View Full Version : Aquarium Photos

03-07-2008, 07:46 AM
I have a Samsung Pro 815 camera and I want to take some decent pics of the fish in my tank.

Needless to say they never keep still.

I'm no camera buff at all, so in laymans terms ( or if you have a Pro815 yourself even better) What settings would you recommend so I can get some good clear shots?

03-07-2008, 11:31 AM
got a tripod? also is there lots of light in the tank?

03-07-2008, 11:48 AM
You need light, light, and more light. Even a tripod would be of little help if they're moving. There isn't really any trick to it or any settings that would improve things unless there's enough light to get a relatively fast shutter speed with a low ISO.

Gary Meissner
03-07-2008, 01:58 PM
I don't have a fish tank, but have been told that one thing that helps is to get a sheet of glass and position it so it's about 1-2" from the front of the tank. Then the fish are trapped and can swim back and forth, but can't move to the back of the tank and out of focus.

03-07-2008, 06:00 PM
One trick - use a flash but take it at an angle to avoid reflection. You can rest the lens against the glass as an anti-shake technique, again at an angle.

I've never tried this but in theory, you could use a hood and press it against the glass (straight on). Then there's no space in front of the glass for your flash to interfere.

If you had a Nikon (with it's built in RF flash transmitter) you could hold the flash to the side as a means of avoiding reflection.

Using a P&S camera you are at a disadvantage because quality high-ISO is not an option.

Note: Flash can hurt some fish so use caution. For that, you're stuck with very high ISO as the only way to capture motion.

03-07-2008, 06:28 PM
just stick the lens up against the glass and have alot of light in the tank and you shouldnt have any problem

03-08-2008, 03:05 AM
Make sure that both the outside and the inside of the glass wall of the tank are spotlessly clean.

03-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Couple things that have worked for me:

1) Put the camera close to the tank
2) Put yourself as far away as you can... usually means hiding or sitting still for awhile until the fish ignore you and start to swim around the front of the tank again.

I usually try during the day when there's lots of natural light as well as the tank lights.

Accept that some fish are more photogenic than others.

04-09-2008, 09:59 PM
Hi, my son has asked me this same question so he can post pictures of his fish on a fish forum that he belongs to. So I thought I would practice for him, I tried getting a shot with my little fuji f20 with no flash, not so good. Then I pulled out my rebel xt with the ef 28-105mm lens on it and that didn't do so well either, it did ok with the flash on but not without. So I put my ef 85mm 1.8 lens on and I think I found a winner. The fish were not cooperating either ... they just wouldn't sit still.

04-11-2008, 11:26 AM
I have had a little success shooting my fish. Light is key. Usually the lights that are always on the tank are not enough. I use floods from above (CAREFUL!). And I have had more luck shooting in burst mode then going back through all the pics I took and sorting the winners from the losers.


04-11-2008, 04:39 PM
Beautiful...those pictures are awesome, and you did that with the S5is, love it. My son's tank is a real big one, I will have to remember to try lights over head when I go to his house. Thanks for the tip.

04-11-2008, 10:21 PM
I usually have my XTi set to 800 or 1600 when we visit the aquarium where we have an annual passport for unlimited admission. I also use the 430EX Flash to illuminate the subjects, but the following photos were taken with the pop-up flash and the kits lens:

04-13-2008, 01:25 AM
Beautiful...those pictures are awesome, and you did that with the S5is, love it. My son's tank is a real big one, I will have to remember to try lights over head when I go to his house. Thanks for the tip.

Thank you very much Cindy. Yes, all of those were shot with my S5I, I love this camera, it has been the perfect first step into the hobby.

I got very discouraged when I first started shooting my fish because I wasn't getting anything good out of my efforts. I tried many things before I found a few tricks that work really well. I found super-macro mode can be great but you have to be really patient. I also found that shooting from 6-8 feet from the tank but zoomed in can work very well. Turn all lights in the room off except those above the tank, and it helps to have something blocking the light from going anywhere but down into the tank. And as I said before burst mode can yield some unexpectedly good shots, sometimes you just catch them at that moment when they are still.

On a VERY sad note... the fish in the first pic, with the red dorsal fin... I found him this morning... no longer... swimming.. :(. He was probably my favorite fish.

Good luck and post up some pics of your progress!