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Any aquarium photographers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by InLimbo87, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. InLimbo87


    Jul 30, 2008
    Orlando, Fl
    I've been trying to perfect my aquarium photography skills with my current 30 gallon reef tank, and am wondering if there are any other aquarium photographer's on here. I'm using a Nikon D40 with the kit lens at the moment, and have an old macro Nikkon 55mm f/3.5 on the way.

    Here are some pics of my current aquarium (33g oceanic). Would love to see other aquarium photos and tips/tricks to getting good aquarium photos.

    NIKON D40    ---    30mm    f/6.3    1/125s    ISO 800

    NIKON D40    ---    52mm    f/5.6    1/80s    ISO 800

    NIKON D40    ---    55mm    f/5.6    1/100s    ISO 800

    NIKON D40    ---    55mm    f/5.6    1/30s    ISO 800

    NIKON D40    ---    50mm    f/6.3    1/50s    ISO 800


    Apr 30, 2005
    You have a very nice reef tank. I have a small 29G mixed reef which is approx 2.5 years old. I'm running a 250w 14K phoenix metal halide, and a 15G sump.

    For full tank shots I shoot raw, pumps off and bracket my exposures. I usually have blown hightlights on my brighter corals so I layer dark and light layers in photoshop and do a selective masking of those areas. It works out rather nicely since my camera D200 can not capture the entire dynamic range of my setup. I also like to photoshop out my pumps as you can see below.

    I also like to shoot at night when the corals have their feelers out. I use a off camera flash via an SC cord and the nikkor 60mm macro lens. I shoot raw and usually do not turn off the pumps.

    Location shot

    Full tank shot




    Clown sleeping in his open brain

    Crocea Clam - shell is encrusted with correline algae

    Acropora tenius



    Yellow eye echino
  3. ajbooker


    Mar 17, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Those are some amazing shots from the two of you. Really makes me want to get my aquarium going again once I move and find a job. Over the past few years I've done more research and have found I had vastly underpowered lights. Between this, Nikon acquisition syndrome, and a few other hobbies I think I might need help :biggrin:
  4. brooksro


    Dec 29, 2007
    USA, California
    Beautiful series with lovely colors. Bravo!
  5. InLimbo87


    Jul 30, 2008
    Orlando, Fl
    Great series of shots Argent and RFC. I love the yuma eating the star picture.
  6. Muskieman911


    Apr 11, 2008
    I wish i had a saltwater tank
  7. Thanks - I love shooting my tanks - when it gets too cold to shoot outside - I'll probably go back to shooting my tanks again :) 
  8. mrlimpet


    May 12, 2006
    san francisco
    great pics and tanks! :smile:

    i have a few freshwater tanks and i've found that i have to add extra overhead lighting, e.g., slave flashes to get the results i want. tank lighting alone just isn't bright enough.

    someday i will take the leap to saltwater...
  9. Great thread! I love shooting saltwater tanks.

  10. spoot


    Aug 29, 2007
    I'm got quite a few gallons of water running, and have been known to take some pictures. You can also check out http://www.aquatic-photography.com for tips etc. Here are some of mine:

    NIKON D80    ---    50mm    f/1.8    1/100s    ISO 320

    NIKON D80    ---    120mm    f/5.6    1/60s    ISO 200

    NIKON D80    ---    135mm    f/5.6    1/25s    ISO 1000

    NIKON D80    ---    135mm    f/5.6    1/60s    ISO 640

    NIKON D80    ---    135mm    f/5.6    1/25s    ISO 800

    NIKON D80    ---    135mm    f/5.6    1/60s    ISO 400
  11. VoidRaven


    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    Beautiful shots everyone! I need some recent shots of my 100g at some point...but it's currently getting over-hauled thanks to some aggressive Zoanthids taking over.

    There is member here in the cafe...as well as on ReefCentral...named "gho" who has a wonderful tutorial on tank photography for any camera. Might want to look him up.
  12. atrawick

    atrawick Guest

    I had a 125 oceanic mixed reef. Seeing all of those awesome shots makes me miss mine. I was also a member of reefcentral. So many hobbies and not enough money!
  13. fishnfst


    Dec 11, 2007
    hahahah many have to go through rc withdrawal syndrome when seperated for too long..

    I haven't shot too many pics of my reef.. There is normaly plenty of light over reef tanks.. Sometimes its just a little too concentrated... Fw planted and fish only tanks are a little bit trickier.. There are a couple of members here who are heavily into fw planted tanks. I can't remember their handles currently.. At one of their recommendations I shot some FTS with overhead flashes and an umbrella. That seemed to give me the best results.. I'll try and find some of the shots I took.. Here are a couple of fish only shots..


  14. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    I don't have an aquarium, but I've tried it a few times while out in Vegas. There's Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, one in the Forum Shops near Cheesecake Factory, and one more I found out at Silverton Casino (don't ask why I was way the hell out there).

    Overall, I wasn't that impressed with my shots using the D200. Now that I have a D700, I want to go back and try it again when I'm in town next month.



    While not exactly an aquarium shot, I got this Golden Crocodile at Shark Reef, too.


    Sadly, I just couldn't get any decent shots of the sharks, mantas, or any other interesting fish that just moved too fast for the slow shutter speed on the D200. That's why I'm hoping a higher ISO on the D700 will yield a better shutter speed without too much noise. Damn aquariums are poorly lit.
  15. spoot


    Aug 29, 2007
    Bill, that unicorn tang shot is AMAZING! They are one of my favourite fish. I've got some photos of them, but the tanks they are in are never lit well enough.
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