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How To... Take Better Photos Of Your Aquarium

07 April 2014

For most of us, taking photos of our aquariums, fish and corals can prove a frustrating experience!! Here are a few tips on how to take better photos, and show off all your hard work to your friends...

After investing a considerable amount of time, energy and money in our aquariums, one of the first things we want to do is get a few pictures of our set-up and fish. Of course, we want to do this without having to buy equipment that will cost us the world, so how can we take good quality pictures to highlight our stunning aquariums.

We plan to develop this theme of taking photos of your fish over the coming weeks and months, but to get us started, we’ve compiled a list of five quick tips to hopefully make your photos stand out!

1. Ensure Your Tank Is Clean & Clear
There’s nothing worse than waiting for a while and snapping a great photo of an elusive fish, only for a big mark on your glass to spoil it! Giving your glass a quick clean inside and out can make a huge difference to the quality of your pictures. As well as this, little areas of algae that don’t show up on viewfinders or your screen, can show up on the final photo, so prepare to give your tank a quick spruce up if possible. One piece of advice though; if you are cleaning your tank, gravel or ornaments/plants, give it a chance to settle, as little specs in the water can cause your photos to look ‘grainy’ and your water look dirty.

2. Wait Until Feeding Is Done
Similarly to #1, feeding time can be a great time to take video of your aquarium, but a bad time for photos. With increased movement, focusing on a fish can be difficult, as well as the inevitable agitation of the water which will stir up sediment from your tank, clouding the water. As well as this, after feeding there is a time where your fish will produce waste, so better waiting until after they’ve finished!! In store, we wait around 15-30 minutes after feeding, the fish seem to settle and slow down enough for some great pics.

3. Know Your Fish
Different fish have different behaviours and can prove hard to catch pictures of. Fast moving or shy fish can prove difficult to snap a picture of, and knowing your fish with go a long way to knowing when is best to catch a picture of them. Discus are easy to snap as they are so peaceful and flow through the water, whereas if you have fast moving cichlids, your pictures can be blurred or a fish that was there has decided to go elsewhere! (See #5!!)

4. Know Your Camera & Surroundings
In store we use three different cameras to take pictures with, a DSLR, a Compact, and an iPhone. Each has it’s pros and cons, but more often than not, the camera on a mobile phone can take stunning pictures. We aim to do a little tutorial on each in the future, but there are a few things to take notice of when photographing. Firstly, try to make your room as dark as possible as glare can ruin a picture by reflecting your image into the photo - try to take the picture at an angle to reduce this. Secondly, try not to move or shake the camera as it can cause blur to occur. Thirdly, take your pictures without filters (you can add them after) as this will give you a clear photo which then you can work with.

5. Be Patient!!
This is the key! I don’t know how many times we have taken the perfect picture only for a black mark to appear, a fish to move, a fish ‘photobomb’ or a shaky hand has completely ruined it!! Taking photos of fish can be a frustrating business - and sometimes the best thing we can do is walk away and come back again. We have spend 30mins in the fish house to get 1 great picture, but there is nothing more satisfying than getting a great photo to show all the work and effort you have put in.

There you go - five quick tips to help you take great pictures of your aquarium, fish and corals. We have a gallery on our site for photos we have taken in store, and we use minimal stock photos on our site, so that everything we put online has been taken in store. This means what you see online is what you get in store.

We all love to show off great fish, corals and aquariums, so if you have a photo, please send it to us at sales@exoticaquatics.co.uk and we’ll try to get a few customer photos up on our site.

You can check out the gallery here at www.exoticaquatics.co.uk/photo-gallery


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