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!


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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.


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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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