Beginner Best settings

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Name
Phil
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#1
I'm off work tomorrow and going to the national Marine aquarium in Plymouth tomorrow.

My question is what kind of settings would be best for photography, would like to take lots off photos without losing the first few tanks being lost to experimentation of settings.

Thank you in advance.
 
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#2
What camera ? Might helps the nice folks here to give you a slightly more dedicated answer
 
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Gary
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#3
Well you can't use flash for a start. Highish ISO, Shoot RAW (white balance in post). Be careful of reflections. You can put your lens up to the glass (they do a rubber hood for this) use a jumper or something.
As said what camera
 
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#5
White balance will be tricky, so raw or raw+jpg so you can make specific adjustments when you get back. Each tank may need a different white balance.

In public aquariums don't use flash - it's tough to use effectively without practice and the right type of access, but more importantly you won't know how the fish will react and some fish can be injured or even killed by their involuntary reflexes to flash.

Reflections will be tricky, you'll have to try your best. Use the highest ISO you find acceptable with your camera (remember that grainy but correctly exposed and focus is better than a low ISO but blurry shot), the slowest shutter speed you can comfortably hand-hold and whatever aperture that allows you. Err on the side of caution with shutter speed. The lighting towards the top of each tank is likely to be brighter than that at the bottom.

Check the minimum focussing distance for your lens. Sometimes you can use this to your advantage, for example if the minimum focussing distance is 24", being within 20" of the aquarium glass means that the autofocus can't be distracted by scratches, algae or fingerprints on the glass. Just make sure your subject on the other side of the glass is at or beyond the minimum focusing distance.
 
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Shayne
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#6
With all do respect I don't understand these type of questions. Sure we can advise you on the common sense setting and the basics of shooting into glass but how do we know what setting are best? We are not looking at the light. The only one doing that is you when you get there. What I mean is that every situation is different. Light changes all the time and even where you are positioned can completely change what settings you need to use. So there is no way to answer your question without being there. Of course if you are looking for the obvious, use the correct iso and shutter speed and so on then it's a perfectly good question.:banghead:
 
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James
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#8
Here we go again.. poeple advising begginers to take a bad picture but take it in raw so you can fix it later.... do none of you know how to set white balance in camera?
Noone's advising to take a bad picture or fix anything in post. Designating the white balance in post rather than at the point of capture isn't "fixing". There's simply zero advantage to setting your white balance at the time in this instance - furthermore it may not even be possible to set an accurate one at the time. All it would do is waste time that could be better spent either taking a photo of some little critter that may whizz past the glass once every 20 minutes, or by enjoying time at the aquarium.

But then you already knew all that of course.
 
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Shayne
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#9
Noone's advising to take a bad picture or fix anything in post. Designating the white balance in post rather than at the point of capture isn't "fixing". There's simply zero advantage to setting your white balance at the time in this instance - furthermore it may not even be possible to set an accurate one at the time. All it would do is waste time that could be better spent either taking a photo of some little critter that may whizz past the glass once every 20 minutes, or by enjoying time at the aquarium.



:agree:
 
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#10
Here we go again.. poeple advising begginers to take a bad picture but take it in raw so you can fix it later.... do none of you know how to set white balance in camera?
From that line, I assume you have little to no experience of photographing aquariums.

White balance with aquariums is very tricky to get right in-camera:
  • It's frequently outside the range that can be set on most DSLRs (a particular problem with reef/coral aquaria)
  • It changes from one tank to the next, depending upon the lighting installed, time since last tube change, even depth of water for very large shark tanks (and we are talking about a large national aquaria centre)
  • It changes as the light tubes age
  • It's not always constant in different areas of the same tank

Of course, I may be wrong, you may be aquarium photographer of the year and not just having a late night whinge at a three week old thread because you're old, tired, grumpy and can't get to sleep.. so Kipax, would you care to set out how you would go about setting the white balance in-camera for shooting a range of aquariums?
 
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Shayne
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#13
From that line, I assume you have little to no experience of photographing aquariums.

White balance with aquariums is very tricky to get right in-camera:

If it is so complicated wouldn't doing it in post processing be a better alternative? Sure seems that way to me unless your scuba diver shows up in time with his shark cage and gray card. :D Opps, sorry I couldn't resist. :exit:
 

StewartR

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Stewart
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#14
@shaylou It would help if you separated your comments from the other contributors' comments which you're quoting. Just start your bit outside/after the end-of-quote tag, rather than inside/before it.
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#15
One thing for all to remember is that while you're standing up against the glass with your rubber hood pressed against the carefully desnotted area, none of the other people (who have paid for their access just like you have) can see through you. Get your shot and move on. Chances are you'll be able to buy a much better photo as a postcard in the gift shop anyway.
 

happygolucky

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Andrew
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#16
From that line, I assume you have little to no experience of photographing aquariums.



Of course, I may be wrong, you may be aquarium photographer of the year and not just having a late night whinge at a three week old thread because you're old, tired, grumpy and can't get to sleep.. so Kipax, would you care to set out how you would go about setting the white balance in-camera for shooting a range of aquariums?
I too would like to hear Tony's answer?
 
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Shayne
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#17
@shaylou It would help if you separated your comments from the other contributors' comments which you're quoting. Just start your bit outside/after the end-of-quote tag, rather than inside/before it.
I think this is an app thing. I hit the quote button and are given a space to type. There is no starting point as you suggest. A lot of the time I'm on my phone but this time I'm on my ipad. Wonder how the ipad app will turn out.
 
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Shayne
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#18
@shaylou It would help if you separated your comments from the other contributors' comments which you're quoting. Just start your bit outside/after the end-of-quote tag, rather than inside/before it.

Well that seemed to work on my iPad so I thought I would see how it comes our on the iphone.


Sent from my iPhone using Talk Photography Forums
 
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David
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#20
Here we go again.. poeple advising begginers to take a bad picture but take it in raw so you can fix it later.... do none of you know how to set white balance in camera?
There's no advantage to setting white balance in camera when shooting RAW. None... nada... zip. Besides, you'd be guessing unless you can measure it. This is a unique situation because you're shooting into a large body of water. You can make a guess that you'll need to set a fairly high temp, but it would be a guess and there would be no guarantee you'd have a correct colour temperature set anyway unless you actually measure it.


Ordinarily, in normal conditions, my advice would be shoot RAW, shoot a grey card reference, and white balance in post using the grey card. That's accepted good practice, and it's still adjusting it in post. Setting it in camera is guessing unless you actually know the colour temperature of the light. That's not practical in an aquarium of course, as you can't put the grey card in the tank, but it does demonstrate that the accepted best practice relies on post adjustment of WB. The only time I'd bother with manual setting of WB is if I actually knew the colour temperature of the lights I'm using, and even then I'd question the point of that if shooting RAW: It's just more habit than a necessity.

Can you explain why the manual setting of WB when shooting RAW offers any advantage?

Anyway... shooting in aquariums. A rubber lens hood is great for this, as you can push the lens right up to the glass. However... you've probably not got one, so use any lens hood.. lens against the glass, and shielded from any extraneous light behind you. This is to avoid reflections off the glass. Use either aperture priority or shutter priority depending on whether capturing fast moving fish, or front to back depth of field is important. This may vary from tank to tank of course. High ISO will be needed as the levels of light will be very low... but a fast lens will obviously help.
 
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