Sunday, 15 February 2009

Photographing Fish

Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I have tried to photograph the fish in our aquarium on a few occasions but with unsatisfactory results. These are the first that I have taken that are anywhere near good. I have set up a new aquarium in the last few weeks. It is much bigger than the old one which makes photography easier. The old tank also has a mirrored background which makes it look bigger than it is but also makes it difficult to get a good photograph.

Black Moor and Oranda

The tank is glass all around and so I put a large sheet of black card behind it to give a uniform background. I first tried taking photographs in the evening using just the aquarium light. This did not work very well because I could not get a fast enough shutter speed. Many of the photographs were blurred.

Black Moor

Next, I tried taking photographs during the day with the room lights and the aquarium light on. This enabled me to get much faster shutter speeds although I still had to use an ISO of 800. I set the white balance to florescent - the aquarium light is florescent although the room lights are tungsten. As I usually do, I set the camera in aperture priority mode. I set an aperture of 5.6 to give me the fastest possible shutter speed. It was then a matter of taking lots of photographs and accepting a high failure rate as fish suddenly changed direction and I was too slow to keep up with them.


The two fish shown in these photographs will go back into their old tank in a couple of weeks time. I have cleaned their old home and am setting it up again for them. Their present tank will then become a tropical tank. This will give me many more opportunities to practice taking photographs of fish in aquariums.


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