jay

transcript

  • [20:10 18/03/2005] <@craig> Good evening everyone!
  • [20:10 18/03/2005] <@craig> Welcome to Live! Fishchat!
  • [20:11 18/03/2005] <@craig> Tonight Jess will be speaking on the topic of Aquarium Photography.
  • [20:11 18/03/2005] <@craig> Jess, when ever you are ready. :-)
  • [20:11 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Thanks, craig
  • [20:11 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> I guess I should start out with equipment. there are many who will argue that you can still take good pictures with cheap or otherwise un-ideal cameras. It comes down to a matter of skill, much of which can be earner (though sometimes with hard work).
  • [20:11 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> *learned
  • [20:11 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> However, the beauty of digital is that you should not have to develop major skills to get decent pictures. With a little work and effort and luck you can be producing some amazing shots.
  • [20:12 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> It will just depend on your artistic sense and/or cropping skills.
  • [20:12 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a digital camera you wish to use mainly for aquarium photography:
  • [20:12 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> 1. Macro ability. the closer the better. Nikon still rules this arena, Cannon is pretty close.
  • [20:12 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> 2. Off Camera flash ability. Majority of consumer-level cameras you will be looking at will not allow this, but if you can set up a series of slave flashes or move the flash off camera, you will be thrilled.
  • [20:12 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> 3. Ability to change ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. These are very handy especially if you want to take pics without using a flash.
  • [20:13 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> 4. megapixels. 2 is minimum. 4 would be better. the advantage of more megapixels is that you can crop an image in closer, rather than just fully relying on the camera viewfinder.
  • [20:13 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> 5. tripod. If you are not using a flash, this is essential. I prefer something heavier duty, but if all it will be used for is light aquatic photography, and you are not super shaky, you can get away with most any kind.
  • [20:13 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Moving on, once you have your camera, there is plenty you can do.
  • [20:13 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> *****Clean Your Tank(s)*****
  • [20:13 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> this is the most vital thing: clean your tanks. It does not matter how fantistic a photographer you are if your shots are ruined by water spots and algae,
  • [20:13 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Do a 50% water change, scrape the glass, clean the outside of it. I have spoiled numerous shots because of that.
  • [20:14 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> n fact, it would be a good policy (if you like keeping your camera for those perfect shots that appear) to clean the glass a couple times a week. Otherwise you will end up with a spotted picture, or scare the fish off when trying to clean the glass.
  • [20:14 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> *****Read Your Camera Manual*****
  • [20:14 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> You need to find out how to use all the settings. Some cameras come equipped with some that are very handy for photography. If you have a macro, you need to learn how to turn it on and how close you can be to take shots.
  • [20:15 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> for aquatic photography... one should hope they are handy for photography -_-
  • [20:15 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> some of the new cameras will allow you to rest your camera on the glass and take a shot of something sitting on the glass on the other side of the tank. However, if you do not have a macro, you need to see what is the closest you can set up to the tank for both unzoomed pictures and zoomed.
  • [20:15 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Find out how to change ISO, shutter-speed and aperture.
  • [20:15 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> let me wander of into techie land for a few....
  • [20:16 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ---> ISO.
  • [20:16 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ISO is the system used to tell you the filmspeed of a camera. with digital, it will determine what light sensitivity it uses. A lower ISO of 100 will result in much more detail than 800.
  • [20:16 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> However, you need alot more light for ISO 100, than 800. If you are taking pictures without a flash, you will want to shoot for an ISO of 100, which means alot of outside light.
  • [20:16 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> but an ISO of 800 will allow you to capture a faster moving object.... it is all relative
  • [20:16 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ---> Shutter Speed
  • [20:16 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Shutter speed is how long the camera's shutter is open, how long the image is exposed for. A faster shutterspeed of 1/250 will be able to capture movement, while a slower one of 1/4 will result in a blurred fish.
  • [20:17 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> The general rule is anything longer than 1/45 one should use a tripod unless one has very steady hands. When I use a film camera, the lowest I can do is 1/60. Since the digital is so light, i can manage a 1/45.
  • [20:17 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> If you do not have a tripod and must use a low shutterspeed, try pressing the lens against the glass to help hold it steady, or prop it on something.
  • [20:17 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ---> Aperture.
  • [20:17 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Aperture will determine how much light will hit the film. A larger f-stop of 8 will allow alot more light in than one of 1.7, Using a higher aperture allows for a quicker shutter speed.
  • [20:17 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> However, if you use a larger aperture, it will result in a lower DOF (depth of field). depth of field is how far in front and behind the area you are focusing on, is in focus.
  • [20:18 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> For an extremely basic example, you focus on a fish's eye and use an f-stop of 22 so that you can get by without a flash. The eye will be in focus, but the lips and fins will be blurred.
  • [20:18 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> If, on the other hand, you use an f-stop of 1.7 you will have the lips and fins in focus.
  • [20:18 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> --->White balance.
  • [20:18 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> I leave this on auto when I'm using a flash. If I turn it off, then i need to set it for fluorescent lighting (or whatever form of lighting you are using) If you turn it to any specific setting when using the flash, it results in some odd coloration. Play around with settings at least.
  • [20:18 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ok, enough of the boring technical stuff.
  • [20:19 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> *****Lighting*****
  • [20:19 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> If you are lucky enough to be able to get an off-camera lighting set, I'd advise doing some reading at http://aquatic-photography.com . I have no experience with them.
  • [20:19 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> However, I imagine most folks here are likely bound to on camera or no flash. Try to darken the room as much as you can when preparing for a photo shoot. Cover any lights opposite the tank, or that can reflect on it. watch for other reflections as well. Turn on all the tank lights if you have more than one.
  • [20:19 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ---> On-Camera Flash
  • [20:19 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> One of the things I've noticed with this is that angle is vital. If you come straight on to the glass, you will likely get a huge flash reflection. If you angle too sharply, the glass will distort the pictures. You will need to practice to find where it works out best.
  • [20:19 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Other things to keep in mind. the background of your tank will effect the flash. you want to use a dark muted color, to absorb as much light. However, if you have glass, it will still reflect light forward and possibly mess up your shot. Using rocks, plants, or plastic interior backgrounds will help solve that aspect of reflection.
  • [20:20 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> If you are using a macro that allows you to get close, your lens will actually block the flash, resulting in a dark image with a bright background, or a gradient from light to dark from the upper left to lower right. This can add to the picture, or make it unusable. here is one where I used it to my advantage:
  • [20:20 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> http://hopewelt.com/coppermine/displayimage.php?album=106&pos=25
  • [20:20 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> other tricks to consider experimenting with when using the flash:
  • [20:20 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> --use a thin tissue paper or similar half-transparent paper to diffuse the light.
  • [20:20 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> --use tin foil to direct light upwards or sideways.
  • [20:21 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> ---> No Flash
  • [20:21 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> All i can say is get as much light on the subject as possible. side lighting is fine and can create an interesting dynamic. Make sure to adjust your White Balance.
  • [20:21 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> *****The Fish*****
  • [20:21 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> There are a wide variety of fish, and each pose their own problems.
  • [20:21 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Some are easy to focus on, they just lay around. plecos come to mind.
  • [20:21 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> others dart everywhere and are nearly impossible. With these, patience and a quick shot and taking perhaps 50-100 shots for every excellent one becomes necessary.
  • [20:22 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> you can usually get a good one in 10-20-30 depending on your luck and practice.
  • [20:22 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Focusing on an aquarium decoration and moving the camera and lying in wait for a fish to swim in the focal point also is a technique that may help you.
  • [20:22 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Also, if you watch them, almost all will be still for a few seconds.
  • [20:22 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Others hide in holes making it impossible to focus on them. Sometimes a flashlight helps with this issue. turn it off before you make the finally snap, though.
  • [20:22 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> *****Other Things to Think About*****
  • [20:22 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> The most vital thing you will find is PRACTICE. You must practice, and do it alot. Pay attention to what you are doing, and compare it to the resulting images on the computer, not just in the viewfinder.
  • [20:23 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> if you have a repeated issue, it would be better to try to figure out what you need to do to get around it. You can go to some aquatic photography section, or post even on the general forums. There are some folks who may know the issue and solution.
  • [20:23 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Some things are as simple as not using digital zoom (an issue of mine in the past).
  • [20:23 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> Don't give up. Almost all cameras can be worked out.
  • [20:23 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> thanks for listening, i'm sure i've forgotten a thing or two, so feel free to ask questions.
  • [20:23 18/03/2005] <@craig> Thanks Jess..
  • [20:23 18/03/2005] *** craig sets mode: -m
  • [20:24 18/03/2005] <@craig> I'm just going to open the floor tonight. :-)
  • [20:24 18/03/2005] <@craig> Something that you didn't mention...
  • [20:24 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> my thanks to those of you who did show up :-D
  • [20:24 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> yes?
  • [20:24 18/03/2005] <@craig> Lots of batteries or a good set of rechargeables. ;-)
  • [20:24 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> true.
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <Geoff> Nice job Jess, informative indeed, love the shrimp you linked to ^_^
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> thanks :-D
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <@JP> Rechargeable batteries are the best things I ever bought.
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <@craig> I buy batteries in bulk, so they are cheap, but rechargeables are definitely the way to go.
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> agreed
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <@craig> 2 sets. One in the camera and one set charging/charged.
  • [20:25 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> you can get 15minute rechargeables for AA and AAA, which covers most basic cameras
  • [20:26 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> the higher end, you can purchase more units, as they will have specialty
  • [20:26 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> which are worth it.
  • [20:27 18/03/2005] <@craig> Along the with the practice thing, we need to remember we aren't burning up film, so click-click-click, take LOTS of pics.
  • [20:27 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> yes
  • [20:27 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> so get the largest memory card you can afford
  • [20:28 18/03/2005] <@craig> Ooo! And shoot at the highest resolution you can.
  • [20:28 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> set the settings to the highest you can. (i would avoid the Tiff setting since it usually takes much longer to save to the card)
  • [20:28 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> :-D
  • [20:28 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> great minds :-D
  • [20:28 18/03/2005] <@JP> Craig, would you like to write a Part 2? :-P
  • [20:28 18/03/2005] <@craig> Just lending a helping hand. ;-)
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> that's what this part is for
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> to get all the extra stuff i forgot worked out
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@JP> I know, I know....simmer down. :-D
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] * @Jessica kicks JP
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@JP> Ooooh.
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> i ain't angry ;-)
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@JP> Just fiesty. :-D
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <@craig> You touched on it briefly, but do turn off digital zoom..
  • [20:29 18/03/2005] <Geoff> I so wish I could, -_-
  • [20:30 18/03/2005] <@JP> I might just get my manual for this thing out.
  • [20:30 18/03/2005] <@JP> Someday.
  • [20:30 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> yes. as i discussed on the board, stick with optical/mechanical. there usually is a period where the camera hesitates before jumping to optical.
  • [20:30 18/03/2005] <@craig> Digital zoom doesn't do anything other than explode pixels, which results in a grainy shot when cropped and/or maginified.
  • [20:30 18/03/2005] <Geoff> mabey I'll borrow the guard's actual digital camera when I get my real fish
  • [20:30 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> sounds like a good plan
  • [20:31 18/03/2005] <@craig> Depth of field can be used to your advantage.
  • [20:31 18/03/2005] * @Jessica nods
  • [20:32 18/03/2005] <@craig> In the long run though, as Jess said, it all boils down to playing. :-D
  • [20:32 18/03/2005] <@JP> I just shoot a million pics and pick out the few good ones. ;-D
  • [20:32 18/03/2005] <@craig> I got lucky, my Olympus has a pretty good set of stock settings that out of the box takes decent pics.
  • [20:33 18/03/2005] <@JP> I have an Olympus, too.
  • [20:33 18/03/2005] <@craig> D-510 here JP.
  • [20:33 18/03/2005] <@JP> D-540 here.
  • [20:33 18/03/2005] <Geoff> *groan* Sony Cam..... I think I should mention Camcorders are not the best to take pics with, although I guess I have gotten some decent ones
  • [20:34 18/03/2005] <@craig> I *wish* I had a camcorder..
  • [20:34 18/03/2005] <@JP> I have one of those, somwhere.
  • [20:34 18/03/2005] <@craig> Stills just don't do justice to my loach tribe in full dance.
  • [20:35 18/03/2005] <@JP> I'd like to see some of those dojos. ;-)
  • [20:35 18/03/2005] <Geoff> with fast swimming fish, video is almost worthless though
  • [20:36 18/03/2005] <@craig> http://www.2cah.com/pets/75/75dojobuds.JPG -- dead center and also a good example of why you should clean the glass. :-D
  • [20:36 18/03/2005] <Geoff> pictus would turn into silver blurs unless you filmed in nightshot, which is possible, but doesn't make for the best movies...
  • [20:36 18/03/2005] <@JP> I just love those things. I'm excited that I can now actually have a few.
  • [20:37 18/03/2005] <@JP> Loaches...sheesh.
  • [20:37 18/03/2005] <Geoff> heheh
  • [20:37 18/03/2005] <@craig> http://www.2cah.com/pets/75/75-dojo.JPG -- this is a good one JP
  • [20:37 18/03/2005] <@JP> Oh yeah, I'm sold. ;-D
  • [20:37 18/03/2005] <Geoff> lol
  • [20:37 18/03/2005] <@craig> Which is just about life size when viewed at 100%..
  • [20:38 18/03/2005] <Geoff> cool
  • [20:38 18/03/2005] <Geoff> I bet my future bichir would love a dojo pal..... :S
  • [20:39 18/03/2005] <@craig> Here's a good example of a picture that is excellent but for one water spot: http://www.2cah.com/pets/75/040615dinnerline.JPG
  • [20:39 18/03/2005] <@JP> It's probably been a year now, but the last time I was at the huge place in STL. they had what was probably a 20L tank with a bunch of those swimming all over the tank.
  • [20:39 18/03/2005] <@JP> I drooled. :-D
  • [20:39 18/03/2005] <Geoff> that waterspot is hardly noticable..
  • [20:39 18/03/2005] <@craig> The point is, its there..
  • [20:39 18/03/2005] <@JP> I didn't see it either.
  • [20:40 18/03/2005] <@JP> All right, I need to leave. I'm actually starting to get excited about new fish. What are you guys doing to me?
  • [20:40 18/03/2005] <Geoff> what we were payed to do
  • [20:40 18/03/2005] <@JP> This is no fun.
  • [20:44 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> here's another good example of dirty tanks ruining a shot
  • [20:44 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> http://hopewelt.com/coppermine/displayimage.php?album=100&pos=14
  • [20:45 18/03/2005] <@craig> Thoughts on composition Jess?
  • [20:45 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> give me afew
  • [20:46 18/03/2005] <@craig> Personally, unless its a macro or close up, I prefer not to center the subject..
  • [20:46 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> hehe
  • [20:46 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> i love assymetrical compositions
  • [20:46 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> using the rule of thirds
  • [20:46 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> even with macros...
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@craig> Its, to my eye, more visually appealing..
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> it is a good thing go think about
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> of course it is, you have artistic sense ;-D
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> the eye should be the focal point of almost all fish photos
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@craig> Weeeelllll.. :-D
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> unless you're doing something experimental
  • [20:47 18/03/2005] <@craig> True on that point.
  • [20:48 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> don't center it. you can focus on it and move the camera slightly
  • [20:48 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> or crop later
  • [20:49 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> give yourself extra room if you find you have to crop to find an interesting composition (i.e. you can't when looking through the viewfinded)
  • [20:49 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> consider background and other elements (decor/fish) that get into the picture frame
  • [20:50 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> profile shots of fish should have enough space that they can 'breathe' but not so much that they are dwarfed. here is an example of a good profile shot:
  • [20:51 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> http://hopewelt.com/coppermine/displayimage.php?album=100&pos=9
  • [20:51 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> now, artistic is another story
  • [20:51 18/03/2005] <@JP> Jess, might want to check that link again. Comes up blank for me.
  • [20:51 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> hmm.. it works..
  • [20:51 18/03/2005] <@JP> Now it doesn't. Third time's the charm.
  • [20:51 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> http://hopewelt.com/coppermine/albums/photography03-05/schisturaN1244.jpg
  • [20:53 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> i consider this a fun shot that is more in the artistic vein:
  • [20:53 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> http://hopewelt.com/coppermine/displayimage.php?album=100&pos=5
  • [20:53 18/03/2005] <@craig> Here's an example of where objects can add to the appeal of the pic even if they obscure the object: http://www.2cah.com/pets/pinkie.jpg
  • [20:54 18/03/2005] <@JP> Okay, is this just turning into an excuse to show off pics? ;-D
  • [20:54 18/03/2005] <@craig> We are talking about composition, there is no better way to show than by example. ;-D
  • [20:55 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> i dont know that i'd advise cutting off the body with an undefinable object, though ;-)
  • [20:55 18/03/2005] <@JP> One day I might have good pics to show off. ;-D
  • [20:56 18/03/2005] <@craig> I knew I had a pic that showed depth of field in action: http://www.2cah.com/pets/ram-qt.JPG
  • [20:59 18/03/2005] *** Geoff (~Geoff@CPE005070e812ee-CM000f9faa6274.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com) has left IRC (Badmans Rules!)
  • [21:00 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> oh, an interesting technique i found for trying to photograph small things
  • [21:00 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> especially when dealing with macro.. if you get too close, the flash doesnt illuminate it
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] <@craig> Speaking of macro, one trick I have found...
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> however, if you can place the tiny thing, snail, eggs, etc, on a mirror, and put the camera full face on, you can get some nice shots, well illuminated, with a funky background
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] *** cindy (~cindy@cc2-24.217.118.19.charter-stl.com) has joined #fishchat
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> clean the mirror first :-/
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] * @craig waits
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> hello cindy :-)
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] <cindy> hi!
  • [21:01 18/03/2005] <@JP> Hey Cindy. :-)
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> what are you waiting for craig?
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <cindy> What?
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <@samantha> hey cindy :)
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <@craig> When shooting macro shots, do play with zoom, it can give you closer shots..
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <cindy> Oh..."Hey"
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <@craig> Hello Cindy. :-D
  • [21:02 18/03/2005] <@craig> I interrupted you Jess, I was waiting for you to finish. :-)
  • [21:03 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> true. some cameras have an "allowable range" though. best to read the camera and find out how to define that. otherwise you'll be forever and wonder why you can't focus
  • [21:03 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> camera manual*
  • [21:03 18/03/2005] <@craig> It is camera dependent.
  • [21:03 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> yup
  • [21:03 18/03/2005] <@Jessica> so, most important things.. 1. read camera manual. 2. practice! lol
  • [21:04 18/03/2005] <@craig> 3. Batteries! ;-)


 

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