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I always prefer natural sunlight from a window, I feel it's second to none when it comes to representing the fish's color and overall quality of the shot.

here's a few photo's I took using natural light.
*snip*
Out of curiosity, what lens do you use? That's a fantastic amount of detail in the photos.
 

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Most of this info is all really good! However I must interject here some.

Megapixels do not make a bit of difference unless utilized correctly. Here is a sample of what I am saying, this shot is with a 4.2 megapixel camera. The difference is that the sensor is bigger then the entire camera lens on a point and shoot.



Lighting and composition is far more important then the megapixel count.

I see a lot of great shots here and there, but the fish has a seam behind it or something. The fish itself is stellar! Nice and sharp, great colors, all of it is great, just too much going on in the background taking away from the shot. That is why the OP talked about the empty tank.
 

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Another shot. This really isnt the place to share shots on the forum but it shows what you can do with lighting.

 

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I use a 18mm-55mm with my ISO as low as I can(preferably 100-200). Since I'm not using a macro lens a low ISO allows me to crop a image more without it looking bad because of noise.
Really? I think I have an old 18-55 somewhere, I'll dust it off and give it a try! I also just thought about using my 50mm since that's a very bright lens.
 

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I won't make any friends with this post, but....

I'm a focus snob. (sorry) For me, nothing detracts more from a photo than bad focus and coarse grain. Inareverie and Copperarabian are two of very few photogs here that really get consistently well-focused pics. Mo's dragonscale pics are nearly as well in-focus as those taken by more highly-regarded photographers.

Richard A's pics of his wife's big-ear shown here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/betta-pictures/new-photo-booth-trials-116325/page2/ are exquisitely in focus and are the only examples on that thread or this one.

Shooting with ISO over 100 shows unacceptable grain in any digital camera I've seen. Shooting at less than 1/100sec shows any small motion focus problems unless the fish is stock still and a tripod or steadying device is used.

If your aperture is f2.8 max, typical of most small cameras and cell-phones, it's not likely that you'll be able to use a shutter speed much above 1/30sec unless you blast the scene with light (which can cause glare and contrast problems). It's a rare photo that will be in-focus at that setting. This is my problem, as it is with most of us using inexpensive cameras with small lenses, not megapixels.

And, just so I can offend everyone...in my not so humble opinion, portrait photos of fish are just as boring as portrait photos of people or any other subject.

@Mo,

What is this magnificent creature?
 

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wow impressive photos! Especily if that was taken via a phone. I need to get pics of mine and my set up and piost them soon
 

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I was just taking some pictures or the new neon tetra I just added in with my betta. I normally take pictures of him... So every time I tried to take a picture of the tetra, my betta would come in front of the camera (blocking my view of the tetra) and spread all his fins out and sit there. As if he was saying look at me! Look at me! It was funny.
 

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If I don't have the flash on, all my pictures come out blurry. The shutter is actually faster with the flash and I can't set it. So i just have to hold the camera at certain angles so the flash doesn't glare.
 

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Rather than a flash you might try extra lighting, preferable at a different angle, one that doesn't glare at the camera. A low angle can be dramatic. Play with it.
 

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Rather than a flash you might try extra lighting, preferable at a different angle, one that doesn't glare at the camera. A low angle can be dramatic. Play with it.
... ... ... Again. All my pictures come out blurry without the flash, it doesn't take the picture fast enough.
 

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That's the one good thing about splendens, they can display really well in an empty tank with good lighting and a mirror.

I would love to get some nice clear shots of my fish sans all the equipment and dodgy backgrounds, but mine never display well in anything but their own tanks. For me, lighting is an issue as because of the amount of tannins I use the tanks are very dark. Then when I go to put the strong light over the tanks to compensate all my fish go poof.

I have to say having a good camera definitely makes up for my lack of photography skills. My point and shoot was lucky to give me one good shot for ever 100 I took. My mum's canon on the other hand, tends to give decent shots even if I just point it at the tank and press the button.

This is probably one of the best couple of photos I have taken.





I am lucky in that the killifish displayed well even under bright light and that the green provided a nice contrast to their colouring.
 
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