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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a good visual explanation on how to take successful tank pictures. Pictures are taken from Aqua Journal but are worth passing along. This project was done on small cube (10G or so) but same principle applies to bigger tanks.

1. Use black cardboard to create L shape space.


2. Place tank in the middle of provided space.


3. Important step !!. Make sure your canopy or given covering fixture is NOT leaking any light. DIY fixtures are usually done with available/cheap materials and most of the time are responsible for not attractive full-tank photos. One could fix this by taping already available canopy and covering light leaks in the front, sides and back !!!!.


4. Use of styrofoam boxes becomes very convenient here since cutting circles or other shapes is fairly easy.


5. Cut circle, rectangle, square or whatever shape you need to fit your light source.


6. Place the light.


7. Put the light ON and check for leaks. There shouldn't be any light coming out of the canopy !!!!!.


8. Final picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
HanshaSuro said:
So would you say that most pro tank shots are not taken with the lighting used to grow the tank?
Perfect example of a pro tank and pro photography would by Takashi Amano. Here is one of his photography setups.



But average photographer could add couple more bulbs, use cheap Halogen light (make sure you set White Balance manually), increased ISO setting (don't do it too high or you will get NOISE) and you will get great photo.
 

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Any tips on Digital camera settings for best photos. I am using a Canon A70 with the standard lenses. Settings like flash, F stop and apeture settings would be helpful, atlesaat maybe a place to start. I wil post a pic later of what I have taken so far. It is a 10 gallon tanks and I light it for photos with 4x15watt NOflorescent tubes. One 6700K, one 8000K and 2 9325k tubes.

This is probably my best pic. Any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dennis,

Did you setup White Balance manually ?. It looks like you are missing some reds but it could be just my monitor.

1. Please follow my comments from other topic. I already see major problem with overexposed tips Hygrophila polysperma

I would strongly recommend Contrast Masking which could be done in PhotoShop.

http://www.greenstouch.com/various/aquarium_photography.pdf

Please read this article as well

Understanding Contrast Masking
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/u-contrast-masking.shtml

2. I would try to get even angles on your side glass or at least crop the picture so you don't the sides.

3. Not sure if you are going for blurry-fish effect or your shutter speed wasn't fast enough.

Increase shutter speed --> increased light --> snap the picture.
 

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Sorry jay, I can't resist....
...after you have finished crapping the picture, you may want to crop it a little as well :wink:


I agree, I use the same camera (A70) and it looks like you need to set manual white balance and increase shutter speed to underexpose it a little. Keep in mind you can do a lot with an underexposed photo where as you can do very little to overexposed areas. Other than that, good shot!

Also, if you stand back more with the camera, the sides will be less visible and at a lower angle than when shooting up close, this will also increase depth of field which can make focusing a little easier as well, not that you have any focus problems with the current shot. Most of my full tank shots are taken from about 12 feet away, using the zoom to get up close.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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The lopsided sides of the tank can easily be straightened in Photoshop by using the "distort" tool (from all things, haha).

I do believe though that it's better to position the camera very carefully and zoom the lens to a length that produces straight lines (more or less "normal" focal length). The camera positoning is a bit hard to do precisely but beats the option to fix things in Photoshop.

In Dennis' picture the camera was just a bit too high in relation to the center of the tank. That produces the sloping lines but there is a benefit - the plants end up more evenly lit. Also such angle may be the usual way the viewer sees the tank.

--Nikolay
 

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hello everyone.

my girlfriend just got an olympus c-765 and we were trying to take some nice macro shots.

we selected a shutter speed of 1/1600 and f8 and in super macro mode on the camera the image appears dark, is this due to insufficient lighting?? Because when we put it on normal macro mode the image is nice and bright because of the flash.

So I guess my main questin is how can we take a beautiful super macro shot without the flash???

add more lighting to the tank temporarily?? I am ideally hoping to take pictures like the ones in the super closup post in this forum.

thanks for your help in advance!
matt
 

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Discussion Starter #13
loachman2123 said:
hello everyone.

my girlfriend just got an olympus c-765 and we were trying to take some nice macro shots.

we selected a shutter speed of 1/1600 and f8 and in super macro mode on the camera the image appears dark, is this due to insufficient lighting?? Because when we put it on normal macro mode the image is nice and bright because of the flash.

So I guess my main questin is how can we take a beautiful super macro shot without the flash???

add more lighting to the tank temporarily?? I am ideally hoping to take pictures like the ones in the super closup post in this forum.

thanks for your help in advance!
matt
Matt,

Olympus c-765 has Macro and Super Macro modes for focusing as close as 0.5-inchs from the lens which is very good and you should easily take some nice photos without investing in any step up rings.

You mentioned shutter speed of 1/1600 :shock:

Your camera has the following Shutter Speeds

Auto: 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec.
Manual: 1/1000 sec. - 15 sec.
Night Scene: 1/1000 sec. - 4 sec.

How did you get 1/1600 ?

You don't need those kinds of speeds for macro shots. What are you shooting ? fish or plants ?

Get more light and start shooting with ~200/250 or so. Please report back with some samples.
 

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~200/250 means try 1/200s or 1/250s for shutter speed. It's still relatively fast, but allows more light in.
 

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That's pretty impressive for some early shots. Sometimes macro shots are really difficult if the subject won't stop moving. You will take hundreds of photos before you get even one decent one.



This is one I took of a cherry shrimp. It is next to a few leaves of marsilea for reference. While obviously far from a perfect photo, it's not bad. The DOF is good but it's a little too grainy. Cherry shrimp are much easier to photograph than my fish, as I pretty much only have fast moving specimens right now. They are tough to photograph. Keep practicing and you will get better.
 
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