Aquarium Photography


TPF Noob!
Aug 21, 2007
Reaction score
Lake In The Hills, IL
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit

I'm off to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago this weekend and am planning on bringing my D80 & 50mm f/1.8. I figure most of the shots I take will be in low light except for the small Reef Tanks. I figure the 50mm will work best since I can get the aperture opened all the way up to 1.8. My 18-70 is only a 3.5-4.5.

Any tips out there on aquarium photography?
Some aquariums allow flashes, some don't. If they don't, make sure you follow the rules. If they do, then shoot at a 45 degree angle with your lens against the glass (no hood).

Wear dark clothing, it reflects less.

Shoot RAW, white balance can be tricky.

Have fun!

try not to use the flash, it can really bother the animals, i know any time i use a flash on my seahorse tank my poor little guys dont know what is going on.
I'm off to the shed aquarium this weekend to.(they have that new 4d theater) I read on a post here somewhere about tips on aquarium shooting. gave allot of tips. One that i did try at home on my tank was a rubber hood. you can press the hood up against the glass and that way you get no flash reflection from the came out very nice. Oh here's a good tip bring a little bottle of windex and paper towels. (the glass there is filthy!) do a search for that thread it gave a few other good tips. I need 2 do the same b4 I go this weekend.
I liked that aquarium. It's quite a large facility. You're correct in thinking most of the exhibits are quite dark.

A rubber hood can help a won't let reflections off the glass get in the way...

But then again, your closes focusing distance with the 50 is not very you might not get any good pictures that way in the smaller aquariums ( where most of the animals are )

Bring the 18-70 if you can get a rubber hood, because I'm sure you could focus closer with that thinger.
I third the prevailing comment: DON'T USE THE FLASH Besides disturbing the animals, it REALLY annoys other people. It's downright rude.
Thanks guys for the info. I didn't plan on bringing the flash.

Before my interest in photography took off I had several Marine Aquariums. I had three Spotted Cardinals that were the most peaceful fish in the tank until I decided to take some pictures with my P&S one evening (using the flash) and had one jump out of the tank. Never did that again. The Jawfish didn't enjoy it much either.

The minimum focus distance of the 50mm is about 1.5 feet and the 18-70mm is about 3" shorter than the 50 so I'll bring both. Either way, if I do get some good shots I'm going to be doing some cropping.

This is where it would be nice to have one of those neat Macro lenses.


Nice seahorse shot. Looks like it's munching on some Mysis Shrimp?

Happy Hour -

My wife and I will probally head down Saturday Morning.

Most reactions

New Topics