View Full Version : How can i take a professional photo of my tank?

01-18-2009, 02:32 AM
I thought I was getting close to taking a good photo of my tank then i checked out this site I've had bookmarked a while now and I realized I've got some work to do.

First here's my best current shot as well as the website I'm referring too.

Things i KNOW i need to do
1. clean the tank to perfect.
2. take the equipment out during the shot. I don't like seeing the intake/output or wires...
3. Transplant some Val's to the right side to fill in the gap.

Things I'd like to change.
1. How can I make it perfectly black in the background? The reflection aspect to some shots are pretty sweet but with my floating plant might not be possible.

2. How can I make it so my floating plants aren't super blazing white while still lighting my tank enough to take the photo?

01-18-2009, 02:34 AM
I know I only have a tiny little digital camera and won't get the same results of huge fancy cameras but I know I can do better with the presentation of my tank.

For the background i only have some cheap construction paper but maybe i need to get a real black one? or a black blanket and a way to make the lighting go ONLY into the tank by blocking it from going anywhere else.

ALSO i notice a lot of those shots use white backgrounds. I wonder if i should try that?

01-18-2009, 03:22 AM

Just found this website online and it looks like it gives some easy things i can do to make my shots better.

The back lighting really made me happy since i'm space limited behind my tank but they just have a small light right below the tank pointing up. And i have some of that lying around the house.

I just need to find a white/black cloth as a backdrop and take away my background


01-18-2009, 03:40 AM
thats a pretty good photo to me

01-18-2009, 03:41 AM
thats a pretty good photo to me

But compared to the photos on that website....not even close.


Deleted User
01-18-2009, 11:57 AM

You will find that pics like in the link are taken with a pro camera and also shot in a setting called Raw. With a Raw setting you take the shot and then edit the image in an image editing programme like photoshop. With a Raw image you can edit out all the mistakes so the tank looks pristine. 3/4 of the battle though is getting your tank to look like that in the first place. Yours is not a bad shot at all for a point and shoot camera.Very nice set up :ssmile:

Lady Hobbs
01-18-2009, 12:31 PM
That are you talking about? That photo is kick- butt beautiful.

01-18-2009, 02:18 PM
Did a quick little fix...



01-18-2009, 02:44 PM
Wow! How did you fly to the US, take pictures, and fly back so fast? :hmm3grin2orange: It's quite a difference with the back being black--everything pops now!

01-20-2009, 09:09 AM
Well, to take a professional photo, all you need to do is become a professional!

Sorry, but it's as simple as that really (which isn't all that simple).

There's a reason these people get paid for their work.

To get the perfect photo you need the proper light and equipment for the shot, and you need the knowledge to know how it's all going to come together in the end to get the shot you wanted.

No amount of photoshop will ever stand up to a well taken photo, and a well taken photo can go a lot farther in photoshop.

They probably use special lighting for those photographs and have reflectors all around the tank just out of frame to make sure they get the light exactly where they want it.

Then the photographer probably selects a specific lense or light filter which will bring out and and balance all the right colours, or achieve a certain effect.

With a high-quality photograph and a powerful computer, the photo is probably edited by a professional who has years of experience to get the most realistic and subtle touch-ups to the photo to make it absolutely perfect.

In short, the photo you showed isn't bad at all. If you want to get serious about controlling your shots though, you're going to have to invest in some proper photography equipment. But experimenting with light sources in the meantime can produce good results as well.

A very easy way to get a bit more dramatic shading or highlighting in your photos is with the burn and dodge tool in photoshop. Give these tools a try and learn how they work. I've found them useful.

The other important thing is to just learn your camera. Take a whole bunch of pictures of different things and see how they come out. See what your flash brings out and doesn't bring out.

I've seen plenty of amazing photos taken with nothing but the flash and macro functions of the camera, and creative use of room/desk lights.

If you're serious about photography though, do some proper reading and learn how to work with light and the camera.

01-20-2009, 02:39 PM
I like the pic!:22: Its a nice tank.thumbs2:

Get yourself a better camera and learn to use it.

01-20-2009, 04:45 PM
I think my camera is fine for what I'm trying to do. It's like the article I found. The guy was using a Cannon camera similar to mine and getting a great shot compared to the really expensive Nikon D200.
Way at the very bottom they compare the two cameras.

02-11-2009, 07:51 PM
I think your picture is really good. Don't beat yourself up over those professional looking tanks.

One would be a 'professional planted tank keeper' and the other probably a 'professional photographer.':ssuprised:

I bet they couldn't keep a tank full of fish alive if you wrote out all the instructions in a step by step account. :ssmile:

Well done - wish my photos were as good as yours.


02-11-2009, 09:14 PM
Your tank looks great Punisher!

As for the pics, have you messed around with the setting on it or just done point and shoot? You can change the ISO and aperture on most of them.

And comparing those pics taken with the point and shoot and the professional, I actually think the point and shoot pic looks better, LOL.

02-21-2009, 06:06 AM
I have found that an ISO of 400 and an aperture of 3.2 works best for my simple Kodak Z712IS. I also put the camera in macro without flash and put extra lighting onto my tanks or edit their brightness and contrast in a photo editing program. I think that definatly for a point and shoot cam your pic is very well. The only way to get professional images is to invest in professional photography equipment and learn how. But it is a great looking tank...you could probably avoid that white blurr by tilting the camera down at a slight angle.

02-21-2009, 06:22 AM
Yeah. I've got my background a lot better now so i can add extra back lighting if need be.

The tank is almost ready for another picture. It hasn't grown much but I think i'll try and see if i can't improve on the quality of even the shot I took a while back.

I have an Anubis that's a day or two away from flowering so I suppose i'll wait for that...even if it'll be so small in the picture you may not notice it.

02-23-2009, 01:02 AM
I just came across this... step by step with pictures:


02-23-2009, 01:47 AM
Great link, thanks for sharing!

Lynn Conroy
02-23-2009, 01:49 AM
This is great! I will try to get pictures this week Fishy. Thanks!

02-23-2009, 01:50 AM
I just came across this... step by step with pictures:


Maybe, if it was a competition with loads of money on the line, otherwise I think I'll stick to the amateur method. That's a lot of effort

02-23-2009, 02:04 AM
That are you talking about? That photo is kick- butt beautiful.
No kiddin'~love that driftwood..

02-23-2009, 04:02 AM
I just came across this... step by step with pictures:


LOL you're only a couple of months late and posted the same thing i did in post #5

:22: :hmm3grin2orange: :14:

04-06-2009, 04:50 AM
Re making your backgroumd darker.....

I have a planted background on my tank. Its about 1-2" away from the glass. One night when I came home, I noticed that part of the background was all of the sudden WAY more vibrant! What I found had happened was, the condensation on the back of the tank (I had turned up the heat to accell cycling) made the plastic background stick to the glass. It never looked the same just by physically pressing the background plastic against the glass with my hand. So there's a big difference between a background just placed behind the glass and a background stuck physically to the glass.

So I concluded that if you can get some black plastic and maybe apply some vasilene to the glass as a sealer/adheasive, that might best give you the black background you're trying to attain!