Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Tips & Tricks

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 25, 2007, 5:31 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Default

Hello,

First time post here, I was just wondering if anyone knew how to take good aquarium photos. I've posted some pics in my photo gallery, which can be found here: http://www.christopherawheeler.com/g...?g2_itemId=128

I believe if you click on any of the thumbnails you should get a larger version of the picture, with some info underneath the picture, such as the model camera I have (Sony DSC-P73), as well as the ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc.

As you can see, every single picture is horrible. The only thing I can think of is that the auto focus just isn't focusing on the proper place. I've tried holding the button down halfway but it doesn't help.

If anyone is familiar with this camera and can help, I'd very much appreciate it.
JackBauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 25, 2007, 6:15 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

Steve says your camera has these focusing modes:
Focus - Multi AF, Center AF or fixed at 0.5m, 1m, 3m, 7m or infinity

If you aren't getting a good focus use the half meter or full meter setting and stand that far from the fish.

Cameras don't usually focus on clear glass but it can happen I guess. If you use a fixed focus you can eliminate focus problems.

The other possibility is camera shake. Looking at your guppy, you are fully zoomed at 117mm equivalent and using 1/50 second shutter. Normal requirements would be for 1/120 second, so you would have to hold the camera very steadily using the optical viewfinder and not the LCD. For the pregnant fish you are using a full second at 117mm equivalent. Superman couldn't handhold that shot. You would need a tripod. Look at the shutter speed when you half press.

Your best bet would be to shoot closer and not use zoom. You would go from f5.2 to f2.8, which would give you plenty of shutter speed for shots like your guppy. You would get around 1/120 sec and need only about 1/40 at that focal length.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 26, 2007, 7:54 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Davenport, IA
Posts: 2,093
Default

Another trick that pros supposedly use about to ease the focus problem is a clear sheet of Plexiglas slid into the aquarium to temporally confine the fish of interest to a narrower plane within the aquarium.
ac.smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2007, 10:05 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 51
Default

Welcome to the world of fish tank pictures - it ain't easy. I have a reef tank (heck of a lot of light) but the same principles apply.

#1 - tripod or monopod

#2 - Get close to the tank (which can spook the fish, ain't it fun - lol)

#3 - Put more light into the tank (if possible)

#4 - Feed the fish, they tend to be still for the split second they eat

#5 - Take a ga-gillion pictures

Using a tripod wait for the fish to swin through the area & then take the pic. Monopod allows you to follow the fish but it's not as stable. I have also left the camera/tripod in front of the tank for a while prior to taking pictures. Still requires a lot of pictures, it's tough to get them perfect - low light & fast moving subjects = tough.
Bailey59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2007, 12:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Tullio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370
Default

I think your problem has to do with lack of speed, not focus. Taking photos in low light with ISO 100 and shutter speed of 1/3 sec will never give you good images unless you have the camera on a tripod(IMO, of course). The two things I'd try are, increase the ISO to 400 and make sure the shutter speed is no less than 1/125 (or higher if the fish are active). If your camera does not deal well with high ISO (images are too noisy), lower itto 200 but you will probably be better off sticking to the 400 ISOand the PP with NeatImage (or any other software alike). I also don't think you need to lower the Exposure at all (I saw one of your images the Ev was set to -0.3).
Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2007, 8:18 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,396
Default

Pop over to this forum it is dedicated to just aquarium photography and has a lot of helps and tutorials :idea:

http://www.aquatic-photography.com/forum/


PeterP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2007, 4:31 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Ronnie948's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 721
Default

I was assigned to photograph a very large aquarium a few years ago and found that the cone you use around a dogs neck to stop them from biting or scratching a surgery procedure worked perfect for eliminating glare and I got some really great photographs. The Item is shaped like a funnel with a nice hole to stick the camera through and the wide end against the glass.The tank had sufficient lights and I was using film at the time so I really was not sure how the photo's would look but everything came out fine. A 40mm Hasselblad lens gave me very wide coverage. I forget the metering I used at the time. It was quite a while ago. It should be a whole lot better now with digital because you can see what you shoot.

Ronnie
Ronnie948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2007, 5:40 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
penolta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: California USA
Posts: 5,206
Default

Your pictures are no longer available, butthree things occur to me as possibilities that haven't been mentioned so far:

Macro mode: Your camera only focuses normally to 19 inches - if it does not shift automatically, you mustenter themacro mode to focus closer than that - check your manual.

Focus assist: Your camera also has a focus assist lamp that turns on automatically in low light; in some cameras this can reflect off the glass and override the internal autofocus. Check your manual and see if it can be turned off (there is an on/offmenu setting for "focus illumination", but Steve's review doesn't elaborate on what it does). Otherwise you may have to use manual focus.

Your camera also has shake reduction - make sure it is turned on in the menu. See this thread for some examples hand held with shake reduction: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=71

Hope this helps
penolta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 4, 2007, 4:52 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 51
Default

penolta wrote:
Quote:
Focus assist: Your camera also has a focus assist lamp that turns on automatically in low light; in some cameras this can reflect off the glass and override the internal autofocus. Check your manual and see if it can be turned off (there is an on/offmenu setting for "focus illumination", but Steve's review doesn't elaborate on what it does). Otherwise you may have to use manual focus.
Good tip. I think this was giving me lots of problems at the Birch Aquarium yesterday. I also like slipe's top for using specific focusing modes...don't know if my camera does that yet, but I hope it does and that I figure it how to use it before my next to the aquarium....hopefully this gives me more usable shots and reduces autofocus times.
leaftye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 4, 2007, 9:52 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default

I took many picturees last year at the Georgia Aqurium and found that the best way to get good pictures was

1.) shoot at an angle to the windows and tank opening, never head on......

2.) no flash... period I can better rescue low light pictures in photoshio elements with brightness adjustments than to try to remove that flash glare.

3.) natural light mode

4.) when I uploaded them from my camera run an auto levels in photoshop elements and they look good to me.

I took over 400 pictures and only 12 of them were not useable and those were the first 12 that I took while devising this formula. Plus the first 4 that I used the flash on and learned it was a BAD idea

hope this helps

dave
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:51 PM.