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 Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR

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wayneb

wayneb

Posts : 1745
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Join date : 2007-12-08
Age : 40
Location : Kraai Fontein, Cape Town Metropol

Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Empty
PostSubject: Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR   Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 9:10 pm

Please read the whole thing...solution at end.

I tried to photograph a koi of mine today and although i believe i had a good quality camera it was a real mission as i did not know what settings to use. I have a Nikon D3000 and was using a 18-55mm AF-S VR Lens.

I first tried the camera on automatic with a polorizing lens. - That did not work.

I then removed the polorising lens and it got a little bit better but the camera was to slow for the fast moving fish.

I then tried sports mode but that did not work at all.

All the photos upto now was either to blurry or to dark.

I then finally called servaas de kock. He has a nikon D70 and he quickly helped me. After following his setting and suggestions almost every picture i took after that was perfect.

Here are the settings:

1. Turn the mode dial to S - thats Shutter priority.
2. Your shutter speed should be 200-250
3. Set your camera to use ISO 200.
4. Switch the flash on.
5. Use Continues-servo focus AF-C (That means that while you are followin the koi and the focus button is pressed the camera will continue to adjust its focus)
6. Set your AF Area Mode to 3D. (3D Tracking magically tracks the subject as it flies around the frame, due either to its own motion, or your recomposition)
7. Adjust your lens zoom to how close you want to be.
8. Find the koi in the bowl wherever it is, Focus lock the camera on the koi by keeping the shutter release button slighly pressed.
9. Follow the koi around until the desired pose is achieved and then press the shutter realse button full.

I think one can try and use the polorising lens when working in direct sunlight but not when already in a shaded area.

Im not sure what the terminology is on the cannon SLR's but i assume that the settings will be the same.
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wayneb

wayneb

Posts : 1745
Reputation : 29
Join date : 2007-12-08
Age : 40
Location : Kraai Fontein, Cape Town Metropol

Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Empty
PostSubject: Re: Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR   Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Icon_minitimeSun Mar 21, 2010 7:54 am

Colyn on the forum gave me some advise to use "Apeture priority" instead of "Shutter priority" and i tried it and it really gave a better result.

I have adjusted the original setting given by servaas. Here they are.

1. Turn the mode dial to A - thats Apreture priority.
2. Set your FStop to F 5.6
3. Set your camera to use ISO 400.
4. Switch the flash on.
5. Use Continues-servo focus AF-C (That means that while you are followin the koi and the focus button is pressed the camera will continue to adjust its focus)
6. Set your AF Area Mode to 3D. (3D Tracking magically tracks the subject as it flies around the frame, due either to its own motion, or your recomposition)
7. Adjust your lens zoom to how close you want to be.
8. Find the koi in the bowl wherever it is, Focus lock the camera on the koi by keeping the shutter release button slighly pressed.
9. Follow the koi around until the desired pose is achieved and then press the shutter realse button full.
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wayneb

wayneb

Posts : 1745
Reputation : 29
Join date : 2007-12-08
Age : 40
Location : Kraai Fontein, Cape Town Metropol

Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Empty
PostSubject: Re: Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR   Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Icon_minitimeMon Mar 22, 2010 12:17 pm

I sometimes get the feeling that i could do with a bigger flash as the subject (koi) is not being completely lit. That especially happens if i am to far away from the koi and using the max zoom of small lens or when i am using the min zoom of my big lens.

I take most of my photos of the kois with a 18-55mm lens. That means that i am using the max zoom capability of the lens but i am stil quite close to the koi. If i use my 70-300mm then i feel i am to far away again. So i guess i need a lens in the 50-100mm range.

The problem is, when one gets to close to the koi they become jumpy and dont want to swim in your direction and so you dont get a decent pose. Thats when i also prefer to put a towl over the bowl. That way they are more relaxed and i can peek in every now and again to see where they are. If they are swimming in my direction my wife lifts the towl on my end and i take the shot.

When i pull the photo onto my pc. I look through the shots and immediatly delete the the once i can see im not going to use. Then i pull the best 3 of 4 into photoshop and evaluate them next to each other. I then take the best once and cut the fish out of the photo with about 3-4cm blue bowl spacing around it. I then create a new image and paste the selection into the new image. Now i have the koi with all its detail and now i resize the image to 800pixels wide.
Thats how i have been doing it upto now.
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR   Photographing Koi with a Nikon SLR Icon_minitime

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