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Exciting aquarium photographs
Magnificent colours full of life: exciting aquarium photographs with a few simple tricks.

Magnificent colours full of life: exciting aquarium photographs with a few simple tricks

Both fresh water and salt water aquariums are fascinating for more and more people. For hours on end, aquarium fans watch the inhabitants of their lovingly designed underwater world. Snails and above all fish – many aquarists want to capture their beauty in photographs. For effective photos there are a few things you need to consider.

"Especially digital photography offers exciting possibilities for aquarists. In principle, all cameras are suitable – compact, system or single lens reflex cameras," as Burkhard Kahl, expert for aquarium photography and author of compendia explains. "The largest scope is offered by the latter two types."

Before you press the shutter button, however, there is cleaning to do:

the panes of the aquarium need a thorough cleaning from the inside as well as from the outside. It is a good idea to filter the water at the same time to get rid of any floating particles, and to remove dead leaves or plants on which algae grow from the aquarium.

The position of the camera is of the utmost importance for a good shot. To avoid distorted and blurry photos, fish fans should point the lens at the aquarium as straight as possible. According to Kahl, "the biggest challenge for photographers is to avoid reflections in the aquarium pane."

Then it is a good idea to darken the room so that light objects are not reflected in the pane. "If you use flash light, it should be set at an angle of about 45 degrees to the pane," Kahl recommends. A shoe mount flash will give much better results than an integrated flash as the latter is often too close to the lens, which leads to silver reflections in the fish's eyes."

Once the technology is set up, the next step is to choose the area you want to photograph. Objects outside the aquarium like chair-backs, curtain ends or table edges should not be in the picture. Once you have accomplished that, it is necessary to wait patiently until a certain fish or a certain group of fish dare swim in front of your lens. When this happens, it is worthwhile to press the shutter several times in a row. Then you can choose the best shot later.

In addition to that, Kahl advises to use photo processing after having taken your shots. "A few small changes to contrast or colours can lead to impressive improvements."

Source: IVH (German Industrial Association for Pet Supplies)