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Any tips on getting a fish to slow down and stop wiggling all over the place while he's flaring? Morpho refuses to hold still long enough for my Droid Turbo to get a good zoomed in shot of him flaring. He also somehow manages to get his tail folded over sometime between when I tell the phone to shoot and when the photo gets taken.
I find if you put the mirror or another male behind the fish you want to photograph then they will sit still in full flare and perfectly lined up with the camera for you. Like this



Or if he flares at a stick or something he might give you the side on, still flare aswell

And yeah sports mode or anything with high shutter helps a lot too
 

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Simply stunning.

I used to be in a photography class, we were able to get access the school's Nikon D3300s, great camera too. I was finally able to get some really neat shots. I'll have to keep your method in mind for future photography, Trilo! Thank you! Unfortunatley, I don't have any DSLR camera now... So I'm just stuck with a smart phone. But to be honest, they're not the worst. I've got some surprisingly interesting shots from one. But an actual camera is what I prefer. Much better overall for photography. :)
 

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Yeah I have the kit lens, nothing fancy.
I put it on A mode, and played with the settings having no idea what they are or do.
My A mode settings are these...lol no idea what half of them do but i just take a few pics playing with each of the settingsto see what comes out the best. it tends to give a blueish hue though some how

qual fine
iso 1600
normal area af
active d lighting -on
pic control-vivid
matrix measuring

the poly box method is literally just this. I use the light from my little tank to shine into. This one has no editing to it except for a crop, but you can see how whit it gets even without editing.


Id def recommend putting photoshop onto your wishlist though. Gives you so much more control over the levels, and get rid of distracting things as watermarks, glass edges etc

Heres one that I did literally just ten in seconds
prety much is just
crop
levels
clone and patch tool to get rid of the bad things
warm filter
done

If I wanted to spend more time on It Id get rid of the scratches but that takes too much effort and Im a lazy person
before


after

You got some nice shots there.
I have some suggestions on your setup that you could maybe try.
I actually had the exact same idea as you with using a polystyrene container as a tent/studio.
I used to shoot with Nikons so I still know them pretty well. If you have access to a Nikon speedlight, you can set it up wirelessly in commander mode. If you keep the flash on camera, it will probably look like crap, but off camera and you bounce it in the box then the whole box becomes your light source.
On your camera settings, switch it to manual. Choose your aperture. I'd go F8, shutter, I'd go slow like 1/60 maybe even slower, it doesn't matter, play around just don't do high speed. ISO, keep it s/low like 100 max at 400. Put your camera on a tripod and pre focus so you don't have to worry about it. I'd probably even just go manual focus too so when you do start shooting, the camera won't go hunting. When your fish is around the right spot just start shooting. If you want a nice super white background, remember to adjust your EV (exposure value) maybe 2 stops, you'll have to play around. All cameras will see the white, and will try to expose it for 17% grey. So you'll need to adjust that.
For your flash, just keep it in TTL, it'll take care of itself.
When flash photography is done right, it's amazing. People complain about flash being crappy when they don't understand it or are using the on camera flash as main source. It's only usefulness is as a fill flash, not a main.
Why your shutter doesn't matter is because your off camera flash becomes your shutter. So you'll actually be shooting at maybe 1/10,000 of a second, your camera and exif data will say otherwise. But in flash photography, only the flash will produce enough light for your camera to see. Just make sure you're working in a dimly lit room. Just bright enough for you see what you're doing.
But back to where I say don't use a fast shutter speed. The reason why is because, the faster the shutter speed, the darker your background becomes. So if you "drag" the shutter, the brighter your background is. Don't worry about it being motion blurry, you already freezed the action.
Any more questions or if you guys need more explanation. More than happy to answer.
If you're shooting with a smart phone. I've used sports mode and night mode, and they both seem to work pretty well.
Just remember DSLRs don't take great pictures by themselves, the reason why great pictures comes from DSLRs is because it allows the photographer full control of their camera.
 

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^^^ I legit don't know the difference between sports mode, night mode or any other mode in my phone. I still get blurry pics. Maybe that's just because I'm on an iPhone. One day I'll change to something better.

The one and only advice I can give to people though: turn off your shutter sound! That CLICK noise scares the life out of Seren and causes her to swim erratically. Even harder to take pics that way.
 

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You got some nice shots there.
I have some suggestions on your setup that you could maybe try.
I actually had the exact same idea as you with using a polystyrene container as a tent/studio.
I used to shoot with Nikons so I still know them pretty well. If you have access to a Nikon speedlight, you can set it up wirelessly in commander mode. If you keep the flash on camera, it will probably look like crap, but off camera and you bounce it in the box then the whole box becomes your light source.
On your camera settings, switch it to manual. Choose your aperture. I'd go F8, shutter, I'd go slow like 1/60 maybe even slower, it doesn't matter, play around just don't do high speed. ISO, keep it s/low like 100 max at 400. Put your camera on a tripod and pre focus so you don't have to worry about it. I'd probably even just go manual focus too so when you do start shooting, the camera won't go hunting. When your fish is around the right spot just start shooting. If you want a nice super white background, remember to adjust your EV (exposure value) maybe 2 stops, you'll have to play around. All cameras will see the white, and will try to expose it for 17% grey. So you'll need to adjust that.
For your flash, just keep it in TTL, it'll take care of itself.
When flash photography is done right, it's amazing. People complain about flash being crappy when they don't understand it or are using the on camera flash as main source. It's only usefulness is as a fill flash, not a main.
Why your shutter doesn't matter is because your off camera flash becomes your shutter. So you'll actually be shooting at maybe 1/10,000 of a second, your camera and exif data will say otherwise. But in flash photography, only the flash will produce enough light for your camera to see. Just make sure you're working in a dimly lit room. Just bright enough for you see what you're doing.
But back to where I say don't use a fast shutter speed. The reason why is because, the faster the shutter speed, the darker your background becomes. So if you "drag" the shutter, the brighter your background is. Don't worry about it being motion blurry, you already freezed the action.
Any more questions or if you guys need more explanation. More than happy to answer.
If you're shooting with a smart phone. I've used sports mode and night mode, and they both seem to work pretty well.
Just remember DSLRs don't take great pictures by themselves, the reason why great pictures comes from DSLRs is because it allows the photographer full control of their camera.
:notworthy: Thank you!! Thats awesome advice! Ive literally been going by trial and error and not having much clue what Im doing lol. Im off to play with the settings now and to see what I can get :-D
Also do you know how to get black backgrounds? Ive tried and it looks disgusting
 

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My new guy is photogenic. I just used an LED light and turned the flash off. I can't afford a fancy camera so I use my note 2 phone camera
 

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This is one of my breeder girls, who passed away unfortunately. I was renting a Nikon D3300 from my school. Pretty neat photo! I'm glad I found it! I have a few more. But this is one of my favorites. Sorry about such a tiny photo.
 

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:notworthy: Thank you!! Thats awesome advice! Ive literally been going by trial and error and not having much clue what Im doing lol. Im off to play with the settings now and to see what I can get :-D
Also do you know how to get black backgrounds? Ive tried and it looks disgusting
Hope my suggestions work for you, can wait to see the results.
To get a black background with your setup, I would maybe cut off one the shorts sides off then putting the box upside down creating a tent. Put the tank in the foreground and paint or tape some black paper in the background, keeping it as faraway as possible. Put black paper or black or dark surface on the bottom and anywhere behind the tank. So light can't bounce in the background. So only the foreground is lit. If you're using flash, do the opposite of what i suggested before. This time, you want the fastest shutter speed your camera can sync at. So the faster the shutter speed, the less available light can get in. This technique is called high speed sync. You use this to darken your background. You can also bring your EV back to 0. You'll need to experiment a bit with this type of shot, but doing it this way should get the shot you're looking for. May need to touch up in post to get a very dark background.
 

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Black background:

I cover half the top with a black towel and drape it down the back and sides. To the fish, I hope this looks like the bank of a pond, like the shade from marginal vegetation.

Turns out, this gives me the best black background I've achieved so far.

Side/back light gives a dramatic effect. But then I don't do portraits, just "natural" shots.
 

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Blu that photo is so cute! I love it!

Thanks for the advice Hallyx and VeeDubs!!
I tried the black way and it works, especially with the light on the side :-D but my fish arent very photogenic on black it seems haha.




Heres the white background. I need to get a jar that isnt covered in scratches
It works really well on my goldfish! and captures the true colours of the bettas much more closely too. I think I need to play with where Im aiming the light to get it real white




 

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Trilobite, you have some of the best looking fish I've seen on this forum -- or anywhere else, actually. And your photos are in the top bracket around here.

I love the way that dragon's fins fade into the black of the background. Very dramatic.
 

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:oops: Aww thanks so much Hallyx :love: that means a lot to me. I feel like sometimes my photos make them seem nicer than they are though lol

Taking photos has somehow turned into my new found hobby so I want to learn as much as possible to make my pictures as good as I can make em :-D
 

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Thanks for this post! I can't wait to see what great pictures I can get now. My boy loves flaring, thankfully, so that won't be a problem. :D
 

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Don't forget to submit a pic to the monthly Betta Photo Contest. Three days left to enter this month.

Check out the Betta Contests thread for encouragement.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Very detailed info! I love to tinker in photography but have not yet tried w my camera, but only w my phone's camera. I'm a newbie to Betta's & would love to get some great shots. Thanks for the pointers.
 

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I love all of the photos so far!

and I'm not sure on the photos that are already posted.
 

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Great advice! I consider myself a photographer but I don't really have any experience in fish photography, I may have to try it out with my Betta and my Rebel camera soon.
(I've taken some pictures of him in the tank with my phone but those don't count :p)
 
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