Pet Photos: 5 Tips for Photographing Your Fish

Fish make visually interesting pet photos. Even a one dollar goldfish looks pretty cool swimming around, especially when a photograph is taken of it at close range. Here are 5 tips to help you get great photos of your fish.

1. Use a Polarizer

When you are shooting from the outside of your tank looking in, you want to place a polarizing filter over your lens. Polarizers reduce reflections from non-metallic surfaces. That means that with a polarizer, you can shoot through the glass of your tank and have it be as clear as glass.

2. Clean the Glass before Shooting

Because you're shooting through the tank, you want it to look as clear as possible. A polarizer removes unwanted reflections, but if the outside of the tank is dirty with finger prints and smudges, then you're still calling attention to the fact that you're shooting through the tank. Wipe it down with some glass cleaner before you shoot. Even though the camera is outside of the tank, you want to create the illusion that you're inside and next to the fish.

3. Set the Controls to Manual

Because you're shooting through glass, it might get picked up by the camera which could create focus problems when using the auto mode. You also want the aperture to be set to manual too so you can set the right exposure that makes your fish's colors look best.

You want to go for an image that is slightly underexposed as opposed to one that is blown out. When the image is overexposed or blown out, its information is lost. When it's a little underexposed, you can manipulate it in Photoshop or any other editing program to obtain proper levels with rich colors.

4. Use Lighting

Most fish tanks have a built in light in the top. Usually this is sufficient for your needs. If not, you can use your own lights, but aim them so the light is shining down from the top of the thank as opposed to side lighting it. Side lighting will just cause unwanted reflections. If you're using a light shining above the tank, then make sure it is secure and not in danger of falling in. There is no need to get electrocuted.

5. Practice

Odds are that despite all your prep, your first pictures might have reflections, be blurry, or have a fish that swam away when you hit the shutter. Don't get discouraged. Change the angle and try again.

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