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 Photography (Quick tips)

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ddavis1979
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Location : Hanover County

PostSubject: Photography (Quick tips)   Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:52 am

I spoke at the SEPT 2013 CVAS meeting about some quick photography tips. Here is a quick summary.

You don't need a $600 camera to get good stuff, I have always operated with point and shoot cameras, but obviously some will be better than others for quality and options.

The camera does matter some. Personally I always stick to two brands of camera, Canon and Nikon. These brands use propriety software and algorithms for gathering and processing image data. I also use the macro function a lot and their cameras allow sharp macro images within a few millimeters as opposed to a few inches.

My current camera is a Canon SX120IS.

Looks like the newest model is a Canon SX280 HS for $290 (new)
However, I have found the Canon SX150 IS for $150 (new) $100 (used) which is still a couple of generations more advanced than mine.

When taking shots of the tanks, here is what I do.
- Put camera on shutter speed priority setting (1/30 to 1/80) is the best range.
- Turn on the macro function for the camera and turn off flash.
- Wait for night time and turn all lights off except for tank light.
- Put camera up to the glass, slightly push the button to focus and then wait for my subject to enter the frame.

There is more detailed stuff to it, but that should get you started.

Also, if you don't have a camera, or you just cant get the hang of it. For about $20 I can take an evening, come to your house with my camera. Do a one-on-one training session, and take a bunch of pictures of your tanks, which I will then send the originals to you and give you some photoshop edits on the others. Just a service that I like to offer. Shouldn't take more than an hour or two.

Let me know if you have questions.

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: Photography (Quick tips)   Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:53 pm

How long does it take to get the hang of operating a more complicated camera? I'm going to upgrade mine to something like the one you have and wonder what the learning curve will be.

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: Photography (Quick tips)   Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:18 am

most of the point and shoot cameras are pretty user friendly. I think the learning curve is small. I eventually want a DSLR and I am fearing the learning curve myself, but I think it will also be small. But thats a tough question to answer, I think its different for each person.

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: Photography (Quick tips)   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:22 pm

Looking at my notes of the meeting there is another very important tip that David gave us, not mentioned already.

Regarding the "white balance" of the camera, he said we could "force" the camera to adjust the white balance.  When taking the shot, we should focus on something bright in the tank.  So, focus on bright white sand, instead of wood, or a bright green leaf, instead of the dark substrate.  Then, once the camera is focused on the bright object, move your camera to your intended subject and take the shot.  

Probably I have not explained this technique very well, so I hope that David will get on and add his own comments.

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: Photography (Quick tips)   Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:59 am

To expand on what Deb is saying...

Most modern digital cameras have light sensors that automatically adjust the exposure of the picture based off the amount of light in the frame. Also on most digital cameras, pushing the picture taking button down halfway will indicate to the camera that you are ready to snap the photo, and it will make all the automatic adjustments and focus on a plane of viewing and once the indicator frame turns green it will hold those settings until you release the button, or push it down the rest of the way to snap the picture.

I have found this method useful for fooling the camera into making automatic adjustments that I want for my picture by aiming else where, getting the camera to freeze the settings by pushing button half way and then moving to my subject to take the picture.

Example. the Suject matter is a fish that swims back and forth at the front glass of the tank. The back of the tank is a dark background. If I try to focus on the moving fish, the camera will have a harder time focusing, it will use the dark background to select a different level of exposure that will cause more blurring in the fish. I have white gravel substrate, so I will point the camera at the gravel in the same plane I expect the fish to swim. Push the button have way and wait for a green frame, then, while holding, bring the camera up to the aim point and sit still. When the fish begins to enter the frame, snap the picture. This obviously takes some trial and error, but try it 8 to 10 times and choose the best photo!

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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