I want to know how everyone gets great photos

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Sep 28, 2007
Eastern Washington
I have an average digital camera paid like 250 for it and everytime I take a photo of my tank it comes out crappy and I get reflection from the glass. Some of the phots on here look like there underwater cameras. I tried taking photos in the day at night with straight actinics and with the 10k but my pictures suck. What's the secret???
We are all professional photographers. Just kidding. Some basic things that may help.

1. Turn off all room lights. This will reduce reflection.
2. Turn on tank lights. Duh.
3. Don't use flash.
4. Sit very still and wait for the picture to come to you. Fish will take pauses and if you're patient, they'll pose once in a while.
5. Use a macro setting on your camera if you have one.
6. Take 300 photos. Keep 15 good ones. :)
^^ very good advice

Only things I have to add:

- Get a tripod (even a cheap one will work), and something tall enough to set it on, so you are level with the tank. I have a Cannon Powershot A540, and I can get pretty decent pictures, like agentm said, about 15 out of 300 though. Nothing quite like my friend's Cannon XTi... that thing is amazing.
- patience
- get to know photoshop or another photo-editing program. It won't make good pics great, but it can be really useful in making great pictures that much better (specs of debris, water spots, slight blur)
All great advice above, though I do use flash quite often. Works great on macro setting when I have the camera angled to the glass.
Does a magnifying glass help? (If it does, where would you buy those things?) I have trouble with focus on Macros. My Power Shot gets it right, then auto focuses and screws up the picture last second.
Can you hold the shutter half way down to lock in the focus, then press fully to take the photo?
Are you using a tripod?
Are you taking a shot with the camera angled to the glass instead of straight on?
Just some thoughts.
I think it is harder to get a good shot of a bowfront because of the angle of the glass verses a regular tank that is a flat surface and you dont get as much glare.
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