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Thread: Tips for Overhead Tank Photography

  1. #1
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    Tips for Overhead Tank Photography

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    hi photo-gurus!

    i would like to solicit for some opinion and tips on the setup.
    i'm setting up a "L" size fiveplan tank for shooting L046.
    so far the idea is to take one fish at a time to this tank.
    i can then take my time to shot them.
    thats why i chose an L size tank versus a smaller one.

    attending benny's previous workshop on aquascape photography was a great help.
    all the basics were covered.
    clean inside and outside of glass
    "polish" the water with mechanical filter.
    shoot perpendicular to frontal glass.
    use right lens size for the fish.

    Setup:
    "L" size fiveplan tank with an 18 Watt PL lighting on this tank.
    filter is an eden 316 so water surface moment will not be a problem.
    as advised by valice, i have bought an acrylic sheet instead of the "crate" stuff.
    for tank side shots i will place an A4 white paper to diffuse the lighting.
    lenses avialable are a 100mm macro lens, 50mm and a 28-105mm zoom.
    the fish size is about 2.5 to 3.5".
    the tank is placed on tip of my desk.
    i will probably need to heat the tank as my room is air-conditioned.

    Frontal Shooting:
    i will place two flash on the sides (at 45 degree angle or parallel to front?)
    maybe maybe an extra flash from the top with the acrylic sheet.
    will the flash from sides be an overkill?

    Overhead Tank Shooting:
    flash on sides as above.
    now this is where i'm stumped...
    a) how should i light up the tank for focusing? the PL light takes about one third the tank width.

    b) how to setup for the camera distance? i will have to move overhead the tank and i know this will spook the fish!
    should i put the whole tank surface in focus with a tripod and remote?
    would i be able to get details of the fish? (i.e. odontodal growth)


    Others:
    i) is the tank size okay or should i use a smaller one?
    ii) which lens should i use for the overhead shots? 50mm?
    iii) suggested f-stop, shutter speed, exposure, scene setting, etc


    any tips or comments for setup will be greatly appreciated!
    celticfish
    It is a good day to die!!!
    I finally uploaded an avatar and Cupid is dead!!!


  2. #2
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    When are you shooting? Maybe i come over..

  3. #3
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    trying to get detailed pictures of my L046 adults.
    possibly some ventral area shots to complement benny's post on sexing them.
    you're welcome over photography or not too raman!
    the frontal shooting should be okay with some practice.
    but its the overhead shots like beeny's picture that have me stumped on how to go about it.
    as you know the overhead shots are critical for sexing...
    celticfish
    It is a good day to die!!!
    I finally uploaded an avatar and Cupid is dead!!!


  4. #4
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    ehh.. answer the question leh...hahaha...

  5. #5
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    alamak, answered already.
    L046 zebra plecos.
    trying to get shots like benny's thread ---> here
    celticfish
    It is a good day to die!!!
    I finally uploaded an avatar and Cupid is dead!!!


  6. #6
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    Hi celticfish,

    Seems like a lot of question to answer, but your setup isn't exactly clear. Perhaps let's talk and I'll see what I can do to help.

    Cheers,
    I have dwarf cichlids in my tanks! Do you?

  7. #7
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    har?? i ask WHEN you plan to shoot the fish NOT what leh...hahaha..

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    hahaha... major miss communication...
    maybe this coming saturday or sunday.
    celticfish
    It is a good day to die!!!
    I finally uploaded an avatar and Cupid is dead!!!


  9. #9
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    Cool! Another photographer. By the way, which cameras are you guys using - just curious. I'm using a Nikon D200.
    - Luenny

  10. #10
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    i have a canon setup.
    350D w/ 100mm macro, 50mm and a 28-105mm zoom.
    ST-E2 with 2 x 420EX and 1 x 580EX.
    i've had it for over a year and have hardly mess with it enough to do justice.
    i'm still at the "white balance" theory part!!
    still trying to fully digest the system before adding another lens or two...
    celticfish
    It is a good day to die!!!
    I finally uploaded an avatar and Cupid is dead!!!


  11. #11
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    Hahaha.. Irwin, you want to shoot the fish or want to shoot the tanks? Or you want to shoot everything?

    For the white-balance part, as long as you don't have substrate with heavy colouration, it shouldn't be an issue.

    Sounds like a shooting session to me too...
    ~ Vincent ~ Fishes calm your mind...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/valice/





  12. #12
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    okay, i'm basically trying to get close-up for sex ID purpose (man, that sounded perverted...)
    photos should be able to show good detail at one fish length or "portrait" shot.

    the "whole tank" shot was just an idea to do a setup and snap pictures at whim.
    basically, setup tripod with camera overhead w/ a remote to snap pictures.
    the only worry is, will there be enough detail on the photos.
    i think this is where i lost you guys in the first post.

    the central idea is to get the following types of shots for each fish.
    a) overhead shots of whole body length.
    b) portrait shots for cheek and pectoral fin odontodes.
    c) ventral area shots.
    with a combinations of these three types of photos sexing should be "easier"...
    celticfish
    It is a good day to die!!!
    I finally uploaded an avatar and Cupid is dead!!!


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