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This web site contains information about Pet Fish Talk, the weekly internet talk show about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
Click here to hear
a Pet Fish Talk Show now.
"Aquarium Photography" an MP3-podcast on
Click on the ad, just above, to learn more.
Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
"Fish Photography", an MP3-Podcast on      
Aquarium Photography - an MP3 Podcast about to take pictures of fish in aquariums. Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds. Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
In this Special Pet Fish Talk Show Tom gives some useful practical tips on how to quickly improve your skills taking pictures of fish in aquariums. Farther down on this page are more details about a specific camera and about how to adjust the setting on this camera to photograph pet fish in aquariums.
Click here now to hear the Special Pet Fish Talk titled "Aquarium Photography", which is about 12-minutes long.
Aquarium Photography featuring this Gold Angel Fish (Freshwater Angelfish).
This picture was taken by Tom at about the same this show was created. Taking pictures of fish is lots of fun and this Special Pet Fish Talk Show will probably help you to take better pictures of your fish. Good luck. You are always welcome to call the show and talk about taking pictures of fish or anything else about keeping pet fish.
Fish Photography of an interesting Saltwater Puffer Fish.
An interesting picture of a Saltwater Puffer Fish. You can see this picture has nice even lighting with no reflections or overexposed areas.
This is a beautiful Flag Rockfish, and again you can see the results of using the tips discussed in this Special Pet Fish Talk show to create a picture with nice even lighting.
Here's a magnificent Queen Angelfish, that's lived in a large aquarium for several years. A big part of creating a beautiful photograph is having a beautiful fish to photograph!  ;^ }
Tom's Camera and Settings
Tom has taken most of the pictures on this web site, and at the time this show was recorded, he uses a Nikon D40. Here is his explanation of the settings he uses on this camera. These comments were not part of the show and are added here as more detailed information.
When I bought a Nikon D40 camera, it came with a 18-55mm zoom lens, which is very widely acclaimed for its high quality and low price. It's a bargain! The Nikon D40 is also a big bargain. The combination of this camera and lens is highly recommended.
When I took my Nikon D40 out of the box for the first time, the mode-dial was set to Auto. The mode-dial is on the top-right side of the D40. When the mode-dial is set to Auto and the lens is set to A for Auto-focus, the Nikon D40 almost always takes a great picture of normal scenes without any adjustments to anything else on the camera. But these automatic settings rarely take good pictures of live fish in aquariums.
Note added later. The Nikon D40 has been replaced by the Nikon D3100, which may be slightly better for photographing fish in aquariums. Nikon also now produces the Nikon D7000, which is even better but sells for substantially more money.
Click here now to shop online for a Nikon DSLR camera to photograph your fish.

Note added later. The Nikon D40 has been replaced by the Nikon D3100, which may be slightly better for photographing fish in aquariums. Nikon also now produces the Nikon D7000, which is even better but sells for substantially more money.
Set Your Camera to Manual.
My first hint to take pictures of fish in aquariums is to rotate the mode-dial from Auto to M. M is for Manual, which will allow you to set both the aperture and the speed to any value allowed by the Nikon D40, including some values that will produce very poor results, but we are hoping for a combination of settings that will produce better results than the Auto settings. 
Adjust the speed and aperture settings on the Nikon D40 as follows:
First, press on the Info-button until the speed/time and the aperture show on the Nikon D40ís LED-screen.
On the upper-right side of the Nikon D40 is a horizontal black dial, called the command-dial. Rotate that dial until 500 appears, which  means 1/500 of a second. This is the fastest speed that syncs with the flash.
Next hold down the +/- button and rotate the same command-dial to adjust the aperture to F 8, which is often written f/8 but appears as F 8 on the Nikon D40ís LED screen.
You should probably also adjust the ISO. I start with 400. I adjust it by holding down the Fn-button, and rotating the same command dial.
Press the button near the flash to pop-up the flash.
I set the focal length on the zoom lens to between 35 and 40mm, but I may change this to a different focal length later. I usually take the final pictures with a focal length somewhere between 30 and 55. How do I decide? By looking at the LED or sometimes by viewing the pictures on a computer, adjusting the focal length, then shooting some more pictures.
I almost always use the Nikon D40ís auto-focus, which seems to work very well for me with the 18-55mm zoom lens. I have tried several other much more expensive lens, and the auto-focus on those lens for a variety of reasons did not work as well for me, when taking pictures of aquarium fish!
Practice Taking Pictures.
If you get reflections, you are aiming the camera at an angle that is too perpendicular to the front surface of the aquarium.  Aim the camera at a slight angle. Vary the angle, and then look at the LED for reflections in the picture you've just taken. Continue to vary the angle and look at the result in the LED, until the reflections are gone. I had to practice doing this for a while, but now it's second nature to me.
Next you need to deal with the exposure and depth of field. If the images on your LED are too dark move the f-stop to a lower number like F 5.6.  If the images are too light, move the f-stop to a higher number like F 12.
If part of the image is in focus but other parts are not, you may need to increase the f-stop, which will increase the so-called depth of field and bring more of the fish into focus. But an image at an f-stop of about F 12 will begin to degrade due to diffraction, so I try to stay between F 8 and F 12. At f5.6 the depth of field is thin and parts of the fish may be out of focus. Bigger f-stop numbers create a deeper depth of field and can be useful. But then you get less light and may need to increase ISO. I usually end up at about F 10 at an ISO of 400.
If the image is too dark, increase the starting ISO from 400 to 800 or even higher. If the image is too light you might reduce the ISO from 400 to 200.
Remember to have Fun!
It's lots of fun to vary these setting one by one and see the effects in the LCD. All of the pictures, shown above, were taken using the methods described on this page. But it seems to have taken me quite a while to find a combination of these settings that produces a picture that I like, and each new fish is a new adventure, which requires a new combination of settings to get a picture that I like.
I hope these tips help some of you to take better pictures of your pet fish.

An Email with Pictures, shown just above,
From Jamie in the UK
"Hi Tom and Nevin. It's Jay in the UK. I have emailed before with questions about angelfish, and my girlfriend is the one that purchased her own 'PINK' aquarium... makes a good raising tank now. Just a quick email to show you a couple of pictures that i have taken of my angelfish with my new Canon Eos 500d camera. After looking at Toms lovely photos i decided to get myself a new camera and take some of my fish ... from my planted aquarium and ... from my large BIORB LIFE which is much easier to photograph. Which one do you prefer? Kind regards Jamie England"
Click here to shop online for a Canon Camera.
Reply. Jamie, thank you for your email and for the pictures you sent. We like both pictures ... a lot !! Good job. We hope this gives other Pet Fish Talk listeners some encouragement to try taking pictures of their pet fish and aquariums. Thanks again.
Download of this Entire Show.
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Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
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Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
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There are lots of Pet Fish Talk Shows.
Click here now to go to the Archive, where you'll find links to more than 360 Pet Fish Talk Shows.
Click here to go to our Search Page, where you can search for any topic that we have discussed in any show.
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This page updated on April 24, 2019.
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