Whether you have a point and shoot camera, or a digital SLR w/ or without a macro lens…….here are some tips to figure out how to shoot pictures of your corals.
Keep in mind, I am mostly familiar with Canon camera’s…….if you have a Nikon…..and know these settings should be the same……although they may be labeled or marked differently.
setting up the equipment:
-set the camera up on a tri-pod
-turn off ALL pumps providing any kind of water circulation
-make sure the lens is perpendicular to the glass….if its at an angle…this will distort the picture and make it look blurry
-set the lens zoom and focus to manual, and adjust by hand by looking through the eye piece.
-shoot at the highest/finest/largest setting possible (RAW if possible)
-Auto White Balance should be fine to shoot in (if you get advanced enough you can mess around with this setting)
-set ISO to 0 for now, but if shots are coming out too dark or blurry, you can adjust up to 200. any higher than 400 and pictures will start to look grainy.
-set the shooting mode into APERATURE PRIORITY (Av mode on Canon camera’s located on a dial on the top of the camera, by setting the f/stop manually, the camera will automatically adjust the shutter spead based on the available light)
-set the f/stop of the camera to b/w f/9 and f/13. (the higher the f/stop, the smaller the aperature….and the greater the depth of field….however….as the depth of field gets larger, the sharpness will degrade……..thus f/9-13 seems to be a good sweet spot for coral shooting)
-use the self timer function….so when you press the button the camera will count down before taking the picture
-MAKE SURE TO TURN THE FLASH OFF
-if you took the picture at a higher setting, you will need to shrink the picture to 800×600 pixels in order for proper web page viewing. this will also make the file size smaller.
-adjust brightness, contrast, expsure, white balance, tone, color saturation etc. (takes some trial and error before you know what you are doing)
-make sure to convert any RAW images to JPEGS, after making your adjustments.
-exposure settings……normally this should be set to 0 Ev/Av. but you can play around with this if certain parts of your picture look too over exposed or under exposed.
- (for canon dSLR’s) – set “long exposure noise reduction” to ON, set “mirror lock up” to ON
this is a wonderful website that explains everything in detail. http://www.ximinasphotography.com/lessons/index.html
Information courtesy of Reef2Reef Forums: http://www.reef2reef.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7776