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Old 05-31-2005, 03:31 AM   #1
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Photos for Hermit Crab Fans and an ID question...

Here are some macro shots I took tonight (no great effort expended on these, but they are decent) of a few among out army of Hermit Crabs.

http://sparhawk.sbc.edu/tank/hermits

I'm curious if someone can identify the hitchhiker living on the first guy's shell. These crabs are like an inch or less in size (and I mean the shell, not their bodies), so that creature on his shell in TEENY!

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:35 AM   #2
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Aaron,

Sorry, can't help with your hitchiker.

But what kind of camera do you have? It takes amazing macro shots. And are you able to get these without the flash? The colors are brilliant.

Thanks
David
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:40 AM   #3
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it looks like a macroalgae or caluerpa to me.... Kind of looks like mexicana or fern type caluerpa.
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TANK PICS http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=98202
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:46 AM   #4
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OK Aaron,
This isn't fair. I just went to your pics and found the model for your camera. 8O

You can't cross your hobbys like this... bringing professional-level camera equipment into this aquarist-habitat.

This site is full of people like me going broke trying to set up my little 75g tank... now I gotta start saving for that darn camera (in addition to joining and obsessively scouring the photoadvice.com site...).

Thanks Aaron,

Soon-to-be-more-penniless in MD.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:17 AM   #5
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Well, here's the part that will make you extra cranky. The camera I've spent plenty of money on (one of a series of cameras over several years with a lens investment I can now carry from Canon SLR to Canon SLR over time). The tank system, however, was -given- to me fully established by a friend getting out of the hobby.

So, I'm avoiding the combined costs here for sure. In fact, I can tell you with certainty that I'd be into my photography and not into marine fish right now if this wasn't the case.

On another note, part of why I was thrilled to get this marine setup (aside from wanting back into the hobby after fifteen years) was the fact that it would give me another ever-changing subject to attack with my camera.

I've just started the tank photography and it still needs a bit of work. It is definitely not without its challenges. Even slight angles, for instance, introduce all kinds of odd distortions and blurring (just like you see with your eyes but far less forgiving in a photo). Lighting is kind of wild, too, since you've generally got too low light to shoot lower ISOs and not get motion blur. Actinic light plays hell with the white balance. I'm tackling that with the flash... but a straight-on flash is seldom the answer. Fortunately, I already strive to avoid straight-on flashes for their flatness (and with a tank the problem is reflection), so I use a wireless transmitter to be able to use my speedlight off-camera. I use the flash on a tripod next to me set to the angle I want or even laying flat on top of the tank with a diffuser and spreading light down from above. You also get the added advantage of a sunlight-esque light that wipes out the extreme blue poisoning of your white balance (which, of course, you could correct in Photoshop when shooting RAW images with the Canon).

Anyway... that's likely more than you wanted to know. Moral of the story here is that I totally agree on the cost side of it and I just plain got lucky on this one.

- Aaron
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Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:30 AM   #6
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I look forward to seeing some of your pics, once you've "figured it out." I think we'll all benefit from that.

I'm hoping to move from Canon SLR to Digital Canon SLR as well.

How do your fish react to the flash? I've heard that it may add a bit of stress, but am not sure. Perhaps some of our AA aces can chime in on that.

Keep sending in the pics!

David
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:45 AM   #7
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Nice shots, Aaron! I have a Sony F828 and I may steel your settings and see what happens. Thanks for listing them.
As for the hitch hiker n the crab, I to think it is some type of macro algea. My best guess is the caulpera as well.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:46 AM   #8
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I meant to mention... it doesn't take thousands of dollars of camera gear to get good photos, though (aquatic or otherwise - and I'm not claiming my aquatic stuff is all that great either since it still needs work). Not at all. A lot of it is in the technique since even a "cheap" digital camera these days tends to have pretty decent optics (sometimes better than the average SLR for various reasons of sensor tolerances) and plenty of megapixels.

Before I started buying higher end cameras, I went through several generations of the "consumer" models and took tens of thousands of photos that I was thrilled with. My wedding/honeymoon trip to France, for instance, was shot entirely with a Canon Powershot G2 (which they stopped making four generations ago). It's by no means a pro camera, but I was thrilled with the results. Of the 4,000+ shots I took in those 2.5 weeks, here are 117 you might enjoy perusing:

http://sparhawk.sbc.edu/dp-france

(those shots are on two pages of thumbnails, so look for the number ranges at the top or bottom for the second page)

There are times when I miss the relative simplicity and the live LCD screen of that generation of camera. They are inherently tuned to produce pretty eye-pleasing shots (color, perceived sharpness, etc) that you sometimes have to work for a little (in Photoshop) on a digital SLR. The SLR advantages are numerous, though, and worth the "extra labor" in the grand scheme of things. Lenses, manual controls, ergonomics, etc., are awesome advantages, but by no means a necessity.

Another deciding factor is complexity vs. yield. I, for one, love the challenges and the process is as much fun as pleasing photographic results. If you're just wanting to take good pictures more often than not and wish to avoid getting down in the mud with myriad technicalities (and a seemingly endless array of new things to buy as accessories), then you can be happy knowing you don't need to spend thousands on the camera.

I'll stop babbling now... I just love photography is all.

Enjoy!
- Aaron
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Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:54 AM   #9
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I was writing my last post while those two previous replies were being posted.

To answer your question, the fish seem completely oblivious to the flash from what I can tell. Nobody ever darts away.

There are a couple of shots of the fish in this set where they are in an aggressive posture. The one with the butterfly being puffed up as he looks toward my flash, however, is misleading. I took that shot because he was puffing up for some other reason and he's not reacting -to- the flash firing as the image may imply. Same for the Imperator in another shot.

So, all in all, I'd say I don't think I'm stressing them out since I never see any reaction. I blast off multiple-shots right at them when they are sliding by and they never react in any way I've witnessed. If I'm wrong, though, I'd defintiely like to hear about it since I don't want to make my fish insane, ichy or dead.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:59 AM   #10
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So how do you keep the flash from reflecting on the galss? I end up with photos that have a large glare in the middle of them.
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