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Shrimp Photographers (Hobby or Pro)


Duff0712
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I have noticed that a lot of us on here like to take photos of their Shrimp! The Shrimp Pic topic is filled with awesome photos of awesome shrimp!

 

I've seen questions here and there about cameras and different styles/equipment to help out with photo taking and figured why not have a dedicated topic for it? (If there's already one, then I'm blind and I am sorry)

 

So whether if you have any questions, want to show off your equipment or favorite photos, or want to give any tips make a post! I want to experiment with this and see if it is beneficial or helps anyone out in their photography.

 

I would consider myself a hobbyist photographer. Pro would be cool, but I am no where near that level. I don't have the answers to everything (sadly haha), but I would love to help with what I have worked with or think of ideas to get a better shot.

 

Tips! (aka: what I've learned the hard way)

-  Shoot perpendicular to the glass. 

-  Shoot in the lowest ISO setting you can manage

-  Using a flash has been one of the greatest things I've found for aquatic photography

-  Macro lenses/attachments are your friend (but not necessary)

-  Take lots of pictures of the same thing. Focus is key and you can never really tell on the camera      screens/viewfinder

-  Have fun! If you aren't having fun or getting frustrated, then take a break. It should be fun :) (this      is some deep life stuff huh)

 

My equipment:

Camera: Nikon D7000

Favorite Lens: Tokina 100mm f/2.8 (macro)

Flash: External P.O.S. (cheap, but has worked well)

Tripod: Have one, but mainly shoot by hand

Others: I sometimes use a diffuser for my flash.

            I also have some extension tubes I use from time to time

 

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I'd like to add couple things:

 

1, DOF is shallow for Macro photography. normally less than couple mm. so step down to F16/F22 if possible.

2, Keep the subject as far as possible, this could increase the DOF.

3. Keep the shrimp close to front glass. less water between shrimp and lens is better for photo quality

4. I put the flash on the glass cover above the shrimp with wireless trigger. it's pretty cheap, I bought this one, get you all the freedom to move around.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EK5NEQ8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

5. Clean the inside and outside of front glass before take any pictures.

6. Sometimes beanbag is better than tripod.

7. I always use manual mode. 1/200s, F22, ISO100. and put flash in manual mode as well 1/4 full power in my case. you adjust the output power of flash to control the exposure.

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One of hottest photo on my FB page:

 

11212128_1591422487807798_64702636907873

 

You can find more my work here:

https://www.facebook.com/JamesAquatics/photos_stream

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I'd like to add couple things:

 

1, DOF is shallow for Macro photography. normally less than couple mm. so step down to F16/F22 if possible.

2, Keep the subject as far as possible, this could increase the DOF.

3. Keep the shrimp close to front glass. less water between shrimp and lens is better for photo quality

4. I put the flash on the glass cover above the shrimp with wireless trigger. it's pretty cheap, I bought this one, get you all the freedom to move around.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EK5NEQ8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

5. Clean the inside and outside of front glass before take any pictures.

6. Sometimes beanbag is better than tripod.

7. I always use manual mode. 1/200s, F22, ISO100. and put flash in manual mode as well 1/4 full power in my case. you adjust the output power of flash to control the exposure.

 

 

I am jealous you can get F22 and still have the correct exposure. I usually have to do F9-14 with my flash.

 

Granted I have it stupidly attached to my camera and haven't played around with it aiming down into the aquarium, but I need to try it soon. My flash probably goes over the shrimp if it is too close haha.

 

One of hottest photo on my FB page:

 

11212128_1591422487807798_64702636907873

 

You can find more my work here:

https://www.facebook.com/JamesAquatics/photos_stream

 

 
Amazing picture! I love how you can see the eyes in the eggs. Also, upon checking out your awesome fb page I noticed most of the back drops are black. Is that just from having a larger f-stop or a combination of the flash's position and f-stop?
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Great thread! I definitely will be following as I am slowly getting to the point of purchasing a decent camera for shrimp photography.

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I'd like to add couple things:

 

1, DOF is shallow for Macro photography. normally less than couple mm. so step down to F16/F22 if possible.

2, Keep the subject as far as possible, this could increase the DOF.

3. Keep the shrimp close to front glass. less water between shrimp and lens is better for photo quality

4. I put the flash on the glass cover above the shrimp with wireless trigger. it's pretty cheap, I bought this one, get you all the freedom to move around.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EK5NEQ8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

5. Clean the inside and outside of front glass before take any pictures.

6. Sometimes beanbag is better than tripod.

7. I always use manual mode. 1/200s, F22, ISO100. and put flash in manual mode as well 1/4 full power in my case. you adjust the output power of flash to control the exposure.

 

F22 is really high and with most lenses, diffraction kicks in and reduces sharpness. In your picture, you can see the diffraction on the shrimps back and on some of the hairs. Stop down to F16 and you will have virtually identical depth of field but much better resolution and sharpness.

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/488-canon_100_28_50d?start=1

 

At 1/200s, F22, ISO100 you must have a very high guide number on your flash or a very shallow tank. To get the correct exposure, I usually use 1/100s, F16, ISO100. Do you bump the exposure in post process? What focal length do you use?

 

Some other tips I have to add...

 

To lure your shrimp to the front, dose Bacter AE (or any powder food) with a turkey baster just at the front glass.

 

Use manual focus. Do the rough focus with the ring and get the fine focus by moving the camera in and out while looking through the view finder. You get more keepers than relying on the auto focus.

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F22 is really high and with most lenses, diffraction kicks in and reduces sharpness. In your picture, you can see the diffraction on the shrimps back and on some of the hairs. Stop down to F16 and you will have virtually identical depth of field but much better resolution and sharpness.

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/488-canon_100_28_50d?start=1

 

At 1/200s, F22, ISO100 you must have a very high guide number on your flash or a very shallow tank. To get the correct exposure, I usually use 1/100s, F16, ISO100. Do you bump the exposure in post process? What focal length do you use?

 

Some other tips I have to add...

 

To lure your shrimp to the front, dose Bacter AE (or any powder food) with a turkey baster just at the front glass.

 

Use manual focus. Do the rough focus with the ring and get the fine focus by moving the camera in and out while looking through the view finder. You get more keepers than relying on the auto focus.

 

I'm using Nikon lens (200mm/F4), so I found F22 is slightly sharp than F16. 

 

I use regular SB800 flash. I do have monolight, but I found monolight is slower than flash. in plain word, flash freezes motion better.

 

I do adjust exposure if needed in Lightroom, but 1/4 flash power give me correct exposure already. sometimes I even need to step down to 1/8 power.

 

It's really sharp I believe, if you see the original photo:

post-231-0-68677200-1433801637_thumb.jpg

 

One more tip I'd like to add:

8. Thin glass would give you better sharp photos if you take live size macro photo.

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Either Wednesday or Thursday I might do a photo shoot and see the differences between having the flash attached and above the aquarium affect lighting etc.

 

I am speculating that having it directly above is going to be better overall; better exposure, more natural lighting angle (for a tank anyways). If I can get off my butt, I'll do an experiment and post my findings.

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I'm using Nikon lens (200mm/F4), so I found F22 is slightly sharp than F16. 

 

I use regular SB800 flash. I do have monolight, but I found monolight is slower than flash. in plain word, flash freezes motion better.

 

I do adjust exposure if needed in Lightroom, but 1/4 flash power give me correct exposure already. sometimes I even need to step down to 1/8 power.

 

It's really sharp I believe, if you see the original photo:

attachicon.gif_DSC2098-3.jpg

 

One more tip I'd like to add:

8. Thin glass would give you better sharp photos if you take live size macro photo.

 

I believe it has nothing to do with the lens manufacturer or model. It is a fact of optics... an aperture of F16 will always be sharper than F22. That being said, your photos are stunning and I wouldn't change a thing because it's obviously working for you.

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So I got off my butt and did a bit of testing with my external flash.

 

I used the flash in two different ways:

 #1) Attached to the top of the camera

 #2) Remote controlled, sitting above the tank

 

Figured I'd list some pros and cons of both

Also keep in mind that the flash that I am using is an inexpensive third party flash. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LEAYXY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00)

 

To get the flash sitting above the tank, I bought a 16" x 20" piece of glass from Lowes and had them cut it to 8" x 20" and just set it above the tank and rested the flash on top of it. It was $6.

 

#1 Attached to top of camera

Pros:

 - Direct connection to the camera

 - Shutter Speed at 1/250

 - Can use any Aperture 

 Cons:

 - Makes camera heavier

 - Limited by height of tank (where flash is aimed, aiming above tank/into trim)

 - Lights up anything that is on the glass

 - Power needs to be ramped up, stronger flash

 

#2 Remote controlled, sitting above the tank

Pros:

 - No extra weight (stabilization)

 - No limits from height of tank (besides depth penetration)

 - Was using the flash at half power (batt life/less shine,etc)

 - More control with flash positioning

Cons:

 - Remote connection (I found that the timing was off several times, probably the quality of the flash)

 - Had to adjust shutter speed and aperture more often

 - Slower shutter speed at 1/200

 - Aperture maxed at f/16

 

Overall I definitely like having the external flash remotely connected to the camera. I could move easier and had better stability with the camera itself. I also liked how the light source came from directly above the shrimp. Made the lighting seem more natural. I'll save more battery power too, which is nice haha.

 

I will have to play around with it more to iron out the details, but I'm liking the remote connection.

 

Couple pictures:

 

Flash on Camera

CBnXSVl.jpg

 

DERP0yk.jpg

 

 

 

Remote Flash

 

GbkxQPu.jpg

 

ZZCb2az.jpg

 

10IgI3l.jpg

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The pics look fantastic!

If your in the market for a better flash and trigger without breaking the bank, check out Yongnuo. I've been using their stuff for years and they make really good quality knock offs.

The Yongnuo YN568 EXII flash and YN662 triggers are a killer combo supporting high speed sync for shutter speeds greater than 1/250th and ETTL for use when lighting is dynamic.

http://www.amazon.com/Yongnuo-Professional-Speedlight-YN-568EX-Nikon/dp/B009CQKGSO/

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The pics look fantastic!

If your in the market for a better flash and trigger without breaking the bank, check out Yongnuo. I've been using their stuff for years and they make really good quality knock offs.

The Yongnuo YN568 EXII flash and YN662 triggers are a killer combo supporting high speed sync for shutter speeds greater than 1/250th and ETTL for use when lighting is dynamic.

http://www.amazon.com/Yongnuo-Professional-Speedlight-YN-568EX-Nikon/dp/B009CQKGSO/

Thanks! I will definitely look into that flash. Bday coming up soon so I might ask for an upgrade.

-Duffy

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