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Old 02-10-2005, 06:16 AM   #1
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Worst Photographer Ever

I'm desparate...I'm the worst aquatic photographer ever. If anyone has seen the pics in my gallery, you know I speak the truth.

I'm looking for assistance in this area. I have a FujiFinepix 3500 with a 6x zoom.

How do I get a clearer pic?

Of course, pics of regular subjects are always fine (my kitty pic for example).
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:35 AM   #2
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You're not the only one Jchillin, I had to take over 200 pics to get one that looked good enough to become my avatar
I waste allot of time trying to get one decent shot of my fish
But if you put allot of lighting on your tank (only for the picture), you can reduce your shutter speed allot, and you don't have to use your flash, which will both contribute to making a better picture of aquatic life. And getting in focus on the thing you want to photograph is also a PITA for aquarium photography.
You can always get the newest-state of the art digital camera. I'm sure that will improve your pictures allot
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:21 AM   #3
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The lighting is certainly not the problem...it's the imagery. I tried everything so far (standing far away...used zoom, up close no zoom). It still comes out blurry even when my subject does "pose" and is not moving. I don't mind shooting a few hundred shots, I just need to get a "clear" one.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:45 AM   #4
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Make sure you use a tripod. That will make a world of difference. Also set your camera's timer to take the pic. There will be no movement in the pic at all. I am not a good photographer myself, but I learned these tricks from the good ones here.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:49 AM   #5
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I've been taking better pictures since I found the close up button on my camera. Also, the pictures come out clearer if the flash is on.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:56 AM   #6
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Most cameras have a setting for doing close up shots. Your camera actually does have a macro mode...which would help you with those shots a ton.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:10 AM   #7
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I don't have much better luck than you do, Jchillin - my pictures of actual fish were just "luck" because I don't know how I got them, lol! Plus I have a very inexpensive 2mp camera with hardly any adjustability to it.

I am moving this over to the Show off/Photography forum, where these issues are discussed. I have gotten some great tips from our members, like turning off all of the lights in the room at night, with only the tank light on, no flash, and, as mentioned, a tripod. Macro is very helpful for fish photos, also as mentioned.
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:40 AM   #8
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Ahhh...kudos to you all for the advice. I will try these hints and "see" what I can come up with.

And here's what the camera looks like.
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:54 PM   #9
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Awwwwwwweeeee..thanks jchillin..i noticed you are doing better with your photos...SWEET!!!
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Old 02-12-2005, 10:51 PM   #10
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JChillin.....

I use a Fuji FinePix S3000 and have gotten some not-too-shabby shots with it. You're going to find that the 'Macro' setting will be your lifesaver and with some experimentation you'll be able to use your flash with it. All of the pictures in my gallery were taken with this camera using automatic mode, automatic focus, automatic flash and the macro setting. Here are a couple of samples I'm particularly happy with:

Long-Armed Shrimp - Macrobranchium sp.


Armored Bichir - Polypterus delhezi


Eyespot Bush Fish - Ctenopoma ocellatum


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Old 02-13-2005, 12:09 AM   #11
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My biggest problem with aquatic photography is trying to snap a picture while the fish are moving around like lunatics. It's as if they see me coming with the camera and say to one another, "it's HIM!!!! Maybe he has food! Lets swim up and down the glass like idiots until he feeds us or goes away!"

The other problem is the diffractive distortion caused by light traveling through water, glass, and air before it reaches the lens. I just can't get a good focus lock on any subject that is more than a few inches away from the glass. Opening up the aperture to get a deeper depth of field has no effect . This is made worse by even the most subtle cloudiness in the water.

I always forget to wipe down the outside of the tank with a wet paper towel first - result is usually a decent shot ruined by streaks and water spots. When I do wipe down the glass, the movement gets the fish all riled up looking for food again.

My tips:
1 Wipe down the outside of the tank with a wet paper towel to remove streaks and water spots.
2 Turn the tank light on,but turn off the room lights to prevent distracting reflections.
3 Wait a while for the fish to get used to your presence in the room, and resume their normal behavior - the shy fish will come out, and the piggy fish will stop begging for food.
4 Use a tripod, or at least try to steady your arms on something solid as you hold the camera.
5 Try the macro setting on your camera, but feel free to experiment with other settings.
6 Set the film speed to 200 or 400. Try to use the fastest shutterspeed you can for fast fish. For plants and stationary fish, try to close down your aperture as much as you can without making the shutterspeed longer than 1/60 sec.
7 If you use the flash, shoot at an angle to prevent reflections. Try shooting without flash if you can - I find the colors are more natural and the fish's scales don't wash out.
8 If your camera has a manual focus override, use it.
9 Be patient and prepared to blow through dozens of exposures in order to get one halfway decent one. Be thankful you're not paying for film and processing.
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:09 AM   #12
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Thanks Fruitbat and QTOFFER. I've been making some progress since I first posted this and I did find the macro setting which helped a lot. Here's a sample I took with the setting and using flash.
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Old 02-13-2005, 12:31 PM   #13
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Oh, some more improvements:
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