Ultra-wide angle (UWA) and aquascaping

Aquadream

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Mark Evans said:
Aquadream said:
is aquariums however in reality look just as ordinary as any other I have seen and his photographs does not represent one bit of reality, but makes all those nice aquascapes to look as extraterrestrial worlds.
I have talked to number of aqua hobbyists that were in turmoil for not been ever capable to achieve those fantastic super clean aquariums (from the pictures), because they do not know that between their eyes and many great aquascapes there is one expensive photo camera and skilled photographer.

This is interesting. You do realise that Amano uses film and a large format camera?...not that expensive.you can pick up a Mamiya Medium format camera for next to nothing.

So in actual fact what you see in his images is exactly what is there in front of you. He doesn't even get to change white balance like we can with digital.
Well I see that Amano also uses few big studio flash lights with sinchronizers as well, next to the old school photo cameras.
Can you help me to get some of those flashes for next to nothing?
 

Mark Evans

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Aquadream said:
Can you help me to get some of those flashes for next to nothing?

Sure. Google them. You can pick up some great deals for not a lot of money :thumbup:

Actually, you dont need them. I've taken some aquatic imges recently that are to feature in a company catalogue. All taken with just tank lighting.

Here's one with tank lighting...

6834549725_7a15ff507f_b.jpg
Half-FTS by saintly's pics, on Flickr

I think your getting lost in the 'all gear, good photos' syndrome. :angelic:
 

Aquadream

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Mark Evans said:
Aquadream said:
Can you help me to get some of those flashes for next to nothing?

Sure. Google them. You can pick up some great deals for not a lot of money :thumbup:

Actually, you dont need them. I've taken some aquatic imges recently that are to feature in a company catalogue. All taken with just tank lighting.

Here's one with tank lighting...

6834549725_7a15ff507f_b.jpg
Half-FTS by saintly's pics, on Flickr

I think your getting lost in the 'all gear, good photos' syndrome. :angelic:
Well not everyone have Geismann tank light with two MH 150W or so units in it. Those are quite helpful when taking nice pictures.
I assume the one you are showing you have made with a small pocket size camera or perhaps one from a mobile phone with some cheap China made luminary with just enough power for the plants to grow, because they do cost next to nothing, almost. I mean just like the Geismann tank luminary.

I also happen to have Canon EOS 600D with the standard 18/55mm lens kit. You know what? Now even 400Watts of T5 lights on my tank are good enough to take proper high resolution pics with it. I would say that is why Amano uses 5 studio flash lights, besides the tank MH lights. Curious he seem to suffer the same syndrome like me.
'all gear, good photos' syndrome. that is hardly the case here.
I have tried many cheap small cameras. About quality aquatic photography they are useless.
The Canon I have is ok, but only if it is set up with some extra gear, lights in particular, better lens would be even nicer. And that does not cost next to nothing. Not at all.

Besides if it is all so simple why you guys are all gearing up with the best Canon and Nikon stuff? What for?

It is good to encourage the folks about the hobby, but it is also good to tell them more about how much all of this does really costs.
 
A

Antipofish

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Aquadream said:
Mark Evans said:
Aquadream said:
Can you help me to get some of those flashes for next to nothing?

Sure. Google them. You can pick up some great deals for not a lot of money :thumbup:

Actually, you dont need them. I've taken some aquatic imges recently that are to feature in a company catalogue. All taken with just tank lighting.

Here's one with tank lighting...

6834549725_7a15ff507f_b.jpg
Half-FTS by saintly's pics, on Flickr

I think your getting lost in the 'all gear, good photos' syndrome. :angelic:
Well not everyone have Geismann tank light with two MH 150W or so units in it. Those are quite helpful when taking nice pictures.
I assume the one you are showing you have made with a small pocket size camera or perhaps one from a mobile phone with some cheap China made luminary with just enough power for the plants to grow, because they do cost next to nothing, almost. I mean just like the Geismann tank luminary.

I also happen to have Canon EOS 600D with the standard 18/55mm lens kit. You know what? Now even 400Watts of T5 lights on my tank are good enough to take proper high resolution pics with it. I would say that is why Amano uses 5 studio flash lights, besides the tank MH lights. Curious he seem to suffer the same syndrome like me.
'all gear, good photos' syndrome. that is hardly the case here.
I have tried many cheap small cameras. About quality aquatic photography they are useless.
The Canon I have is ok, but only if it is set up with some extra gear, lights in particular, better lens would be even nicer. And that does not cost next to nothing. Not at all.

Besides if it is all so simple why you guys are all gearing up with the best Canon and Nikon stuff? What for?

It is good to encourage the folks about the hobby, but it is also good to tell them more about how much all of this does really costs.

Personally I think it has more to do with how you use the equipment you have. Are you saying 400w of light over a tank is not enough to light anything as far as taking an aquarium photograph goes? It should be anyway. Combine the use of aperture, shutter speed and ISO with that lighting and I cannot believe you could not achieve a correctly exposed image.

Of course, the likes of Amano, and even our very own local version... Mark Evans..., do have exceptionally good looking tanks to take pics of, and that helps :) Like Mark, I would be happy to take a decent aquarium image with a Canon Sureshot. I have had a picture published in a travel guide, of the Sky Tower in Auckland, and that was taken with a Canon Ixus 400. So I tend to agree with Mark. Expensive photographic equipment is not essential, though for those for whom photography is as much a hobby (or professional interest) as the aquascaping, its nice to have.

If you are adamant that you feel the need for studio lights though, they can often be picked up on photography forums or even ebay for a couple of hundred quid. Chuck in some home made reflectors and you got your very own studio. The Canon 600D is a decent enough camera.
 

Aquadream

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Antipofish said:
Personally I think it has more to do with how you use the equipment you have. Are you saying 400w of light over a tank is not enough to light anything as far as taking an aquarium photograph goes? It should be anyway. Combine the use of aperture, shutter speed and ISO with that lighting and I cannot believe you could not achieve a correctly exposed image.
Let me make it more clear.
I am not talking about making just some nice looking picture. Of course 400 Watts of light would be enough to show at least the tank view from global aspect.
What I am saying is that that amount of light is not enough to capture focused still image from the fish and the foreground plants detail is too blurred. When I open the 18Mp size image in full view they look crap in the detail. Only smaller version of the same images that are sharpened looks better, but one can never see any detail in there. it is only illusion of a good image created by pc post processing, not achieved by the camera.

I want the images in full view to have clear detail, but that happens only if I take pictures out side on day light, not from the aquarium on T5 lights.

This is where the line is between cheap and real photography. The quality of detail. It does not come without extra gear and certainly not with next to nothing costs.
 
A

Antipofish

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Aquadream said:
Antipofish said:
Personally I think it has more to do with how you use the equipment you have. Are you saying 400w of light over a tank is not enough to light anything as far as taking an aquarium photograph goes? It should be anyway. Combine the use of aperture, shutter speed and ISO with that lighting and I cannot believe you could not achieve a correctly exposed image.
Let me make it more clear.
I am not talking about making just some nice looking picture. Of course 400 Watts of light would be enough to show at least the tank view from global aspect.
What I am saying is that that amount of light is not enough to capture focused still image from the fish and the foreground plants detail is too blurred. When I open the 18Mp size image in full view they look crap in the detail. Only smaller version of the same images that are sharpened looks better, but one can never see any detail in there. it is only illusion of a good image created by pc post processing, not achieved by the camera.

I want the images in full view to have clear detail, but that happens only if I take pictures out side on day light, not from the aquarium on T5 lights.

This is where the line is between cheap and real photography. The quality of detail. It does not come without extra gear and certainly not with next to nothing costs.

I disagree. If your foreground is not crisp and clear then you need to adjust your aperture to make it crisper. That will require a slower shutter speed which you can offset by increasing your ISO. If you take the shots at night the light will be more directed and look better. Use a tripod and you can gain a good three stops on your shutter speed. Metering mode will also have an affect. I find matrix metering works best most of the time.

But we are getting way off topic here as the thread is about Ultra Wide Angle lenses. Perhaps you could start a thread on the topic though, post some of your pics you are not happy with along with image data. :)
 

plantbrain

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I'm pretty sure you should be able to make adjustments in pre and in post processing to get real nice tank images with the camera you have. I spend more time just getting the quick pic up and not doing a photo shoot, I'm mildly interested.....but.........a bit lazy/unmotivated there.

My old photos with a single remote flash did great, even the old cheapy Pentax K1000 did excellent with Kodak 64 film.
Digital cameras need more monkeying, but there is a pay off. I do not place a high value on digital images however because I'm not really having to pay for the processing like film. Still, I've sold 5000$ worth of picture over the last 10 years. So while I dabble......I've done pretty good.

Here's a good forum for specific learning of aquarium photography, it's the entire forum's devotion, you go through some of the threads and do what they tell you, you'll have nice results.

http://www.aquatic-photography.com/

Wise thing to do if you are really into the art/photography side of this.
Plenty to learn no matter who you are.......
 

Aquadream

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Antipofish said:
I disagree. If your foreground is not crisp and clear then you need to adjust your aperture to make it crisper. That will require a slower shutter speed which you can offset by increasing your ISO. If you take the shots at night the light will be more directed and look better. Use a tripod and you can gain a good three stops on your shutter speed. Metering mode will also have an affect. I find matrix metering works best most of the time.

But we are getting way off topic here as the thread is about Ultra Wide Angle lenses. Perhaps you could start a thread on the topic though, post some of your pics you are not happy with along with image data. :)

You sure know it all as it seems.
But all you suggested is limited by the amount of light and the fact that there is fish that also have to get good looking on the picture.
 
A

Antipofish

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Aquadream said:
Antipofish said:
I disagree. If your foreground is not crisp and clear then you need to adjust your aperture to make it crisper. That will require a slower shutter speed which you can offset by increasing your ISO. If you take the shots at night the light will be more directed and look better. Use a tripod and you can gain a good three stops on your shutter speed. Metering mode will also have an affect. I find matrix metering works best most of the time.

But we are getting way off topic here as the thread is about Ultra Wide Angle lenses. Perhaps you could start a thread on the topic though, post some of your pics you are not happy with along with image data. :)

You sure know it all as it seems.
But all you suggested is limited by the amount of light and the fact that there is fish that also have to get good looking on the picture.

I dont know it all mate, not by a long shot, but I do know that it is possible to achieve a decent image with the light you have and the equipment you have. People with a lot of photographic experience on here have tried to help and make suggestions for you, but it seems all you do is put obstacles in your way, so there is little more I can offer. If you cannot get a decent image using a Canon 600D, and without spending the thousands you seem to think is necessary, you may wish to consider an alternative hobby to photography. Or take your fish tank to a football ground and use their floodlights :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Whatever you decide to do, good luck in search of your perfect image :thumbup:
 

Aquadream

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Antipofish said:
Aquadream said:
Antipofish said:
I disagree. If your foreground is not crisp and clear then you need to adjust your aperture to make it crisper. That will require a slower shutter speed which you can offset by increasing your ISO. If you take the shots at night the light will be more directed and look better. Use a tripod and you can gain a good three stops on your shutter speed. Metering mode will also have an affect. I find matrix metering works best most of the time.

But we are getting way off topic here as the thread is about Ultra Wide Angle lenses. Perhaps you could start a thread on the topic though, post some of your pics you are not happy with along with image data. :)

You sure know it all as it seems.
But all you suggested is limited by the amount of light and the fact that there is fish that also have to get good looking on the picture.

I dont know it all mate, not by a long shot, but I do know that it is possible to achieve a decent image with the light you have and the equipment you have. People with a lot of photographic experience on here have tried to help and make suggestions for you, but it seems all you do is put obstacles in your way, so there is little more I can offer. If you cannot get a decent image using a Canon 600D, and without spending the thousands you seem to think is necessary, you may wish to consider an alternative hobby to photography. Or take your fish tank to a football ground and use their floodlights :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Whatever you decide to do, good luck in search of your perfect image :thumbup:
Oh no my friend.
You see. The guys with the photographic experience have told me how I could use some cheapies and make decent images. But I have been doing this for many years. I am 43 by the way.

All I want is someone to show me how to make images equal in quality to the pictures in ADA printed catalogue with equipment that costs next to nothing, because the Canon I have is far from cheap and it is also far from any picture quality that I have seen in the book of ADA.

I will be very grateful if we cut the illusions advice routine and get down to the real stuff.

Can pictures like the ones in the Book of ADA be made with cheap equipment or not? If yes, how?
 

clonitza

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It's not all about the gear it's about understanding photography in particular light distribution. You can have the best gear and still get crappy photos.

You can find Neewer strobes really cheap on ebay to practice studio photography.

7000717807_c9d7868162_z.jpg

A test shot, limited a bit by the shutter speed (1/160, need a better wireless transmitter to freeze it but it's 500 quid and I can't afford it atm)

Anyway quality photography doesn't come cheap, deal with it if you want to evolve or stop complaining. :lol:

Mike
 

Aquadream

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clonitza said:
Anyway quality photography doesn't come cheap, deal with it if you want to evolve or stop complaining. :lol:

Mike
Well then. Mark says it comes next to nothing. :? So which way is going to be?
 

viktorlantos

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Well i am not sure why Amano is the level you need to achieve. Probably he is the only one nowadays who shoot aquascape photos for large format. If he would do this for the web i bet this would not be captured with these equipment. The main purpose is the aquajournal magazine and his publishing activities and stock photo service.

If you see the IAPLC contest there are weak photos also in the top 100 even in the top 27. And noone shoot with the same equipment like Amano does. It's really not needed so from this point of view picking his equipment not makes sense. :angelic:

I do not see a reason why you would not shoot great photos with your current cam. Just need some extra light. DIY some t5 panels and you will be suprised by the result. This would be fine for any aquatic magazines out there or posters etc.

But as far as i see good qual contest photos they just use some support light or camera flash with remote. Stanchung nr5 IAPLC2011 photo captured with remote camera flash. He told me his halides would not make the same effect.

So then a second hand camera flash or 2 or a DIY LED or T5 unit and you're done with the details.

Sorry for the OFF topic guys. There's nothing to do with UWA here :D
 

niru

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What we all seem to forget is that professional quality pictures in books and elsewhere are NOT the result of 1 single click and the end of photo session.

Patience is a key to many good snaps. The artist takes 10s, or literally 100s of snaps, and then chooses prudently the picture that shows exactly what the artist wants to reveal. This could end up as combinations of camera/light settings, pre/post processing images, place, space, speed, orientation of the subject at hand (including fast fish, way the plants are swaying, water ripples, shadows, background, etc). Only practise and practise alone can improve this endevour...

Thats the major difference between novices and pros. There is no better way to teach this other than brute force repeats. Usual masters have an experience of 1000s of snaps in their bag.. Only then they can reduce the time & efforts spent for their "next" snap.

Plus, this process also elevates the quality assesment criteria of the individual. Show a crappy tank pic (crappy to you) to a complete novice. I bet he/she is mesmerised by the sheer beauty captured in the photo. Not you. Same thing applies to the Masters. I am sure Amano might not be equally impressed by all his snaps the way we all are. Ask him in confidence (thats hard part) & he is sure to confess the shortcomings in his pics.

Pratice is THE only way forward..

.. my 2 cents :)

-niru
 

George Farmer

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I have a few days off work now so will try my best to share some new shots of my shallow tank using a 10-24mm Tamron, 50D and aquarium lighting. It's the cheapest UWA zoom on the market but still produces good results.

Here's one from an older 'scape.

6269384430_2318f5c4a8_z.jpg
tamron 10-24mm sample by George Farmer, on Flickr
 

viktorlantos

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Guys, if you're shooting full tank shot with these lens what is the method you use for lens correction.

Currently i use some auto correction in the 5D body, and add a software lens correction in Canon DPP after that.
What is your experience do you have a better workflow for that? Or just forget to shoot full tank with UWA?
 

clonitza

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Basically you need correction for distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting, easy done in Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw (Lens Corrections -> Profile).
 
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Yes, LightRoom is good for lens correction and although not every lens has been profiled the list continues to grow. Not sure if it was done in LR but I've seen rectilinear shots taken with a fisheye that looked pretty good!
 
A

Antipofish

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George Farmer said:
I have a few days off work now so will try my best to share some new shots of my shallow tank using a 10-24mm Tamron, 50D and aquarium lighting. It's the cheapest UWA zoom on the market but still produces good results.

Here's one from an older 'scape.

6269384430_2318f5c4a8_z.jpg
tamron 10-24mm sample by George Farmer, on Flickr

Stunning George ! I would be more than happy with that any day. I am even contemplating a DX format UWA lens for my D700 as I cannot afford the full frame ones I want. The camera will crop down to DX size (and adjust the number of megapixels accordingly) so although I would not get billboard size images, a 6MP image is still big enough for a decent canvas. I will have to look into the TAMRON :)

(Bet these days off are welcome :))
 
A

Antipofish

Guest
clonitza said:
It's not all about the gear it's about understanding photography in particular light distribution. You can have the best gear and still get crappy photos.

You can find Neewer strobes really cheap on ebay to practice studio photography.

7000717807_c9d7868162_z.jpg

A test shot, limited a bit by the shutter speed (1/160, need a better wireless transmitter to freeze it but it's 500 quid and I can't afford it atm)

Anyway quality photography doesn't come cheap, deal with it if you want to evolve or stop complaining. :lol:

Mike

Thats a wicked image Mike :thumbup:
 
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