When you want to photograph a fish tank or the fish in the aquarium, there are a few important preparations you have to make in order to get optimal results.
To get good results it is vital that you clean the glass clean inside and make sure that the aquarium looks as good as possible. If the glass is loaded with dirt and residue then the pictures will not come out clear. If the inside of the fish aquarium is nasty looking then nobody will want to look at your final pictures because they will be ugly. It is important to make sure you change the water, vacuum the bottom of the tank and clean up all of the dirt and mud, and clean the glass. I cannot emphasize how important it is to clean the glass and the tank prior to taking pictures of your fish in the aquarium. There is only so much Photoshop can do. When the aquarium is clear inside you can move onto the next steps. When cleaning the glass you do not want any window cleaning liquid such as Windex to come into contact with the water or it will be damaging and even lethal to the fish. Fish safety should always come first.
Many fish tanks will have a lot of scratches and these may not be very clear until you go to take pictures. After you clean the fish tanks you should find the section of the fish aquarium that has the least amount of scratches and is in the best condition.
When you are about to start shooting, it is important to have lot of patience, fish are not trainable, and can take a long time to get where you want it long enough to reach to get a decent photograph to share on 500PX, Flickr, or another website. It is best to photograph at night in a completely dark room where only the aquarium is illuminated. This helps to eliminate any glare that may bounce off of the glass. It is a good idea to put the camera on a tripod, since there is rarely much light in the aquarium. If you do not use a tripod then you may get photographs that do not come out right because even the slightest amount of shake can destroy an image when it is done in low light conditions.
The settings of the camera can be very different, but it's a good idea to have such the highest ISO setting that the camera allows. If you get very much noise or the pictures look too grainy then lower the ISO. You may want to photograph the fish with a lower depth of field, as it reduces interference background. This is achieved best by a high aperture (low F-number).
It is an advantage to set the white balance manually, as too much of the wrong auto-balance can give a yellowish light to the fish which will appear as a bluish color in salt water.
If you use flash, it is advantageous to use an external one of them, so you can have the angle from the window away from the camera. If you cannot use an external flash then you should have the camera angled so that there is no glare off of the glass on the aquarium when you snap a photograph. This part of aquarium photography may take a lot of trial and effort to do if you do not have an external flash unit.
The fish in the aquarium should be fit and healthy. If there is any sign or hint of disease then you should get healthier fish. Even the slightest indication of disease in the fish will take the emphasis off of your photography and onto the welfare of the fish in your care.
A successful aquarium photographer who is capable of getting strong and beautiful images will find that he has mastered a photographic niche that not many photographers can master. It is hard to learn how to do aquarium photography successfully in a wide variety of shooting conditions, but if you get good at it and can adapt and overcome any photographic situation then you will find that you will be able to sell a lot more prints, sell more stock photography, and be able to get photographic shoots that other photographers cannot handle.
Shooting fish in aquariums is much more different than shooting weddings, but it can also be much more enjoyable. As long as you put the welfare of the aquarium fish first then you can take pride in your work.
Aquarium photographers are often hired by different States to shoot photography for their travel manuals and for their fish and game manuals in the tropical States such as Hawaii for their fish and game manuals. A good aquarium photographer will have a wealth of various opportunities available that a regular photographer would not be able to handle.
Although there are set ways of photographing fish in the aquarium, you should also feel free to experiment. Don’t experiment very much until you get the basics down and then feel free to go ahead and try new aquarium photography techniques.
For the post processing you want it to be relatively grain-free initially, but then you can have all the fun in the World. Using your aquarium shots and transforming those using HDR techniques will make your fish “pop out” and allow your photography to show the intricate details of the fish.
A lot of people give aquarium photography a try but rarely do people follow through and become competent aquarium fish photographers. If you stick with it and learn to shoot the fish in the tanks then you can open up an entire new World of work to yourself and have a lot of fun n the process.
If you want to be a successful photographer then you need to master the basics and then figure out how to differentiate yourself from every other photographer out there. Aquarium photography is a great way to do that.