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A Great British Biotope

keymaker

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5 Sep 2008
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Budapest, Hungary
George, can you tell me a bit about the photography of the tank? Did you use any other lighting besides the 24W T5? What lens (aperture and zoom) did you use?
 

George Farmer

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paul.in.kendal said:
Lovely tank, George, and great pictures - I've just bought my copy of PFK, and I'm looking forward to a proper read of your article. I'm interested in your woodwork - obviously constrained by what came out of your local lake, it's not at all what we're used to seeing in a GF aquascape, but it works really well. I wonder if the limited choice of material stretched you, and whether it has suggested any new ideas using straighter lines like these? The sticklebacks are wonderfully prehistoric, too. :thumbup:

Good to hear PFK is ramping up planted tank coverage again, and that monster tank sounds like a blast!
Thanks, Paul!

Of course, we are always limited by our available materials, but in a way I think this can work to our advantage. I think it can avoid confusion. I am really enjoying all of my biotopes actually. With each one I am learning so much. Not only about the fish and their habitats, but new ideas for designs that I may incorporate in the future. It's all good fun! The next biotope is interesting, as it's the complete opposite of this in every way possible, but it's also one of my best layouts ever, I think.

Mortis said:
Great scape ! Really nice to layout and a great example of a natural aquascape.

Also, 10000 litres !!! Wow !!
Thanks, Mortis!

All I can say is watch this space regarding the massive tank...

keymaker said:
George, can you tell me a bit about the photography of the tank? Did you use any other lighting besides the 24W T5? What lens (aperture and zoom) did you use?
Certainly. I enjoy the photography almost as much as the aquascaping.

For these shots I used 4 x 24w T5.

Canon 50D, 50mm f/1.8 II, f/5.6, I/50th sec, ISO 400 for the full tank shot.

Not sure on the others - you can probably see the EXIF data if you import in the images into some editing software.

I have studio lighting now, so will typically use the same camera and lens, but smaller aperture, faster shutter speed and lower ISO.

I tend to use my Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro for close-ups, and Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8 to 4.5 for wider angle stuff.

Cheers.
 

keymaker

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Budapest, Hungary
George Farmer said:
I enjoy the photography almost as much as the aquascaping.
Same here. ;)

George Farmer said:
For these shots I used 4 x 24w T5. Canon 50D, 50mm f/1.8 II (...) I tend to use (...) Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8 to 4.5 for wider angle stuff.
Thanks for the info. I just bought a Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS lens - I am more than happy with the image it produces on my 450D. 8)
 

George Farmer

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keymaker said:
Thanks for the info. I just bought a Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS lens - I am more than happy with the image it produces on my 450D. 8)
You're welcome! Nice lens... :D

TDI-line said:
Looks lovely George, spot on as usual. :D

Btw, is there an Ikea near that lake?
Cheers mate! That's the one. There's some awesome wood in there if you fancy getting cold and wet!
 

Tunafish

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Lymm, Cheshire
Maybe the next biotope from the UK perspective can have a toothy old 30lb plus pike!, then I'll come and catch him!:)
 

andyh

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Derby
Hey George,

Just a quick photography question, You have detailed your settings for you full tank and i have been using those settings, however no matter what i do, i really struggle to take pics of the fish! :rolleyes:
Your fish pic is great, but I cant get them as sharp and detailed. I always get some sort of motion blur. I realise that "speed and light" has a lot to do with this but i cant seem to get it right.

Can you give me any pointers? Sorry if i have gone a little off topic!

Regards
A
 
Joined
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316
Wow, this has got to be my faxorite biotope aquarium. The extreme research you did with the freshwater diving is well reflected in the authenticity of the scape.
As others have said it takes me right back to my childhood when i used to catch sticklebacks in local streams and ponds, a real nostalgia trip.
Did you take any under water photos whilst diving? would love to see them if you did.

Cheers
James
 

George Farmer

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myboyshay said:
Awesome stuff George,

Very original and inspirational. Top notch photography aswell :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thanks, Mark!

andyh said:
Hey George,

Just a quick photography question, You have detailed your settings for you full tank and i have been using those settings, however no matter what i do, i really struggle to take pics of the fish! :rolleyes:
Your fish pic is great, but I cant get them as sharp and detailed. I always get some sort of motion blur. I realise that "speed and light" has a lot to do with this but i cant seem to get it right.

Can you give me any pointers? Sorry if i have gone a little off topic!

Regards
A
Hi Andy

For capturing sharp fish in full-tank shots should consider the shutter speed in accordance with the fish swimming pattern/speed. These weren't too active so 1/50th sec. was fine.

Faster fish require faster shutter speeds.

Study the fish swimming patterns too and try to time it right. Take loads of shots and choose the best - burst shoot can be helpful.

You can speed up the shutter speed by going wider aperture or increasing ISO but bear in mind reduced DoF and increased noise. Reduced DoF isn't ideal in full-tank shots, as some of the tank may be out of focus. Most DSLRs are fine with ISO up to 800 or even higher in later models.

For capturing close-ups of fish I usually go wider and/or crank up the ISO to get an ever faster shutter speed. A tripod is helpful too, but I use it as a monopod. You can even pan with practice which results in cool bokeh.

I hope that helps and I'm not sure of your photography experiece so apologise if I've gone over your head or dumbed-down too much....

Cheers!
 

George Farmer

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James Marshall said:
Wow, this has got to be my faxorite biotope aquarium. The extreme research you did with the freshwater diving is well reflected in the authenticity of the scape.
As others have said it takes me right back to my childhood when i used to catch sticklebacks in local streams and ponds, a real nostalgia trip.
Did you take any under water photos whilst diving? would love to see them if you did.

Cheers
James
Thanks, James! And congrats on your great Your Tanks feature in the same issue!

I didn't take any underwater shots. I may well invest in a waterproof housing for future expeds!
 

andyh

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Derby
George Farmer said:
James Marshall said:
Wow, this has got to be my faxorite biotope aquarium. The extreme research you did with the freshwater diving is well reflected in the authenticity of the scape.
As others have said it takes me right back to my childhood when i used to catch sticklebacks in local streams and ponds, a real nostalgia trip.
Did you take any under water photos whilst diving? would love to see them if you did.

Cheers
James
Thanks, James! And congrats on your great Your Tanks feature in the same issue!

I didn't take any underwater shots. I may well invest in a waterproof housing for future expeds!

George,

Get a canon underwater housing they are excellent! (unless you wanna spend mega bucks on a pro one!)

Here is a couple of pics i took with mine:
Butterfly angel
web.jpg

A small group of Dog Face puffers
web.jpg

The camera in its case in a tank doing a video.
web.jpg
 

George Farmer

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Wow! That's really cool, Andy. Thanks for sharing.

Looks like one of my Christmas presents is sorted! The other has to be a new lens I reckon. :D
 

Themuleous

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Aston, Oxfordshire
Personally, its a real shame you didn't stick to UK native species. Would you put HC in an east Asian biotope? Providing you get the landowners permission you can collect native species from waterbodies.

I have been thinking of doing something similar for a while, really should get around to it. There are loads of aquatic plants in my local brook. Next year perhaps.

Sam
 

George Farmer

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You're right, Sam. Thanks for the feedback. :D

I did consider going 'proper' native but I'm working to really tight schedules, so went for the 'laziest' option!

I hope you do get to set up your own native tank. I think these types of set-ups have the potential to be the most rewarding.
 

George Farmer

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Hi Sam

I also wanted to replicate what I actually saw in my local lake, which in this case was full of invasive species!
 
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