Help with settings

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bones06, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. bones06

    bones06 TPF Noob!

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    I just got a new Canon PowerShot S5 IS and need some help on taking shots of my aquariums. I have no idea what settings to use on this camera to get some nice close up shots of the fish. I would really like to take some Macro shots so that the fish are enhanced and the backgroungd is blurred. If you are familiar with this camera could you please give me some pointers to acheive this. The lighting on the tank I'm trying to shoot is some standard aquarium bulbs, and some standard flourescent tubes. The glass is pretty thick at 5/8 in so that may be an issue or not.
    Thanks, Brian
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You will want to either put the front of the lens right on the glass...or use some sort of lens hood, so that there is no light getting in between the lens and the glass.

    Depending on the minimum focus distance of your camera, you may or may not want to be in macro mode.

    This is a result of a shallow Depth of Field (DOF). The DOF is controlled by the aperture of the lens, the focal length of the lens and the size of the medium. The sensor in your camera, is fairly small, so that is working against you. You can help by using a large aperture (low F number). You can do this by using Av mode and setting a low F number.

    Try zooming out, but this might not be feasible with your limited shooting area.

    Also, the farther away the background, and the closer the subject is...the blurrier the background will be. So try to get a shot with the fish close to the camera (may need macro mode)...this will help to blurr the background....but you are still limited by the small sensor in your camera.
     
  3. SBlanca

    SBlanca TPF Noob!

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    also to be taken into account i guess is the amount of lighting right?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. He might need to add light, in order to get shutter speeds that are fast enough to keep the photos from being blurry.
     
  5. bones06

    bones06 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike and SBlanca, I do have a track light with 3 spots over the tank that I can turn on too. Do you think that this will help to keep the shots more clear? I will try your suggestions Mike and hopefully I can get some decent close ups. It's just hard since they are very active fish and don't like to stay still. I did notice that the only way to keep the shots clear so far is to use the flash, but that seems to wash out some of the color on them.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The problem with using your flash (well, the main one anyway) is that it's too close to the camera, so the light is flat. That's why it's probably better to add light with lamps etc. Of course, it would help if you has some light hitting the front (camera side) of the fish, rather than just light from above.

    Experiment and try different things. Post some examples any maybe we can help.
     
  7. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    I have heard quite a bit of negative feed back while using the S5 in low light settings, I have heard that you can get a rubber lens hood, that allows you to push up to the glass so when you use a flash you wont see the reflection (as mentioned above)

    Have you had a play at using the different modes, I love switching mine to manual and changing everything...

    Post your pics when you have some :)
     

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