After taking a few months off for the holidays, I am back at it! Challenging my creativity by following directions from photographers in the “How To” Section of Popular Photography Magazine

This month I chose my project from the May 2016 Popular Photography. The photogrpaher is Chuck Bradley, a professional photographer out of Syndey, Australia. I have been excited to do this project because I love his photographs of fish. And Beta fish have a special place in my heart. Here are a few of his photos.

Bradley suggested in his article to set up the shoot the following way:
1) Find a glass tank, make sure all sides are clear
2) Place a white card under the tank for it to sit on
3) Fill the tank and let the water rest for 24 hours
4)Use a high powered strobe and place it above the tank (I used the Promaster PL400)
5) Use a black background behind the tank
6) Place another strobe with a beauty dish that will be level and shoot into the side of the tank
7) Attach a white card on the other side of the tank (I used mat board)
8) Place a black card that will cover half of the front of the tank and place your camera to shoot inside the area left clear.

The following picture was my set up!


Bradley warned about reflections being a problem for this type of shoot. And, he was very right. I shot for half a day modifying the lights and cards to try and get rid of my relection. He recommended wearing black and having all the lights off excpet the strobe modeling lights. I wore all black and the room was dark. But, my hands and forehead kept showing up, sometimes in multiple spots on the tank.


I knew his next tip well because this was not the first time I have shot fish. However, it was funny watching my coworkers get frustrated with how patient you must be to get a fish in your frame. Patience is key for this type of shoot.

After running into multiple problems with reflections I decided to change it up and shoot how I normally do when I photograph my fish. I brought the tank to a window lit room, plugged in our RPS Studio 1000 watt LED, placed it above the tank at full power, and started shooting. I had less reflection problems and the fish became more active. The following photos are some of my results. The red one is a dragon tail Beta and named Buddha. The yellow one is a Paradise Beta and his name is Bob Ross.

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I loved doing this “How to” Challenge. Although, I failed at producing an image the way Bradley did, I was happy with the results I got doing it my way. This challenge definitley sparked my creativity and got me back into doing something I love, photographing fish. And, that is exactly the reason I am doing a series like this. I hope you all enjoy!! Until Next Time!!

Written By,

Rebecca Cody

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