Macro Photography for Fishes

by Stephanie
(College Station, TX, USA)


Hello!

My name is Stephanie and I am a graduate student at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. My research focuses on conservation of desert fish communities in west Texas. This summer I will be doing my fieldwork which will include seining for these little fishes and photographing them to record morphometrics. I'm looking for a great digital camera that can do high-resolution macro photography and a good, rugged tripod to go along with it. All these photographs will be taken outside on uneven terrain. Do you have any advice? Money will not be much of a concern.

Thanks in advance!
Stephanie


Hi Stephanie!

That sounds like a great adventure. That is quite a fascinating field of study. Can I go too? LOL. Thanks for your question about macro photography of fish and the best tripod to use.

I had to look this one up, so for the benefit of the readers of the site: From Wikipedia:

Morphometric analyses are commonly performed on organisms, and are useful in analyzing their fossil record, the impact of mutations on shape, developmental changes in form, covariances between ecological factors and shape, as well for estimating quantitative-genetic parameters of shape. Morphometrics can be used to quantify a trait of evolutionary significance, and by detecting changes in the shape, deduce something of their ontogeny, function or evolutionary relationships.

how to photograph live fish close-up

I assume that the fish will still be alive when you photograph them. That brings up a nice challenge for your macro photography, particularly for fish out of water. I don't think a tripod will be a practical thing for you to use because they'll be flip-flopping around quite a bit. If I'm missing something please get back to me and give me a better picture on how you'll be doing the actually photography of the fish.

macro photography tripod

If you still need a solid tripod that not outrageously heavy to transport, I do like the Vanguard Alta Pro line of tripods quite a bit. Vanguard Alta Pro Tripods.

Since you're not likely trying to create artistic macro photography and your photography is more scientific in nature, you may likely want the sharpness of using a flashgun or macro flash ring to freeze the action and aid in getting good depth of field. Do you anticipate doing the photography in direct sunlight? You may want to use a high ISO setting on your camera to get both a fast shutter speed as well as a small aperture(high f/stop number) to make sure you get everything in focus.

Stephanie, Feel free to get back to me if you have any other questions or if can give me more specific details on your budget and features of a new camera, or how you will be shooting the close-ups of the fish. You can message me on the facebook page: Facebook: Photography Tips or add another "Ask Me" post.

Good Luck
Bruce

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