Capital Cichlids

Go Back   Capital Cichlid Association Forums > Others > Photo & Tank Gallery

Notices

Photo & Tank Gallery Show us your fish and tanks.

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes

Today In The Fishroom~5/29/11 P. zonatus photo set up
Unread 05-29-2011, 9:32 AM   #1
Aquamojo
CCA Members
 
Aquamojo is offline
Usergroup: Members
Join Date: Sep 2006
Last Activity: 10-30-2011 5:16 PM
Posts: 81
Today In The Fishroom~5/29/11 P. zonatus photo set up

I wanted to try something different with the lighting set up. Here are the pictures that I shot yesterday. The goal, of course is to evenly light the fish without overly illuminating things around the fish.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's how I lit the tank. There are a total of four flash units on these shots. Not counting the one on the camera (set to manual 1/128th power)...here is the set up of the other three. Two Nikon SB-900's on top...one SB-800 on the bottom.

Click the image to open in full size.

I moved the gravel away from the bottom of the tank to light the bottom of the fish. In the past I would have to use a diffuser (Gary Fong to be exact) to cut the amount of light that was illuminating the bottom of the fish. This posed a few problems.

First it was difficult at times not to get a "hot spot" on the fish. It really was very dependent on how close the fish was to the bottom of the tank...and close to the flash. Ideally the fish should be equal distance (more or less) from all of the flash units. If not it was a matter of adjusting output through the camera's control center.

Second....because the diffuser would effectively "scatter" the light, I would invariably get some bleed over into the background of the tank. This was a tough one. I found a very nice and very inexpensive ($39) diffuser that does a great job. It is essentially a reflective sheet that attaches to the flash and allows you to "bend/fold/roll" the edges to fit your need. What I did was simply curve the back end so that it would cut the amount of light reflecting on the bottom.

Click the image to open in full size.

I generally would put two flash units on top of the tank with diffusers. For this I switched out the normal diffuser that was more or less an inverted bell shape and replaced it with a Grsslon flash diffuser. If you take a look at this photo you can see how wide it is. The flash is pointed straight down through the diffuser. Inside the diffuser there are reflective light bellows that disperse and soften the light over a much wider area.

Click the image to open in full size.

And finally I wanted to fill in the side of the fish with a soft light to cut the hard shadows. A big part of what I am doing relies on the set up....AND the participation of the fish. Basically I leave it up to the model to pick the pose. The reflective soft box flash unit did an exceptional job. The flash on the inside is on a rail and can be moved forward or back to give more or less light.

Click the image to open in full size.

I am constantly tinkering with the light set up. All of my tanks are painted on the back with a "frosted glass" spray paint. It give them an opaque pebbled texture. Some of the tanks then get a flat black second coat. This combination does a great job preventing that reflective flair that sometimes comes from over spilling light.

I wanted to see what a little back light would look like and started by moving the umbrella toward the back of the tank and compensating for the front light by bumping up the output of the camera flash...and got this shot.

Click the image to open in full size.

Full disclosure I got more "oops" ...pictures I will never post....here than most shoots. The key of course is to continue to experiment with your set up and don't settle for average. Through trial and error I got ONE shot that I thought was different...at least from what I normally post.

Click the image to open in full size.

With the exception of the algae at the back bottom of the tank...something I never have to worry about showing up under normal circumstances...I liked the effect. It sort of resembled sunlight coming down.

The biggest challenge I had here....all of the light that I used forced the camera to almost "squint" through the lens. I had to shoot at the lowest ISO, the highest aperture and the fastest shutter speed (1/320th) in order to cut the light. In addition, most of the flash units were set to at least half to quarter power.

In the end...

Click the image to open in full size.

...it's all about light, luck and practice.
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-29-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
mdlnewman
CCA Members
 
mdlnewman's Avatar
 
mdlnewman is offline
Usergroup: Members
Real Name: Micheal Newman
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
Last Activity: 06-20-2013 11:44 PM
Posts: 689
Great info. Nice plumbers crack on that fish hehe.



__________________

28 Nano Cube CF finger leather, green star polyp, purple fire fish, occelatus clowns

65 Discus, Green neons, Cories, cardinal tetra

92 Corner 2spot tang, anthias, chromis, hammerhead coral
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-29-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
Pat Kelly
Administrator - CCA Member
 
Pat Kelly is offline
Usergroup: Administrators
CCA Members
Real Name: Hippie
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Forest Hill, Maryland
Last Activity: 11-18-2014 9:50 AM
Posts: 8,792
Send a message via AIM to Pat Kelly
Great Info Mo.


Thanks.

Hmm, now where is that camera.....



__________________

For the love of fish!
Join a club today.
The CCA A Growing Force in the Cichlid Hobby.
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-29-2011, 7:33 PM   #4
mscichlid
Founder
 
mscichlid's Avatar
 
mscichlid is offline
Usergroup: Global Moderators
CCA Members
Members
Real Name: Franny B- the Pike Lover
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Delta Quadrant, MD
Last Activity: 11-23-2014 9:41 PM
Posts: 6,067
Thanks Mo! Quite a lot of good info!
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-29-2011, 8:07 PM   #5
Frank Cowherd
CCA Members
 
Frank Cowherd's Avatar
 
Frank Cowherd is offline
Usergroup: Board of Directors
CCA Members
Chairpersons
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southern Maryland near Indianhead
Last Activity: Today 1:59 PM
Posts: 867
Good post. I may have to get a better camera and some flashes and do some experimenting.



__________________

Frank Cowherd, in Southern Maryland where the water is soft and sweet.
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-30-2011, 12:05 AM   #6
Tony
Alligator Snapping Turtle/Past Pres
 
Tony's Avatar
 
Tony is offline
Usergroup: Global Moderators
CCA Members
Chairpersons
Members
Real Name: Tony Horos
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Last Activity: 11-24-2014 10:43 AM
Posts: 7,220
Awesome post, Mo. You are surely dedicated to your craft.

With all the time spent experimenting, adjusting and readjusting, your zonatus must be a real photo ham. I can't believe the patience it takes to get that whole rig setup, diffusers and flashes adjusted, etc. The payoff certainly shows itself in quality of the finished pictures.

Every time I see your threads, it makes me want to go out and get a remote flash for my Nikon. Right now, I'm tethering an old Quantaray off of our D80. It's a PITA, holding the flash above the tank with your left hand, trying to shoot with the right, lol.

As always, big thanks for sharing not only your great pics, but also your methodology. It really is huge for us aspiring novice photogs.



__________________

Give a few hours, save a pooch. http://www.k-9lifesavers.org/

my 180: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6f-ibj6-ws
(updated 6/2011)
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-30-2011, 8:06 AM   #7
Aquamojo
CCA Members
 
Aquamojo is offline
Usergroup: Members
Join Date: Sep 2006
Last Activity: 10-30-2011 5:16 PM
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony View Post
Awesome post, Mo. You are surely dedicated to your craft.

With all the time spent experimenting, adjusting and readjusting, your zonatus must be a real photo ham. I can't believe the patience it takes to get that whole rig setup, diffusers and flashes adjusted, etc. The payoff certainly shows itself in quality of the finished pictures.

Every time I see your threads, it makes me want to go out and get a remote flash for my Nikon. Right now, I'm tethering an old Quantaray off of our D80. It's a PITA, holding the flash above the tank with your left hand, trying to shoot with the right, lol.

As always, big thanks for sharing not only your great pics, but also your methodology. It really is huge for us aspiring novice photogs.
Tony....you can get a remote trigger for just about any flash for less than (I believe) fifty bucks. No more tether. The D80 is a Nikon, right? DOes it have a Commander Mode in the flash menu?
  Reply With Quote

Unread 05-31-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
Tony
Alligator Snapping Turtle/Past Pres
 
Tony's Avatar
 
Tony is offline
Usergroup: Global Moderators
CCA Members
Chairpersons
Members
Real Name: Tony Horos
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Last Activity: 11-24-2014 10:43 AM
Posts: 7,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamojo View Post
Tony....you can get a remote trigger for just about any flash for less than (I believe) fifty bucks. No more tether. The D80 is a Nikon, right? DOes it have a Commander Mode in the flash menu?
Yeah, it has commander mode. Probably will pick up a SB600 or SB800 used when I can find a good deal.

I like the idea of the remote trigger though.... any brand recommendations?



__________________

Give a few hours, save a pooch. http://www.k-9lifesavers.org/

my 180: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6f-ibj6-ws
(updated 6/2011)
  Reply With Quote

Unread 06-01-2011, 5:23 AM   #9
Aquamojo
CCA Members
 
Aquamojo is offline
Usergroup: Members
Join Date: Sep 2006
Last Activity: 10-30-2011 5:16 PM
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony View Post
Yeah, it has commander mode. Probably will pick up a SB600 or SB800 used when I can find a good deal.

I like the idea of the remote trigger though.... any brand recommendations?

Nikon. Hands down. The ability to be able to dial in the exposure values...switch master flash units....is invaluable. I just bought a second SB900 and signed up for an on line photo course (Kelby training if you are serious about learning. $25 for unlimited access to hundreds of photo courses...post editing, lighting, cameras) I felt like I was just "boiling water" with a microwave if you know what I mean. There is SO much more the flash head can do that I had no idea. One little thing like the gel filter kit that came with the flash actually interfacing with the flash output. The flash "recognizes" when the contacts of the gel filter comes into contact with the gel holder and send a signal to the brain of the flash. Awesome feature.

Thanks Tony.
  Reply With Quote

Unread 06-01-2011, 10:36 PM   #10
mscichlid
Founder
 
mscichlid's Avatar
 
mscichlid is offline
Usergroup: Global Moderators
CCA Members
Members
Real Name: Franny B- the Pike Lover
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Delta Quadrant, MD
Last Activity: 11-23-2014 9:41 PM
Posts: 6,067
Which online training? I belong to that. Wasn't nowhere near $25 though.

This is some I like: http://neilvn.com/tangents/exposure-metering/

And then there is www.strobist.com

Last edited by mscichlid; 06-01-2011 at 10:54 PM.
  Reply With Quote

Unread 06-05-2011, 7:34 PM   #11
Aquamojo
CCA Members
 
Aquamojo is offline
Usergroup: Members
Join Date: Sep 2006
Last Activity: 10-30-2011 5:16 PM
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mscichlid View Post
Which online training? I belong to that. Wasn't nowhere near $25 though.

This is some I like: http://neilvn.com/tangents/exposure-metering/

And then there is www.strobist.com
Kelby. One year is $200.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
fishroom, photo, set, today, zonatus

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MAY 2011 PHOTO OF THE MONTH CONTEST Pat Kelly Poll Archives 25 06-04-2011 10:28 PM
PHOTO OF THE YEAR Pat Kelly Poll Archives 9 12-31-2010 7:24 PM
June Photo of the Month Contest Pat Kelly Poll Archives 13 07-01-2010 11:34 AM
PHOTO OF THE MONTH CONTEST MAY 2010 Pat Kelly Poll Archives 36 05-29-2010 4:21 PM
Photo contest for April Pat Kelly Poll Archives 20 04-29-2010 9:25 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 8:10 PM.

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin skins developed by eXtremepixels
Site services provided by Monster Aquaria Network
Capital Cichlids Association, Inc