Aquarium photography

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by imagefactory, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. imagefactory

    imagefactory Guest

    Hi all,
    I plan to head off to the nearest aquarium sometime this week and I have
    some questions about reducing reflections on the glass of the aquarium.
    What's the best way to do this?
    Is circular polariser a possible solution?
    And if I wanted to use a flash, how do I also prevent a horrible flash
    reflection which will be evident on the glass?
    By the way, I have a wireless flash unit and wondering if this will somehow
    improve the situation.
    Many thanx on your anticipated responses.

    William
     
    imagefactory, Aug 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. The best is to get inside. The simplest is to get the lens as close
    to the glass as possible. Somewhere in between is using a polariser.
    Yes, the problem is that while you will be able to reduce reflections
    that you can see, it's more difficult to reduce the flash reflection,
    since it's not visible long enough for you to adjust the polariser.
    If they will let you, you could of course trip your flash several times
    to find that angle...
    Be close to the glass. You need to get the reflection out of your
    field of view.
    I don't think so.

    I also recommend to take your tripod or monopod with you (if they are
    allowed in the aquarium) and try shooting without a flash. Fish are
    not that fast, crustaceans are even slower (unless you plan on trying
    to get that crab snapping its claw at somebody), so shutter speeds of
    1/15 could still get you a good picture. You just won't be able to
    hand-hold the camera.

    Victor
     
    Victor Bazarov, Aug 5, 2003
    #2
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  3. "imagefactory" wrote
    William,
    Take some glass cleaner and a couple paper towels, clean the glass.
    Cut a hole in a 8x10 piece of matt black card that exactly matches the
    external lens diameter, so the card fits snugly at the end of the lens. This
    will eliminate reflections in the glass of you, your camera, and
    ceiling/flood/spotlights behind you.
    Get close to the glass, and using an off-camera flash cord, hand hold the
    camera in one hand, flash in the other. Tilt the flash at 45 deg to the
    glass, and aim at the subject.
    Set camera and flash on intelligent auto, even AF will work through clear
    glass, and fire away.
     
    Paul Skelcher, Aug 5, 2003
    #3
  4. imagefactory

    ROBMURR Guest

    A rubber lens hood attached to your
    lens and pressed against the glass
    will let you shoot your flash without
    it reflecting into your lens...
     
    ROBMURR, Aug 5, 2003
    #4

  5. Never tried a CPol, but I doubt you could get the angle right. Worst
    thing to me would be the reduction of light in the viewfinder, might make
    things really difficult.

    Get right against the glass with a rubber lenshood. This eliminates
    the flash considerations, as well as external lights, reflections from the
    scuffed glass, getting pics of yourself and other visitors, and so on.

    Paul's idea about the black non-reflector could also work, as long as
    you have a way not to crumple it. I always wear dark clothes and minimize
    reflective items I carry. Leave Mr. T at home.

    An off-camera flash helps, the wireless can work, a flash bracket can
    work. All you need to avoid is being far enough from the glass for the
    flash to get inside your view angle (so longer lenses can also help).
    Beware of the scuffed or dirty glass issue, since your flash can illuminate
    that too without getting a hotspot in the frame. I've used glass cleaner,
    but it doesn't help with scuffed plexi, which is what many aquariums have.

    The glass and the water will reduce flash power by about a 1/2 stop
    in typical aquarium distances. If you don't have a flash system that does
    off-the-film TTL measurements (Canon E-TTL does NOT), add in some flash
    compensation if you have the ability. However, if you're broadside to a
    silvery fish, you might want to leave this off.

    Shoot straight on through the glass - aiming at an angle, while good
    for eliminating reflections, will introduce a significant amount of
    distortion.

    Pay attention to the rules. Some aquariums don't like flashes,
    especially around some of the more sensitive inhabitants like octopi.

    Good luck, and have fun!



    - Al.
     
    Al Denelsbeck, Aug 5, 2003
    #5
  6. The circular polariser will only work well if the camera is aimed at roughly
    a 45 degree angle to the glass, but you'll still see nice images of the
    other people there at the right and left of the photo - probably not what
    you want.

    The lens hood and tripod combo is about the best (with a flash if they'll
    allow it, or high speed film otherwise). If the flash is wireless, make
    sure it works with the camera's exposure componsation. When you say
    "wireless" do you mean radio or infra-red? The infra-red type could be a
    problem because the emiter will probably be facing the glass.

    Al, what's the difference between the Canon E-TTL and off-the-film? As I
    understand it, E-TTL evaluates the difference between the light levels
    received at a detector for the selected focus point with and without the
    pre-flash. It then emits enough flash while taking the photo to ensure that
    the selected focus point is correctly exposed.

    Regards,
    Aaron Queenan.

    "Al Denelsbeck" <} wrote in message
    } "imagefactory" <} wrote in
    } }
    } } Hi all,
    } } I plan to head off to the nearest aquarium sometime this week and I
    } } have some questions about reducing reflections on the glass of the
    } } aquarium. What's the best way to do this?
    } } Is circular polariser a possible solution?
    } } And if I wanted to use a flash, how do I also prevent a horrible flash
    } } reflection which will be evident on the glass?
    } } By the way, I have a wireless flash unit and wondering if this will
    } } somehow improve the situation.
    } } Many thanx on your anticipated responses.
    }
    }
    } Never tried a CPol, but I doubt you could get the angle right. Worst
    } thing to me would be the reduction of light in the viewfinder, might make
    } things really difficult.
    }
    } Get right against the glass with a rubber lenshood. This eliminates
    } the flash considerations, as well as external lights, reflections from the
    } scuffed glass, getting pics of yourself and other visitors, and so on.
    }
    } Paul's idea about the black non-reflector could also work, as long as
    } you have a way not to crumple it. I always wear dark clothes and minimize
    } reflective items I carry. Leave Mr. T at home.
    }
    } An off-camera flash helps, the wireless can work, a flash bracket can
    } work. All you need to avoid is being far enough from the glass for the
    } flash to get inside your view angle (so longer lenses can also help).
    } Beware of the scuffed or dirty glass issue, since your flash can
    illuminate
    } that too without getting a hotspot in the frame. I've used glass cleaner,
    } but it doesn't help with scuffed plexi, which is what many aquariums have.
    }
    } The glass and the water will reduce flash power by about a 1/2 stop
    } in typical aquarium distances. If you don't have a flash system that does
    } off-the-film TTL measurements (Canon E-TTL does NOT), add in some flash
    } compensation if you have the ability. However, if you're broadside to a
    } silvery fish, you might want to leave this off.
    }
    } Shoot straight on through the glass - aiming at an angle, while good
    } for eliminating reflections, will introduce a significant amount of
    } distortion.
    }
    } Pay attention to the rules. Some aquariums don't like flashes,
    } especially around some of the more sensitive inhabitants like octopi.
    }
    } Good luck, and have fun!
    }
    }
    }
    } - Al.
    }
    } --
    } To reply, insert dash in address to match domain below
    } Online photo gallery at www.wading-in.net
     
    Aaron Queenan, Aug 5, 2003
    #6
  7. :-> The rubber business end of a plunger. Cut a hole big enough for your
    lens in the stick end, the put the suction end of the plunger against the
    glass. You won't get any suction, but the plunger is big and stiff enough
    to hold tight against the glass and not vingette the image while you move
    the camera to various angles to get your shots.

    Have fun!
     
    Phil Stripling, Aug 5, 2003
    #7
  8. imagefactory

    L&W Cooper Guest

    Darken the room completely to eliminate reflections, set up your camera on a
    tripod, take off the top of the aquarium, and then light the aquarium from
    above as all aquaria lighted in real life. If you use an off camera flash
    you can angle the light somewhat to get different effects, and the resulting
    pictures will have a three dimensional quality that is very nice. Since the
    only light will be coming from inside the aquarium, reflections will be
    almost irrelevant.
     
    L&W Cooper, Aug 5, 2003
    #8
  9. imagefactory

    photo35744 Guest

    Keep your lens, if you can pressed to the glass. If you use flash the flash
    will not reflect back to you.
     
    photo35744, Aug 6, 2003
    #9
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