Taking photos

I am barely able to take acceptable pictures of the family so I am starting from zero knowledge of this subject. Luckily, there are a lot of fish photographers willing to share their knowledge. Here is one of them.

Alf & Anita’s Killi Page ,

It seems easy until you try to do it. Especially with my “Point and Shoot” camera but I Angelfish white 6
don’t think poor tools is the only reason. Amazingly, my daughter takes much better pictures of the fish with her cell phone than I can with the camera. She is simply better at it.

Since the light is low and I can’t use the built-in flash due to the reflection from the glass, slow fish such as angel fish are easier. To do fast-moving fish, I would need a lot of light or a detached flash that shoots at an angle so the reflection isn’t visible.

I have learned to pay attention to the things surrounding the fish that detract from the picture…. and even seemingly mundane things like cleaning the glass.

After seeing the miserable results of trying to take pictures of Amica splendens, I could see that I really need a separate photo tank to take decent pictures of fish…. so I built one. I wanted it deep enough that I could put plants into the tank if I wanted to but small enough to keep the fish within my focus. I plan to make a partition to keep the fish in the front.

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Tank made of 1/4″ glass from a broken tank cover.

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2nd try at building Photo tank. This even holds water!
2nd try at building Photo tank. This even holds water!

The lighting wasn’t enough to take pictures of fish if they are moving which usually is the case. I had to increase the light so I built a bracket to place some lights above the tank but out of the way of the picture. Here it is.

Light bracket around photo tank.
Light bracket around photo tank.

The bracket is holding an LED floodlight of around 850 lumens. I can adjust the angle of the light angle to the tank from about 80 degrees to directly overhead. (0 degrees).

 

Fundulopanchax gardneri, N’Sukka, CI 2003
Fundulopanchax gardneri, N’Sukka, CI 2003

Not a good picture. The fish looks washed out because he is. I need to put some dark gravel on the bottom and some plants in the background to make him more comfortable. Also it’s a little out of focus and there are some reflections in the glass.

I added some black gravel and a dark green background which helped. I added another light and turned off the tank lights in the background which reduced the reflections off the camera which showed up on the tank glass.

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The remaining defects can be removed with Lightroom.

Fundulopanchax gardneri, N’Sukka

Fundulopanchax gardneri, N’Sukka

The focus is still off but it is good enough for identifying the fish.

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Amica splendens

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