Photography is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of aquarium keeping. Seriously.
While there are many aquarists who toil in darkness, and some who never seek the spotlight, let’s be honest. In the age of digital photography and the Internet, we live in a visual world. When we communicate, it is increasingly digital. As aquarists, when we accomplish something new, or are particularly proud of a tank, or are seeking help, photos (and videos) are often a requisite component of the conversation.
So, whether you like it or not, often the ability to capture good images of your aquariums and their residents winds up being an integral part of life as a well-rounded aquarist! Plus, if you ever aspire to have your work published somewhere, good luck trying to be an aquarium blogger or author these days without stellar photography. You may have a wonderful story to tell, but if you lack quality photos to back it up, you may never have the opportunity to share what’s on your mind.
Perhaps due to the transient nature of the art form, capturing aquascaping projects in fixed photography has generated a fair amount of attention and at least one unique practice I’ve not seen elsewhere, but I’ll let you figure that out as you watch.
It’s hard to call yourself a serious aquarist if you can’t take good aquarium photos. These three aquascape photography video tutorials will help you improve those full tank shots! Each video offers a unique perspective and insider tips on how to create the best aquascaping photography possible.
[ADAview] How to take aquascape photos (2:38)
This Japanese-language video (with English subtitles) from Aqua Design Amano presents a good introductory look at the basics of photographing a freshwater planted aquarium. It includes basic advice that may already be familiar to you, for example the suggestion to do water changes and glass cleaning the day before the planned photography session. The video delves into basic digital SLR camera settings, working with aperature-priority and ISO settings but only briefly touching on other elements like white balance and exposure bracketing.
Aquascape photography – tutorial by Jurijs Jutjajevs (5:19)
Shooting “in the wild” presents a unique set of challenges because you don’t have control of the environmental conditions around you. You can’t, for example, turn off all the lights in the room at a convention hall just so you can take some pictures. Watch and learn as Jurijs Jutjajves demonstrates his process in this video from DefiniteAquascape.tv. Jutjajevs highlights some of the key aspects of his technique for shooting aquascapes specifically, taking it a step beyond the basics.
Aquascape Photography Techniques (2:34)
The 20th installment of AquaScapeGoat TV, this video foregoes the typical instructional narration, instead relying on the viewer to infer details of what’s been accomplished simply by watching the process and observing the setup. That said, there are some basic details in the video’s description on YouTube. Unfortunately, the aquascape being photographed is never revealed at the end; it is blanked out as “Top Secret,” so you’ll have to just assume that the photos turned out well!
Those were our top three picks this week for aquascape-specific photography tutorials. Are there any great photography videos out there that have helped you improve as an aquarium photographer? Please share your finds and thoughts in the comments below!