Aquarium Photography

Upon trying to master my fish photographing skills and being a bit unsuccessful at it I decided to do a bit of research on the subject of aquarium photography. Below you'll find the list I put together with the credited sites listed below so, feel free to leave any other helpful tips you may have on this subject, and hopefully we all can start taking awesome aquarium photographs together.

1. Avoid using a flash or use a flash that can be moved above the image you are trying to photograph (keep in mind a flash can stress animals, cause a glare off the aquarium, and may not be permitted). Using a lens hood can also help reduce glare from the glass of an aquarium. If there is too much natural or outside light this can also cause a lot of unwanted aquarium glare, a dark room with the aquarium light alone can often be more ideal.

2. A fast lens with a big aperture, preferably an f/2.8 or faster (the lower the f number the faster the lens, and a big aperture will allow for more light if you can't use an adjustable flash).

3. A fast Shutter speed (to avoid blurry images of moving fish) and an of ISO of 800 up to 1600 because a fast shutter speed will cut down on more of the light you need so it's important to crank up your ISO to balance this out.

4. If you can later edit your processed images using noise reduction this will also help to create a clearer final image (using a circular polarizer lens cover may also help cut down on noise) . Also editing your images later on can create more vibrant images (as often times a lot of color can get lost through aquarium glass).

5. Keep your camera stable (tripods may be restricted inside the aquarium). Pressing the camera lens against the aquarium can help stable the camera against the glass (use a UV filter to avoid debris or scratching the lens). Try to keep the camera perpendicular to the glass in order to avoid distorted images of your subject.

6. Avoid using an Automatic Focus (AF). Use a Manual Focus (MF) with a short depth of field as your object is constantly moving and using the AF will focus too soon before you'll be able to get a clear shot at the moving subject (doing this will help reduce blurry images). Be sure you get the correct White Balance set on your camera, you may even find using a Fluorescent setting on your camera can help in photographing your subject matter (it may help reduce blue tint). Also try using the Fast Action mode on your camera if available. Also if your camera has a Macro function this can also help photographing your subject at close range).

7. Have Patience. Take many photos. Photograph at different distances. Don't just photograph fish but also their habitats which can be very beautiful as well. Carry spare batteries and memory cards.

8. Using a DSLR camera should be more beneficial in low lighted conditions than other cameras.

9. Try to wipe off the area of glass you're photographing at, if it's dirty your camera will probably end up photographing that into your image. When the aquarium water is as clear as possible it will also allow for better looking photos.

Credited Sites


What is That?

Click Image to Enlarge
As I was using the rapid-shoot on my digital camera to try and get some better photo's of my guppies (I didn't exactly succeed in getting any non-blurry images BTW) I did came across an interesting find which I hadn't noticed until I was later viewing over the images on my computer. As you can see from the above image here there is some type of creature which dwells in my aquarium... I am not 100% certain as to what this is (perhaps planaria?). Thus far I haven't been able to see these creatures with my own eyes although I have been able to spot planaria before. Interestingly enough certain cameras are capable of capturing things of which we can't see with the naked eye, and the guppy is capable of seeing them.. and even eats them as you can see from the slide of photo's I took below (you may have to look closely!).


Betta Aquarium Makeover

I had been wanting to do a desert themed aquarium for some time now but I could never find anything at my local pet-stores of any true interest... until this past weekend at Petco. So, I decided to give Mr. Moto (my blue veil-tail betta) a Cubus aquarium makeover.
Petco now has some gravel-sand type substrate sold in-store (not just online) and it comes in really nice colors like the sienna shade that I bought. I also LOVE succulent plants so I just had to get Petco's light green desert bush, the product says it's not made for water use but... I never listen do I, hahah. For the background I cut out some skyblue colored foamboard which I already had on hand, I believe I got it from Michael's craft store. I think I might add some 1-2cm sized light colored pebbles around the base of the plant later-on, just to add a bit more interest to my design here.

If you've noticed how sparkling clean my Cubus aquarium is looking again I will also be doing another post soon which will be based on... how to remove calcium buildup.


River Monsters

If there is one fish show on TV that I actually really do enjoy watching it is River Monsters on Animal Planet. This is not your everyday boring channel catfish or bass catching show... this is more about fish that are that of legends and myth, and discovering what really lives under the waters surface.
River Monsters (Goliath tigerfish)
I'm personally hooked on the show, and find it amazing at how powerful and unique a lot of fish truly are (and scary!).