Photographing fish??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by EhJsNe, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    Im trying to breed bettas (fighting fish) and take some decent pictures of my fish so when I go to sell them on aquabid (its like an ebay for aquatic things...and its free to use) I'll have some decent pictures of the fish.

    The problem is that the pictures have lots of noise. The Ive tried everything I can to prevent it.

    I dont want to much light on the fish because the particular type of bettas I have are VERY sensative to light. I currently have 2 lights on the tank. (the main light and another light on the left side)

    I have Photo Shop Elements 7, if theres a noise reduction thing in there, how do I get to it and use it?
    Ive looked for free noise reduction software, but I dont feel safe downloading things from sites Ive never heard of. Ive already got a screwed up computor. I dont need anything else wrong with it.

    Is there anything I can do to prevent the noise in the first place? That would probaly be the best idea.

    Heres an example:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What lens did you use? A 50mm f1.8 might be a good cheap option to get more light gathering into the camera as the high ISO control is clearly not up to the task. Also if they have a sleeping time when they don't move around much you might risk some longer exposure shots (with a tripod so that you at least are not dealing with handshake issues as well)
     
  3. Ptyler22

    Ptyler22 TPF Noob!

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    Ya, the only thing you can do is use a really fast lens, or get some really bright lights, and only turn them on for a minute while you take the picture.
     
  4. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    50mm 1.8 ain't enough, my 50mm 1.4 has some difficulty at 800, EhJsNe is still going to have some noise to compete with.

    I've photographed a handful of fish including betas, Your only real option is more light. The fish may not like it but it's either noise or some short exposure to bright light to the fish.

    *EDIT* that reminds me, I'm going to have to dig up the original to this beta and reprocess it with better software.
     
  5. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    According to the EXIF data, this was shot with a Kodak Easyshare CX6445. You're going to have a tough time getting a 50mm f/1.4 on there.

    For various technical reasons (primarily relating to sensor size), point-and-shoot digital cameras struggle with producing quality images in low-light situations. The only way to get less noise is going to be to get more light in there. If you're really serious about producing professional quality results, though, you are going to need to invest in more professional equipment. There are things you can do to optimize the results you'll get with this camera, but I think the images you're seeing in your head are probably out of reach. A digital SLR body with a fast lens (50mm f/1.8 is probably your best bargain on Nikon or Canon mounts) is probably your best starting point.

    Don't some aquarium and zoo photographers use rubber lens hoods to allow them to use flash through glass with no glare?
     
  6. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    I was going to mention the P&S thing to the above 3 people.

    I have been saving up for a DSLR for quite some time, and think I may get enough from my birthday this friday, and if not, im sure ill get enough to get at least a refurbed D40x.

    Ive do have a 50mm f/2.8 manual focus lens, which goes to my Nikon FM10. Ive been able to get away with decent shots with it and ISO 400 film. The results were pretty good, but then again, film cant produce digital noise. just black grain.

    And the rubber lens hood....ill have to google it. But I dont think the flash would be a good choice for the above betta. Maybe if I get less light sensative fishies, ill get one.
     
  7. cashcoach

    cashcoach TPF Noob!

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    Well a 50mm 1.8 lens as people are recommending will have a VERY small window of focus and those fish don't stay still too well, so I don't recommend shooting wide open at 1.8. You said they are sensitive to light, but would it be bad even for a small burst of light from a flash? I have good luck shooting fish lit from above and even on the sides of the tank.
     
  8. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

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    its not too tough to get some good fish pictures... I find that shooting an advanced point and shoot actually helps, and the pictures seem to come out better that DSLR sometimes for underwater ones...

    [​IMG]

    macro setting or macro lens for DSLR and just be patient and wait for your shot. DONT try to chase... you will lose everytime! haha
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Woah woah woah, before you blast the guys p-shooter too badly, it should be said that the example I posted was taken with a Kodak EasyShare C-743. It can be done with an easy share.

    Original (resised by PB)
    File Name: 100_1625.jpg
    File Size: 95 kb - 800 x 600
    Camera Make: EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY
    Camera Model: KODAK EASYSHARE C743 ZOOM DIGI...
    Date/Time: 2006:08:07 16:48:35
    Resolution: 800 x 600
    Flash Used: No
    Focal Length: 6.0mm (35mm equivalent: 36mm)
    Exposure Time: 0.125 s (1/8)
    Aperture: f/2.7
    ISO Equiv.: 160
    Whitebalance: Auto
    Metering Mode: center weight
    Exposure: program (auto)




    Had the OP mentioned the Easyshare part my advice would not have changed at all.

    Patients and more light, that is the only option.

    Additional note, That was taken under lights normal to that particular fish. In other words there where no lights added, only the light he lived in on a daily basis.
     
  10. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    I wasn't trying to blast anyone- the image in question had technical issues, and I suggested a few possible remedies.

    Would it be possible to add more ambient light, like a desk lamp above the tank? In other words, are they sensitive to ambient lighting or just to flashes? This would be a cheap and easy solution that could make a huge difference.
     
  11. que_sera_sera1102

    que_sera_sera1102 TPF Noob!

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    Taking the photographs of fishes is not easy as you think . You know, fishes are very timid, so that they always find a place to hide themselves when you look at them. When you press the camera to take their photos, they will see the flash and swim away.
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know, it's just that p-shooters are so easy to rip on :lol:


    Additionally

    EhJsNe, Uppon further review and an aweful lot of photoshot play I see you seem to be shooting throught the surface of the water. That is going to kill your shots, go through the glass. Make sure it is clean and scratch free and you can get far better results through the glass than you will ever get going through an open surface.

    Additionally #2

    Don't run away from film, The grain is not necessarily black.

    This was taken on cheap store brand 200 film with an 85mm 1.8
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...lorida-hammer-blue-crayfish-blue-lobster.html. It too can be done.

    The thing about it is this is not something you can just grab the camera and grab a shot, that is what burned you here, I've been there and done that.


    From my experience, bettas when alone are a very laid back fish, I do feel that you should be able to get an acceptable shot no matter what camera you opt to use.

    I would advise you set your camera up on a tripod and leave it sit at the spot you plan to shoot from and let the fish see it through the glass, they will get used to it and go about their daily routene, then it's just about picking your moment.
     

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