- 11 Jul 2007
- Almaty, Kazakhstan
Hi Chris,The colours you get on your pictures is amazing. Do you use any editing software or a certain camera?
To get the colors that you're actually seeing through your brain's filters it's normally best to use the DSLR's Custom White Balance function. It's on most Nikons, but I'm sure it's on other brands too. Color balance is all about telling the camera what "white" or "grey" is. To get a CWB it's a matter of holding an "official" white object under those lights and selecting AWB. The camera then figures out what it takes to reproduce the object color cast as "white" and then applies those settings to subsequent shots. It's just a calibration curve. I go one step further and submerge the white card in the tank and then point the camera through the glass, as the glass usually has a color cast as well. This can be done without a DSLR in Photoshop as well, and probably other software also, as long as there is a white object in the tank under the water. This has to be done every time there is a bulb type change (or with LEDs every time the color settings are changed.
Have a look at the photos in my post #62 above. I just used my phone and didn't bother to do any of that calibration. Can you see how much blue there is in that color cast? Those lights are intentionally deep in the blue channel. I love using blue, but it's not photo friendly. Here is a photo where I did the Custom White Balance using a submerged A4 size Xerox printer sheet of paper to get the CWB using the same color channel combination as in those photos above. The color cast is erased. Just a piece of printer paper. Imagine that.
Allow me a short rant:
Did you know the whole world is blue? If our brain had as much sensitivity to blue as it does to green that's what we would see - all the time in daylight. Isn't that ghastly? But that's how plants see the world. Our only clue is that the sky and ocean are blue. Our brain specifically filters out most of the blue so we're spared the agony of enduring a lifetime of a blue Hell on Earth.
There are actually hobbyists fresh from The Matrix trying to convince us that blue is bad because it somehow shrinks plants, or causes algae. Isn't that absurd? I wish blue did shrink plants. That would save me a LOT of time pruning and pulling the bucketloads of plant mass I've been forced to jettison from the tank every couple of weeks to keep it from choking.
It's a tough problem to solve. Algae are not just robots. They behave differently in a tank without plants versus a tank with plants. That's why the results/conclusions of some experiments done in a petrie dish don't carry over to a planted tank. A long term blackout is the only idea I can come up with.Typically, as this tank stabilizes my other tank, non planted with Malawi in (Chindongo Saulosi), similar to what George has done with his is suffering with brown algae. At first I thought it was diatoms, the tank is now 3-4 months old and certainly isn't improving. If anything getting worse. I have dropped the light to 6 hours during the week then 8 at the weekend. Only on a stock Fluval light, running a 1600lph power head and fluval 307 (tank is 125l).