Digital Aquarium Fish Photography – Simple Tips by Daniel Pomfret
There are some basic simple tips when it comes to photographing aquarium fish. In this post I will quickly go through the simple ways to improve your fishy photos using digital single-lens-reflex (DSLR) cameras.
The biggest problem is the reflections from the glass outside and inside, the front and back glass, the sides of the aquarium, the substrates like gravels and sand or even the fish themselves. One way to solve this issue is to use a rubber lens hood and press right up against the glass. Another way to position the light or flash at angle from the lens. Sometimes its best not use a flash at all and shoot with higher ISO. Also beware that some gravels and sands are very reflection and can cast unwanted dark shadows.
The type of lens to use is really only limited to your budget, but I prefer to use prime macro lens which give a greater depth of field and finer detail. It also really depends on what you want to achieve in the final shot.
For scientific purposes you want great detail in your image and you will need to use a large depth of field of the subject with the use of smaller apertures f32-11 and low ISO levels. This option requires the need for more available light or the use of flashes. But for a more arty pictures, you can get great pictures when using wider apertures like f8-5.2 and a high ISO like 200-800.
Sometimes if you don’t align your camera at right angles to the glass and the subject you may get little halos around the edge of the subjects, this is called Chromatic Aberration and is the scattering of light through the interface between the glass, the water, the air and the lens. So try to line up your camera at a correct level, this is not so easy with curved aquariums.
One final note is not to be shy about using digital editing programs as you will bound to come across aquariums with scratches and water marks. Using a healing spot brush usually resolves these problems on the final image.
That being said its not all straight forward and its not just the equipment you use it is the artist behind the camera that makes a great photograph.
That’s about it for now I hope you give aquarium fish photography a try – Happy Snapping. www.danielpomfret.co.uk