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View Full Version : Desperately Seeking Fish tips!



cat
01-23-2007, 09:04 AM
Help! Anyone got any tips on photographing fish? Finding it very difficult!!! Best two thus far.. 'almost' get away with poor focus at this size but any bigger and they give the game away!!!!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/123/363888795_be8f529e91.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/118/367091570_a8fbb00256.jpg

I'm using a Canon S2. With macro/supermacro I struggle to get a focus at all, with the Raynox macro lens added I get this but still not getting the sharp focus or real detail that I would like...

mattdm
01-23-2007, 11:15 AM
You're taking these through the glass of the tank, or are you using an underwater camera housing?

cat
01-23-2007, 11:35 AM
Through the glass I'm afraid - a housing would cost more than my camera :D

mattdm
01-23-2007, 11:42 AM
You might have some luck with a polarizing filter (linear -- you don't need circular for the S2). That'll cut down on the incidence of reflection from the glass, which should both make the pictures more clear and help the autofocus system actually target the fish instead of the tank.

I haven't actually tried this except for a few random shots at the New England Aquarium, where I found my filter was pretty helpful. (Sorry, nothing online.)

danidabi
01-23-2007, 12:29 PM
I can't get pics of my fish either. They turn out terrible.

cat
01-23-2007, 12:45 PM
Will definitely try a filter - think I have one floating about somewhere! I'm not really used to using a flash which adds to my difficulties! I dislike artificial brightness and am not experienced enough to get a natural look using it. Experimented a bit with paper this evening to try and diffuse the glare a little!!! Any more tips would be appreciated ;)

John_Reed
01-23-2007, 12:52 PM
Have you tried panning the fish, that is, moving the camera with the subject as it moves? Here's some old examples I once took with my Panasonic FZ15 a couple years back:

http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/32004518-L.jpg

That one was at 1/4 second, and the fish was moving upward as I shot it. I just stayed with it through the exposure, and it turned out OK. The second one is at 1/10 of a second, same technique:

http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/32004470-L.jpg

John_Reed
01-23-2007, 03:51 PM
I was shopping in Walmart a little while ago, and noticed that they have live fish. So, just happened to have my handy-dandy Panasonic FX50 in my pocket, I whipped it out and took a few fishy photos. The first one's at ISO 500, 1/125:

http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/125076894-L.jpg

And the second one's at ISO 400, again at 1/125:

http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/125076989-L.jpg

Generally, the fish were moving, but the higher ISOs let me use a faster shutterspeed. I still "panned" with the subject fish to get the shot.

cat
01-24-2007, 12:55 AM
If I used ISO 400 my photos would require considerable photoshop therapy!!!! I understand what you are saying though - I actually did track with most of my shots but the ones without flash were still poorer than those with. I can see this may be a little trial and error to get a happy balance :D

John_Reed
01-24-2007, 06:37 AM
If I used ISO 400 my photos would require considerable photoshop therapy!!!! I understand what you are saying though - I actually did track with most of my shots but the ones without flash were still poorer than those with. I can see this may be a little trial and error to get a happy balance :DThe problem with flash would be that the light from the flash would reflect off the exterior walls of the tank, wouldn't it? I didn't mention for my goldfish that I was shooting these little fishes fairly closeup, in full wideangle. Gets harder as you get further away. The Jellyfish shots were at ~140mm equivalent. Flash also wouldn't let you track fish movement for slow shots.

rickalm2000
01-24-2007, 02:39 PM
judging by my recent experience flash is not a good idea, it completley bleaches out the tank walls and you get a bright whitish spot where you would normally see through.

my best results came using no flash in a dark room with a very well lit tank with a bright colored background inside. the tanks with no background didn't hold enough light in to get a good exposure

heres the link to my post with my pics-- http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28065

John_Reed
01-24-2007, 11:43 PM
judging by my recent experience flash is not a good idea, it completley bleaches out the tank walls and you get a bright whitish spot where you would normally see through.

my best results came using no flash in a dark room with a very well lit tank with a bright colored background inside. the tanks with no background didn't hold enough light in to get a good exposure

heres the link to my post with my pics-- http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28065Nice work there.

cat
01-25-2007, 02:14 PM
At the risk of appearing a complete twit.... the filters I have are 58mm ( right size for the adapter ) but won't fit my macro lens which requires 49 mm ( I think!!! ) filters.... can someone clarify for me before I pick another up - are filters filters? as in do filters for digital cameras have some strange mysterious ingredient that filters for film cameras don't??? Sounds a very foolish thing to ask it's just a quick look on ebay seems to suggest the digital filters go for a bit more than film filters.... :confused:

John_Reed
01-25-2007, 02:47 PM
At the risk of appearing a complete twit.... the filters I have are 58mm ( right size for the adapter ) but won't fit my macro lens which requires 49 mm ( I think!!! ) filters.... can someone clarify for me before I pick another up - are filters filters? as in do filters for digital cameras have some strange mysterious ingredient that filters for film cameras don't??? Sounds a very foolish thing to ask it's just a quick look on ebay seems to suggest the digital filters go for a bit more than film filters.... :confused:There are probably some "better" quality filters, also some "worse" quality filters, but since light is light and lenses are lenses, and both digital and film cameras share these things in common, I really doubt if there's an extra component to "digital" filters, other than maybe a price premium? I could be wrong, but that would be my take on the issue.

The question kind of reminds me of the old days when TV antennas for "Color Reception" were priced at a premium, even though, like the situation here, a radio signal is a radio signal, and both color and B/W sets received radio signals at the same frequencies from the same stations.

cat
01-26-2007, 03:26 AM
Cheers John - picked up a Jessops one for 99p on ebay ... which seems a bargain seeing as they sell for 25 on the Jessops site :eek: