a D40, you'd need a SB-800 or a SU-800 as a master unit.

    With such a set-up, you'd be able to shoot well at approx f5.6 - f8 for good clean shots at ISO 200 - 400.
    wah that will be very expensive bro.

    Quote Originally Posted by wynx View Post
    Please visit the photography section of www.aquaticquotient.com
    We have folks there who can help ya...
    tks bro for the info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scaglietti View Post
    Off-camera flash(es) from the top of the tank works best in your situation.

    BC
    i alr off the flash,but the pic turn out blurish.

    Quote Originally Posted by midicity View Post
    One big caution with using flash on your arowana depends very much on the temperament of your arowana. If it is a jumpy aro and frightened by the flashes, it could cause it to jump, hurt itself, stop eating etc.

    If you are taking other fishes, you should have less concerns with flashes.

    It depends on how many fluorescent lights you have inside your tank. If you push it up to 4-6 tubes, you should have enough light to give you fast shutter speed without flash. I've done it before.

    As you will be taking the side view of the arowana, it should be ok to take at even f1.8 as the fish is likely to be swimming parallel to the tank walls. Make sure you focus on the eyes and take a lot of shots.

    If you do decide to use a flash, you cannot shoot with a DSLR mounted flash because of the reflection off the glass. If you shoot from an angle, the fish will look distorted because of the 12mm glass
    tks bro, i will try to use a faster shutter speed,might change my tank light to a higher k-rated and try to shoot without flash and try again.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Off camera flash does not mean switching off the flash light.

    It means you are using the flash away from the camera's hotshoe. I.e. wirelessly or using a sync cable (i.e. SC-28 or SC-29)

    For small tanks, you may get away with just 1 single flash mounted just above the fish tank firing down directly (you may want to use a difuser attached to the flash as well)

    As for multiple flash light set-up, yes, it's costly, but you'd get the best lighting.
    SB-600 x 3 = $900
    SB-800 x 1 = $600++

    And for the tank lights, it's not the K rating which you have to increase. You need more wattage. How big is your tank anyway??

  11. #11

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    oh man! you have the exact same problem that i have!!!! ive been trying to shoot my arowana ever since i got it and i havent been able to get any decent shot!

    i just got a canon S3 IS and it still cant to the job. ive done alittle checks on pictures on arofanatic and it seems that alot of the pictures are taken at 1/40 or 1/60. i can only get 1/25 at F2.7 and the picture is a mess. im thinking of building lights to light the tank..

    wana meet up to exchange ideas?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonafido View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scaglietti View Post
    Off-camera flash(es) from the top of the tank works best in your situation.

    BC
    i alr off the flash,but the pic turn out blurish.
    I do not mean turning off the flash... I mean a off-camera remote flashes.

    BC

  13. #13

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonafido View Post
    tks bro, i will try to use a faster shutter speed,might change my tank light to a higher k-rated and try to shoot without flash and try again.
    The "k-rate" is not light intensity... it's light colour temperature. Lower K is orangey and higher K more whitish/bluish. It will not help in your shutter speed.

    BC

  14. #14

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Off camera flash does not mean switching off the flash light.

    It means you are using the flash away from the camera's hotshoe. I.e. wirelessly or using a sync cable (i.e. SC-28 or SC-29)

    For small tanks, you may get away with just 1 single flash mounted just above the fish tank firing down directly (you may want to use a difuser attached to the flash as well)

    As for multiple flash light set-up, yes, it's costly, but you'd get the best lighting.
    SB-600 x 3 = $900
    SB-800 x 1 = $600++

    And for the tank lights, it's not the K rating which you have to increase. You need more wattage. How big is your tank anyway??
    my tank is a 5 x 2.5 x 2.5ft

  15. #15

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by hacknet View Post
    oh man! you have the exact same problem that i have!!!! ive been trying to shoot my arowana ever since i got it and i havent been able to get any decent shot!

    i just got a canon S3 IS and it still cant to the job. ive done alittle checks on pictures on arofanatic and it seems that alot of the pictures are taken at 1/40 or 1/60. i can only get 1/25 at F2.7 and the picture is a mess. im thinking of building lights to light the tank..

    wana meet up to exchange ideas?
    bro,can pm me contact, im also the member in arofanatics too,same nick as clubsnap,can exchange knowledge on Aro keeping too.

  16. #16
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonafido View Post
    my tank is a 5 x 2.5 x 2.5ft
    How much light do you have to cover this tank??

    You might need LOADs just to get it illuminated well enough for such a big tank. Using a calculator for plant load :

    You will need 467 watts of lighting for plants with low light requirements, 700 watts for Plants with medium light requirements and 935 watts for plants with high light requirements.
    So you may be looking at something like 300 - 500 watts for decent illumination.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    How much light do you have to cover this tank??

    You might need LOADs just to get it illuminated well enough for such a big tank. Using a calculator for plant load :



    So you may be looking at something like 300 - 500 watts for decent illumination.


    they normally use watts per gallon right..? how does that translate in photograhy terms?

    my aro tank is pretty pathetic, about 0.5 watts per gallon, im thinking of dumping a couple 36 watt fluorecent lights in there to raise it up to at least 1.5watts per gallon. what colour is good for fish tanks? would the classic cool white work?

    thanks!

  18. #18
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by hacknet View Post
    they normally use watts per gallon right..? how does that translate in photograhy terms?

    my aro tank is pretty pathetic, about 0.5 watts per gallon, im thinking of dumping a couple 36 watt fluorecent lights in there to raise it up to at least 1.5watts per gallon. what colour is good for fish tanks? would the classic cool white work?

    thanks!
    Well, take it that you consider your tank to be about 210 gallons (at about 90% filled) and you'd be looking at about 105 watts or so at your current rating of 0.5wpg

    at 1.5wpg, you'd be needing something like 315 watts of light, i.e. another 4 x 55w lights to add in... or 6 x 36W....

    CLassic cool would be somewhere in the range of 8000k or so, which is quite ok, but you may want to throw in a red to help accentuate the arro's colours.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    nah, my tank is only 60 gallons, i would probably want 3 FL? i would be able to hit 1.5w/gal already, or is 2 a better target?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Aqua photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonafido View Post
    tks bro, im using T5 light for my fish,but i believe u r right, my stupid std D40 len might be too slow that. I might consider changing the len.Beside that any other thing to take note?
    Actually, D40 not stupid, because it is only a tool. You probably can try a faster lens, or increase your ISO value so that you can work with a faster shutter speed. Read your manual. It helps alot.
    "Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real" -Ansel Adams

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