Creative project Fish­tank photography

Creative pho­tog­ra­pher Mark Hunter shows how you can pro­duce un­usual im­ages with a fish­tank and some props

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO PROJECTS -

Us­ing fish­tanks for photography may sound strange, and could raise

eye­brows in the pet shop. But, teamed with a black back­ground and a flash­gun on ei­ther side, it’s a set-up that can yield some quirky shots.

With this tech­nique, you can ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent ob­jects for dif­fer­ent ef­fects: Dry, rough ob­jects tend to drag more bub­bles down with them, while wet ob­jects tend to pro­duce a cleaner, smoother dive.

By po­si­tion­ing two flash­guns, one on ei­ther the side of the tank, the ma­jor­ity of the light will fall at 90 de­grees to the cam­era lens and will there­fore be un­likely to spill into the frame. Po­si­tion­ing your light close to the side of the tank – or even touch­ing it – will help to con­trol it, or you may want to use a flag (an ob­ject that blocks light) to stop light spilling from the flash­gun to the cam­era.

With the scene ar­ranged, set the cam­era to around 1/200 sec at f/10 and ISO 100 in Man­ual mode. Use the flashes man­u­ally too, set at 1/64th power. Switch the lens to man­ual fo­cus and hold an ob­ject in the cen­tre of the tank to set the fo­cus point. With your fo­cus dis­tance locked in, drop your ob­jects at this point, where your fo­cus is sharpest. Drop, flash, click, re­set and re­peat un­til you have a win­ning im­age.

You can vary this tech­nique by adding coloured gels on one or more of the lights; drop­ping mul­ti­ple ob­jects at a time; light­ing the scene from be­low (if your fish­tank has a glass bot­tom); or fram­ing the shot in dif­fer­ent ways to cap­ture the splash.

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