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Thread: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

  1. #1

    Default How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Hello to all the clubsnap experts,
    I am a novice to photography, and currently own a DSLR Olympus e450 which comes with 2 kit lenses, a 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, and a 40-150mm f4.0-5.6. Do not have any macro lense or remote shutter release or add-on flash.

    I want to take better photos of my tiny nocturnal shrimps but finds it very challenging for me. Theses are sulawesi shrimps.

    Problem:
    They come out only at night when all the lights are off.
    They are tiny, about 1.5cm to 2cm in size
    They detect movement and hide quickly
    They don't come near the sides and glass of the tank.

    I have been setting the shutter speed really low, to 1/2 sec or lower, and the aperture to about F5.6 on the 14-42mm lense. ISO 400 or higher.

    These are some shots I have captured. Really need suggestion on how I can improve my future photos. All recommendations and suggestions are most welcomed.


    A caridina dennerli


    A caridina striata


    A caridina tigri

    Thanks in advance.
    STHH

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    I'm not an expert in photography.
    So I cant advise on you...

    But, Very NICE Shrimps.
    How much per piece are they?

    Tried raring shrimps before, but they dont last long in my tank... LOLS

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    i seriously doubt you can do much here.

    you can try getting a faster lens, but other than that, because they are behind glass, flash will be a problem.

    any way to brighten the lights in the tank itself? will it affect their emergence?

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    you need a flash, just place the flash above the tank, water will diffuse the flash light, and if you have a ttl cord, better still.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  5. #5

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    As nightmare has said, you really cannot do much with your current setting. A macro lens is a must to capture the shrimp in its more majestic form. Shooting thru' the glass, you could place the flash from above to avoid flash back. This position would also give the shot a natural sunlight effect. To share with you, this hinge-beak shrimp was taken with a 105mm macro lens with two strobes (flash).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkgofootprint/4509433831/

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    From what i gathered in an aquatic forum, you'll need at least 2 flashes. one strong one from above the tank, and more from the sides of the tank. You'll be shooting from the front. Hope this helps.
    Sean

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Quote Originally Posted by joycegian View Post
    I'm not an expert in photography.
    So I cant advise on you...

    But, Very NICE Shrimps.
    How much per piece are they?

    Tried raring shrimps before, but they dont last long in my tank... LOLS
    Yup.. very nice shrimps. Fragile and very shy creatures. Needs very good care to survive. They have lived for quite a while in my tank. Cost me $7 each then.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i seriously doubt you can do much here.

    you can try getting a faster lens, but other than that, because they are behind glass, flash will be a problem.
    any way to brighten the lights in the tank itself? will it affect their emergence?
    I am not using flash. Tried that a few times. Always get weird overexposure, and then after that, the shrimps all "run away" into their hiding spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    you need a flash, just place the flash above the tank, water will diffuse the flash light, and if you have a ttl cord, better still.
    I just turn on a 25w aquarium light.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkgoxplore View Post
    As nightmare has said, you really cannot do much with your current setting. A macro lens is a must to capture the shrimp in its more majestic form. Shooting thru' the glass, you could place the flash from above to avoid flash back. This position would also give the shot a natural sunlight effect. To share with you, this hinge-beak shrimp was taken with a 105mm macro lens with two strobes (flash).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkgofootprint/4509433831/
    I have been looking out for a macro lens. Don't have one right now. The only one that I think will fit the bill for Olympus is the 50mm macro. Another thing I can do is to swap over a T5 40watt aquarium light over the shrimp tank.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeAnCoLd View Post
    From what i gathered in an aquatic forum, you'll need at least 2 flashes. one strong one from above the tank, and more from the sides of the tank. You'll be shooting from the front. Hope this helps.
    Hmmm.. 2 flashes. Going to be tough to set it up. I don't even know how to place these flash.

  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Quote Originally Posted by trelch View Post
    I am not using flash. Tried that a few times. Always get weird overexposure, and then after that, the shrimps all "run away" into their hiding spot.


    I just turn on a 25w aquarium light.
    using built in flash, hotspot on the glass?

    Quote Originally Posted by trelch View Post
    I have been looking out for a macro lens. Don't have one right now. The only one that I think will fit the bill for Olympus is the 50mm macro. Another thing I can do is to swap over a T5 40watt aquarium light over the shrimp tank.
    perhaps your shutter speed will increase from 1/2s to 1/4s
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    You definitely require flash. Darken the room, set your camera to manual mode. Large aperture (4 or smaller number) shutter speed must adjust so that when using flash, the picture does not overexpose. Note down all setting like shutter speed, aperture, iso, and the setup of the flashes. Then wait until the shrimps come out. Then shoot.
    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Quote Originally Posted by trelch View Post
    Hmmm.. 2 flashes. Going to be tough to set it up. I don't even know how to place these flash.
    didn't what SeAnCoLd had mention already clear enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeAnCoLd View Post
    From what i gathered in an aquatic forum, you'll need at least 2 flashes. one strong one from above the tank, and more from the sides of the tank. You'll be shooting from the front. Hope this helps.
    anyway, you can use two pieces of aluminum foil stick to both left and right side of the tank instead of set up another flash.

    when you are using flash, you can increase your shutter speed, not necessary to darken the ambient of the room. but be careful of catching your own reflection cause by the flash, wear black or use black cloth to cover anything that reflected on the glass.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Hmm... I'm a novice when it comes to dslr also, but I notice you got twin lens. How about using the 40-150mm instead and use it at the "least zoom" (i.e. 40mm). That way you get F4.0 instead of F5.6 (which is about 1 stop I think?) from the same distance when you are using the 14-42mm at its furthest range, since you can't get near the tank. Or if the shrimps stays really still, you can "zoom" in to get a tighter crop while keeping the same aperture and shutter speed.

    The aquarium light you are using seems good enough from the pics, plus I think using flash will scare your shrimps (and it may affect their lifespan negatively if they get scared too often), so around ISO800 should be sufficient? ISO1600 if you don't mind the noise.

    Otherwise you can just succumb to buying more equipment. ^^;

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    i have a radical idea.

    find a way, i.e. water tight container etc, glass bottle, and submerge your flash in the water and control it wirelessly
    pedantic.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    what's wrong with the picture?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Since glass is transparent, use another piece of glass, same width or length ( whichever you think is convenient ) compartment your tank into a narrow space ( i.e. restrict your shrimp movement ) and then place diffeused light over that area and wait for right moment and shoot.
    This method has got the advantage of all your shrimps will be within the depth of field area.
    Last edited by cabbySHE; 4th July 2010 at 02:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    TS, have you tried planting X'mas moss. I think that will give a very nice greenish backdrop. Also I would think that placing some food would entice the shrimps to come out and stay still. I used to rear some Yamato shrimps but they did not survive very long. So I thought better not murder them further.

  19. #19
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Actually the pics are not too bad. One way to sort out the problem:

    - Set up a standing spot light with sufficient over the top of the tank
    - Observe the behaviour as to where they normally hang out
    - Aim at the area where you will be shooting them
    - Turn on the light regularly so that the shrimp get use to it
    - Set Camera on tripod with attached remote
    - Place lens as close to the tank glass as possible
    - You may need to remove the UV filter
    - Cover (black cloth) like a cone between the camera and tank glass to reduce unwanted reflection off the glass and that the shrimp do not know that youíre in ambush position too
    - Good idea to use the 40-150mm @40mm giving f4
    - Set you focussing point and get ready
    - Sprung the trap when shrimp is in position

    Post some more pics and let us know how you do the shots

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How to shoot better photos of these shrimps?

    Sulawesi shrimps, not that easy to rare. Used to have a few but all didn't make it.

    I used an additional florescent light, and a macro attachment to take pictures previously. Need to choose the best spot (eg on the log, etc), adjust the lighting, and wait for them to stop by. Oh ya, camera was on a tripod, and just snapped continuously, choose the best shot later.
    Last edited by huggable; 4th July 2010 at 06:04 PM.

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