View Full Version : Tips and tricks for reef tank photography

05-24-2010, 04:26 PM
I think what this site is lacking is a good thread on how to take good reef tank shots! I know there's information scattered throughout dozens of threads on the site, but maybe if we congregate it here in this thread it will get posted into the tips and tricks forum or sticky'd. Please post any advice you can give on how to take those great eye candy tank shots :smile: This could include techniques, camera settings, SLR lenses (if applicable), that special way you need to hold your tongue, etc.

Unfortunately I haven't mastered the art yet, but I can offer the following:
-manually set your white balance so your colours are more accurate
-close curtains and darken the room so you don't get reflections
-clean your glass a few hours before taking pictures to let everything you've kicked up in the water column settle

05-24-2010, 04:56 PM
Already some good suggestions, I learned something. I'll add:

For LPS:
1. Use a tripod/mono pod
2. Turn off the flow.

I would like to know how people get the top down shots. Do you make an acrylic box or something?


05-24-2010, 05:15 PM
3. Make friends with Kien.

This step can often make circumventing steps 1 and 2 possible.

I've tried my best at step 3 but in a pinch I do this:

1) iso 1600
2) Aperture priority and go as low as possible to keep the lens quick
3) Shoot perpendicular to glass
4) Resize in photoshop to take care of graininess due to iso 1600

05-24-2010, 06:09 PM
General tips for aquarium photography

NEVER use built-in flash. If possible, use external light from the top and/or the sides, but not from front of the tank. Otherwise use only tank lighting.
Slow shutter speed or larger aperture (smaller depth-of-field), higher ISO, and manual focus.
Consider using smaller aperture (higher depth-of-field) so that fish movements can be captured.
Use burst shooting when the fish is in the sweet spot.
Use a tripod, especially for close up or macro photos (use the "Digital Vari-Program Macro", tulip on the left side command dial, mode).
Place the camera perpendicular to the glass and subject.
If taking picture of a fish, focus on a spot and wait for it swim into view.
Take more than one picture so that you can select the best.
Live plants, rocks, driftwood and gravel are the best backgrounds. Make sure you conceal any electric cords or air tubing away from sight.
If possible, follow the guidelines below

Clean the aquarium glass from both inside and outside.
Completely darken the room to help avoid reflections.
It is always best to take pictures in the highest setting/best quality possible, if you have enough spare cards

Ken - BWA