How to take photographs in a low light tank?

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SCORPIO
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How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby SCORPIO » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:43 pm

I am just curious to know how to take photographs in a low light tank? I saw some awesome photographs of light tanks on internet but never get success. Please guide me.


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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby navneethtk » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:22 pm

I don't know if I'm doing it right but I keep the ISO at 800, aperture at 1.8 to get the best low light results.
Here's an example:
Image

Sent from my Panasonic P11

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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby sushant » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:23 pm

you can try some of the below steps:

-Arrange a temporary light for the tank.(if you didn't mean photographying in low light)

-For low light photo graphy the aparture should be fully open, Shutter speed should be very low and ISO should be high( ideal value depends on the make of camera as after certain value noise become very high).

-I would recommend using apreature priority mode ( Av) where changing the Aperature, the camera will automatically adjusts the shutter speed to expose the photo to it's predetermined setting. with ISO around 800.

-Lens also plays an important role here (lens with aparture of 1.2 or 1.8 (eg.50mm 1.8) would be much better than with 3.6-5.6(most of the stock lens like 18-55).

-Using tripod would also help for all low light photography.
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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby SCORPIO » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:53 am

Thanks Guys. But high ISO will blur the photographs.
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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby navneethtk » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:28 am

SCORPIO wrote:Thanks Guys. But high ISO will blur the photographs.

That blur is called as noise sir.
you've to keep a balance of all three for a perfect shot.

Try external sources of light as well?

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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby sushant » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:47 am

SCORPIO wrote:Thanks Guys. But high ISO will blur the photographs.

I mentioned this earlier, it varies depending on the make and model of camera . So experiment with yours to see the maximum value that it can handle.
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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby sumer » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:50 pm

Rajiv ji, listen to all the ideas that the members have given and try them. Reading and thinking what might go wrong isn't gonna do any good.
You won't learn until you won't make mistakes. You have a digital camera now. Take 100 photos at different settings, put them on computer and then assess which one came out well and what was the setting of your camera.
Don't only practice your art, but force your way into it's secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.
My aquarium photography: Plays Of Rays

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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby sarathi84 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:39 am

Rajivji please click photo in manual mode and click every photo in different settings (aperture & ISO) but mode will be fixed as manual. I think you will see the difference.

thanks.

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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby hamza » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:17 pm

Nothing mentioned above is going to work perfect, cranking up the ISO reducing shutter speeds will at best give either to the two below....

NOISY SHOTS(with lots of undesirable grain)

OR

If clear tank shot(using slow shutter on a tripod) fishes will suffer from a serious motion blur(unless they are very slow fishes)

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Using max aperture(1.8f) of a prime lens(50mm) isnt a solution either. The depth of field is very shallow @1.8 and you can hardly capture tank details in focus from front to back.

I highly suggest using a flash from top, if not available get as much temporary light on top as you can(put light of all other tanks you have).

Photography is all about light, the more you have it, the more it gets flexible to work with.

------------------------------------
BEWARE!
All the perfect low light tanks with crisp/perfectly still fishes you see in competitions ARE AN ILLUSION OF LOW LIGHT. They are all shot under heavy illumination(or atleast moderately high illusion) in a combination of smallest aperture and highest shutter speeds possible to capture the moving fishes and detail perfectly..
-------------------------------------

For your tank I will suggest a few things for now, not to keep you clueless by saying experiment endlessly and without a direction..

Before photography...
Ensure that you have a black vinyl background pasted on the back.This makes a huge difference..
Thouroughly clean all glasses inside and out, particularly the front glass. Diatoms/slime on front glass will inhibit light.
Clean the filter on regular basis(this will reduce suspended particulate matter i.e.white dust) to a minimum
change 40-50% water a day before you intend to shoot photos(for maximum clarity).
Place as much lighting as you can on the top(for a rough rough idea 100w for 20g should be the least)
Cover any light spills between lighthood and tank)using dark material and shut off all the lights in the room, the tank should be the brightest thing in that room when you shoot pictures.

-Then set up the camera on tripod
-The lens should be zoomed out completely, at 18mm(for the stock lens), go closer to the tank instead of zooming in
-Set the camera to full manual mode
-set ISO to maximum 400, anything beyond it will cause grainy pictures.
-Try using aperture in range (F5.6-7.1)
-Shutter speed should atleast be around 1/60 to get fishes still and crisp.

Note : The above pointers are subjective to change. Depending on the light you provide, if its lower than what I mentioned you can go with slightly lesser values and if lighting is more you can go beyond it as well but not by a big margin.


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I'll end this with a quote..

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

George Eastman

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Re: How to take photographs in a low light tank?

Unread postby SCORPIO » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:33 pm

Nice share Hamza. I will try my hands on these tips.
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. This is the way to success.”

...................Swami Vivekananda