Reflections

J

jesper

Guest
How do I avoid them when shooting right at the glass? Do you guys just avoid flashes and have very strong lighting of the tank at the moment?

Also, I use full spectrum bulbs and tend to have quite yellowish light which is not very attractive in a photo. Do you use bulbs that have spikes in the blue part of the spectrum?
 
J

john

Guest
On the subject of flash reflection it's important to get the flash bulb away from the camera when it is triggered. This is the beauty of the sync lead and/or a slave flash. I often use a flash that's several feet away from the lens. This provides more even light for a tank and no reflection, except perhaps off aquarium objects. The light also looks more natural than the "ring" flashes you might see some people use.

If you have a built in flash you need to work around the reflection problem. Here are some tips:

- Sounds obvious but don't shoot right at the glass. Shoot at a slight angle to the glass.

- Get the lens as close to the glass as possible (usually only possible if you have a good macro focusing distance and a cooperative animal).

- Generally more of a problem for built-in flash, it's a good idea to remove any glossy or reflective materials from the immediate vicinity of tanks. They can really destroy a photo - examples: polystyrene boards beneath tanks, plastic table tops on which tanks sit, other tanks. If you can't move it, cover it with something neutral in colour and non-reflective. It's good to figure this out asap because you never know when you might have a wonderful photo opportunity but have it ruined by a nearby object.

As for lighting, I assume you mean the bulb in the tank and using relying on its light instead of a powerful flash system?

If you are using a digital camera you can easily counter this by getting a piece of white card or neutral grey card, shining the tank light directly on it and using the measure pre-set white balance option on your camera.

If you're using film, you can get different temperature films for different situations, but the key really is to rely on a flash system for lighting. Things get a heck of a lot more consistent. And there's always the photo editor aprés shoot.

I urge you to experiment taking photos in every way you can. Coupled with (hopefully) good advice, it's the best way to learn.

That's what springs to my mind right now. Anyone else care to chip in?
 
J

jesper

Guest
I use a digital camera, yes. I also use a built-in flash. I have 2cm focusing distance.
The lens is at the glass
artist.gif

I try to take the shots at an angle but that doesn't do much good really and sometimes I want to take shots right at the glass...

Yeah why can't I just put in heavy lighting in the tank instead of using the flash?
 
J

jennifer

Guest
Jesper, you can take photos using ambient light rather than flash. However, you'll have to install some kind of lamp with an acceptable color balance for the purpose and that might not be easy. I have taken some decent photos with ambient light, but I have the same problem you do - the color balance is way off.
 
J

john

Guest
This is just a matter of setting custom white balance on your camera...

If you're relying on ambient light you may find a tripod useful too.
 
J

jesper

Guest
I am using a tripod
happy.gif

The trick now is how to turn the flash off
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(Message edited by jesper on March 25, 2004)
 

neil

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Something I've fallen foul of is reflection from the rear glass of the tank
 
I

i.

Guest
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by white balance. I'd like to know, I'm having the same troubles as Jesper.
thx
 
K

karen

Guest
John the link to your photo galleries isn't working - would love to see them ?
 
J

john

Guest
If I haven't answered your email, it's usually due to the fact that the answers are on this web site.
 
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