This section of the articles library covers aquarium and underwater photography. A lot of the tips and suggestions that are applicable for underwater photography will be very useful when you take photos of your aquarium and vice versa. Reflections in the glass is however a problem that you do not have to deal with when you submerge the camera into the water in your aquarium or when you are taking diving pictures. Submerging the camera into an aquarium is complicated way of photographing you fish, and submerging your camera will naturally call for some form a protection; so called underwater camera housing. There are also underwater cameras that do not need any camera housing, but these will typically be low quality cameras or single-use cameras. If you are planning to use your camera for underwater photographing when you go scuba diving, it is important that your camera/camera house is strong enough to withstand the increased pressure. With a single-use submergible camera you will usually be limited to a depth of 5-10 meters. You can find out more about cameras in the subcategory named “Cameras”.
A good camera is however never a guarantee for good pictures, there are a lot of other factors that will also affect your photographs. It is important to remember that light travels differently in water than in air. If you have a deep or large aquarium and wish to photograph your fishes you might therefore have to provide additional lighting. An aquarium that is 60 centimetres deep can necessitate twice as much light as a 30 centimetre deep aquarium.
Another important aspect is the water quality of your aquarium. You already know that poor water quality will affect the health of your fish and that they might loose their vibrant colours and look dull and stressed on your pictures. The water quality that you should focus on as a photographer is however not only the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels. The amount of floating debris in the water is just as important since debris can look very bad on a picture and be tricky to remove digitally. Performing a larger water change and carefully vacuuming the substrate in advance is therefore recommended. Vacuuming will stir up a lot of debris so it is important that you have time to let the debris settle again before you begin to shoot. A lot of fish species will actually react very well to a larger water change and begin to flash their most vibrant colouration. If you know that you keep fish species that are sensitive to rapid changes you should naturally be careful not to overdo this.
The water is not the only thing that can need some cleaning before you begin to photograph you aquatic pets. Giving the glass a good scrub in advance is recommendable since the camera can catch traces of algae or small dirty spots that are to minute to be noticed by humans. Remember that it is not only the inside of the glass that can need to be cleaned.
You should also consider the background that you want to catch you fish against. You can naturally edit out the background digitally afterwards, but a lot of fish species actually look better when you photograph them against a natural background, e.g. rocks or healthy looking plants. The background can also affect the quality of your picture, since the light will be affected by the background. Electric cords, air tubes, heaters and other types of equipment will look ugly in most pictures and draw attention from the fish.
Aquarium Photography Articles
Aquarium photography - lighting - An article on the importence of the right lighting.
Techniques for Aquarium Photography - Technics to improve your skills as a fish photographer
How to Buy a Digital Camera - Gudie to buying a digital camera that suits your needs.