George's 80cm - final shots

George Farmer

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Tom said:
For my full tank shots I use my tripod, have the camera in AV mode with the aperture between 4 and 8 dependant on light. Then I set it on the timer and leave it to take it. I use manual focus and set it to something like a rock thats roughly in the midground. They came out pretty good that way. But I was using an "L" lens so that may have helped with sharpness.

Tom
Thanks, Tom.
 

Graeme Edwards

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As Tom says, put it on a timer, hat way your not having a slight wobble when pressing the shutter. ISO is prberbly best around 200, thats what i use anyway. Check your file type. I know on my 350D you can select fine or medium quality JPG, i wouldnt bother with RAW.
You really need to sort your metering out. On the 350D, multy segmented gives the best results, with regards even high lights,shadows and color rendition. Again, check your white ballance too, AWB, is usualy best but shade and florecant can work well too.
I shoot in auto, but use the selection points for making my focus points. Your apature may have something to do with your blur. If its very low like f4 ( AV 4 ) then there will only be a very small section in your picture that looks sharp, and if that section is in open water or in a shaded area, then you wont see it.

Hopefully youl get it sorted mate.
 

George Farmer

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Thanks, Graeme. Appreciate the advice.

I have three metering modes to play with. I'll try that next.

I've sussed WB I think - I have 7 modes plus 100K increments up to 10000K. Pretty cool.

I've tried tripod on self-timer. I used that technique with my compact.

What's the compromise with lower f-stops (higher DOF)? Shouldn't full tank shots be done on as low as poss to get everything as sharp as possible? I understand smaller DOFs for close-ups for effect.

Is it because the aperture is so small with high DOF, so you need more light - more ISO?

What impact does ISO have on image clarity, or is it purely for lower light/moving objects? I know high ISO has noise but it's not noticeable upto 800 for me. I can go 3200 but it's awful.

Thanks again for your help. It's nice to be a newbie again and get advice!
 

Tom

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Is it because the aperture is so small with high DOF, so you need more light - more ISO?
Yup, and you will need longer exposures so anything that moves (fish and long leaves) will blur and look nasty. White/backlit backgrounds seem to prefer faster exposures otherwise I find they "blow out" easier.

What impact does ISO have on image clarity, or is it purely for lower light/moving objects? I know high ISO has noise but it's not noticeable upto 800 for me. I can go 3200 but it's awful.
If you don't notice noise at 800, use it to your advantage. I could only get away with up to 400 on my 350d before it went grainy.

Tom
 

Fred Dulley

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Tank looks excellent George.
Just wondering where you got the wood? Sorry if you have said before.

Anyone know where to get some really good branchy wood online? Not too expensive mind.
 

Dan Crawford

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Hi Fred, aqua essentials sells rose wood and it rocks but it's about £25 for a medium piece which will probably spread about 400mm square. If you ask your LFS to look into stocking wood from UniPac (a wholesaler) then they may be able to get it in for you, thats the wood George has used.
Cheers
Dan
 

Dave Spencer

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George Farmer said:
Yes, I did a lot of post-processing using crappy MS Picture It. I also used my old desktop PC with CRT monitor, hence why I've over-sharpened, too much contrast etc. When I see the image on my laptop it looks awful!.
Should have got a hold of Photoshop 7 when you had the chance, George. ;)

The unsharp mask, when used in moderation, really does bring everything in to sharp focus.

If you are taking pictures of individual plant stems, then stop the lens wide open (low f number) to give a shallow depth of field, allowing the viewer to just concentrate on the specimen itself. The background becomes blurred, making it less distracting.

This is also the best method for photographing fish, because the increased light levels will give you a fast enough shutter speed to freeze their motion. Unfortunately, the little buggers move around. What I would do here is to manually focus on a particular spot the fish frequent, bearing in mind the background, and fire off the shutter every time they are in position. I guess this will be awkward if you are using the timer. My remote shutter release is a must for me, when using a tripod.

Having said all this, you have taken some excellent pictures using a P + S, so you will have this camera nailed in no time.

Dave.
 

Fred Dulley

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BigDanne said:
Hi Fred, aqua essentials sells rose wood and it rocks but it's about £25 for a medium piece which will probably spread about 400mm square. If you ask your LFS to look into stocking wood from UniPac (a wholesaler) then they may be able to get it in for you, thats the wood George has used.
Cheers
Dan
Hi.
Yeah, I saw the rose wood on AE, not in stock and like you said, it's a tad expensive for me.
I will ask my LFS (my work too :D ) if we can get something in.

P.S sorry for the hi-jack George.
 

beeky

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As you said, it looks very 'clean'.

Do you have any issues with algae growing on rocks, wood, glass etc? I think I understand the processes involved in preventing algae on the plants but what about 'dead' items of decoration?

I know it doesn't make pretty looking pictures but could we see where you've placed your in-tank equipment for general day-to-day running?

Do you use Purigen or the like? As wot some bard wrote "How can l describe your water? Crystal is muddy by comparison". Didn't know I was cultured did ya?
 

George Farmer

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beeky said:
Do you have any issues with algae growing on rocks, wood, glass etc? I think I understand the processes involved in preventing algae on the plants but what about 'dead' items of decoration?
I have minor algae on the rocks but it gives them a sense of age.

The wood is kept clean by the 24 Amano shrimp and 6 otos.

I know it doesn't make pretty looking pictures but could we see where you've placed your in-tank equipment for general day-to-day running?
The photos are all taken with running gear as it is. I have taken nothing away or moved anything for the photos. I'll save that for the final shoot with studio flashes etc.

The heater is in-line with the filter.

The filter inlet/outlet are glass lily pipes with clear tubing.

You can easily see the CO2 diffuser and drop checker

Do you use Purigen or the like? As wot some bard wrote "How can l describe your water? Crystal is muddy by comparison". Didn't know I was cultured did ya?
Yes, I'm running Purigen. It took a while for me to notice but clarity has improved. The water when I empty for WCs looks blue it is so clean.

Thanks.
 

Themuleous

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Coming along nicely :) Do you not find the wood on the left makes too much of a solid barrier? Seems to cut off the very left of the tank?

Just a thought :)

Sam

PS - So you're a convert to purigen now then?
 

gt568

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Hi mate,

I'm a bit confused about the purigen, how do you use it? Does it just get added to the filter?

Did the tank "bow" when you removed the brace at all?

I'll give you a bell over xmas, are you going to be at home?
 

George Farmer

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Themuleous said:
Coming along nicely :) Do you not find the wood on the left makes too much of a solid barrier? Seems to cut off the very left of the tank?

Just a thought :)

Sam

PS - So you're a convert to purigen now then?
Thanks for your input, as always, Sam.

Yes, I like Purigen.

gt568 said:
Hi mate,

I'm a bit confused about the purigen, how do you use it? Does it just get added to the filter?

Did the tank "bow" when you removed the brace at all?

I'll give you a bell over xmas, are you going to be at home?
Hi mate

Purigen 100ml comes in a bag that you put in your external canister filter. I guess it may work in your Juwel internal if you remove a sponge.

The tank bows a little. Seems ok though...

At home all xmas. :D
 

George Farmer

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I’ve been covering this aquascape’s progress from scratch, week-by-week, on the PFK blogs.

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/p ... oglist.php







Tank – Juwel Rio 125 with hood and brace removed (80 x 35 x 45cm)
Filter – TetraTec EX 1200, ADA Clear Hose, Aquatic Magic lily pipes, Hydor inline heater
Light – Arcadia overtank luminaire (4 x 24w T5), 2 x Arcadia Plant Pro, 2 x JBL 9000K, 9 hours
CO2 – JBL pressurized system, 1BPS through Rhinox 2000, 4dKH drop checker
Substrate – JBL Proflora 200 and silica sand
Ferts – Tropica AquaCare Plant Nutrition+ 5ml per day

Stems still have some way to go. There’s some Ludwigia arcuata lurking in there ready…

I’m enjoying watching this develop through my new toy, a Canon EOS 10D.

Happy Christmas and New Year!
 

Dave Spencer

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Looks great, George.

The first picture is very nice indeed. What I like about Hyphessobrycon amandae is the way they always show up against a green background. The Ludwigia arcuata should really compliment them once it turns orangy red.

My only reservation is that there appears to be two discrete sides to the tank. The Blyxa on the left doesn`t seem to be strong enough to link the two sides just yet.

One other thing is that I hardly notice you have left all the hardware in the tank, which shows the beauty of inline heaters, glassware etc. It certainly makes photography a little easier as well. All you need now is to fork out on a CO2 reactor. :lol:

What is the plant sat near the top of the wood on the left....Bolbitis heudolotii?

Dave.
 

CJ Castle

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Nice progress...

The midground is looking especially good (loving the Blyxa)...

Excellent fish choice; the Hyphessobrycon amandae really standout amongst the mass of green...
 

Ed Seeley

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Looking good George. I didn't even see the tetras in the first picture!!! The disadvantage of being red-green colour blind!!!!

I kinda agree with Dave's point. Maybe it'd work better visually if the Blyxa could be one continuous ribbon across the middle to the clump in front of the Narrow fern? Of course, you are far more experienced at this than me so may want to ignore that!!!
 
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