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Old 11-07-2007   #1
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Default Photographing Koi

Would any of the members be able to assist me. My friend has some Koi fish and would like them photographed. I've tried shooting on manual, manual focus, flash/noflash but to no avail (and the damn things don't stand still). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. Ken

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Old 11-07-2007   #2
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

I tried using flash and a polorizing filter to cut the glare. Worked pretty well, and my biggest problem was as you say "don't stand still". I use a Nikon D80 and I found the auto focus was sometimes focusing on the glare of the water and other times the fish, so I used manual focus and focused on a spot and waited until one entered that spot in the frame. I was concerned that the water was showing as black and the metering would be off, but the flash adjusted and I got good exposures. I ended up deleting all photos as I chalked my first attempt to a learning session. But I'm going to try again as soon as I get back to the fish pond. Best regards, Ray
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Old 11-07-2007   #3
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

Can you possibly build a water tight clear lexan box with an open top that you can put in the water with the Koi and then lower the camer in from the top. You'd have to prefocus and probably use a remote trigger, but it is a possibility. Or possibly and underwater housing...
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Old 11-07-2007   #4
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

that or move the fish to fish tanks for solo shooting.
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Old 11-07-2007   #5
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

You didn't say what kind of camera you're using, which matters when trying to capture something like this. A lot of P&S digitals aren't suited to the task of constantly moving objects.

If I was doing it, I'd do it this way:

1. Set up tripod
2. Add polarizing filter and flash to the camera and mount it on tripod
3. Select a good area to use as a background
4. Pre-focus on the area and test it by floating something to it or use your hand right at the waterline to confirm (obviously a timer is required here).
5. Meter using the same technique
6a. Wait
or
6b. Toss some food in to get the fish to your focused area.
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Old 11-07-2007   #6
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

The way we used to photograph them was to use a small, blue photo pool, about the size of large bus pan. A CP and consistent, indirect light are a must. Tripod is optional. These were used as due diligence documentation of both the fish's health and pattern/coloration. If you are looking for a more creative/natural composition, the method Brian describes above will work well. If your looking for detail, then moving them to "photo pool" is better.
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Old 11-07-2007   #7
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

fish tanks=photo pool
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Old 11-07-2007   #8
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

Quote:
Originally Posted by badpickev View Post
fish tanks=photo pool
Actually, no it doesn't. Koi are best viewed from above. Plus, shooting fish in a glass tank presents a whole other set of issues. Here is a good example of a shot in a photo pool: http://www.koifooddirect.co.uk/image...-art-large.jpg
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Old 11-07-2007   #9
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

Kennymza,

You might read Koi Photography and many other treatises on this subject. This is a true case of experimenting and practice making perfect.

We have a koi pond in are yard and we shoot photos of koi often, mainly with a Nikon D80. Our best shots are acquired with a circular polarizer and indirect light, the more the merrier, I mean brighter.

Good luck,
Tom
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Old 11-08-2007   #10
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Default Re: Photographing Koi

Thanks Guys
You've been a great help. Much appreciated. Ken


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