Aquarium Fish PhotographyTips for shooting inside public aquariums

Aquarium fish photography can add a whole new dimension of satisfaction to our accomplishments as an aquarist. One thing that seems to be universal in our hobby is the desire to show off our discus tank, our thriving reef tank, or that new filtration system we just installed. So it shouldn’t be surprising that a lot of aquarists are also photographers.

This website is devoted to sharing tips and techniques for taking awesome photos of your fishy friends.

Keep reading to learn how the aquarium fish photography professionals take those amazing shots we all wish we could do.

With practice utilizing the correct techniques and obtaining the right gear, you can improve your photos by leaps and bounds. Soon you will be taking aquarium photographs like a professional!

Aquarium Fish Photography Tips

1) If you are serious about aquarium fish photography, listen up. This is the most important tip I can share with you: When you are shooting closeups, make sure your camera is square with the glass of the aquarium. In other words, don’t shoot at an angle through the glass, shoot your subject straight on.

The reason for this is refraction. Refraction is the deflection from a straight path by a light ray when passing at an angle from air into glass or water. The greater the angle of departure, the greater the refraction effect. Straight on, there is zero refraction.

2) Turn down the lights in the room before you try to photograph a fish tank. Also, wear dark clothing. This will help eliminate reflections of the room furniture, or you, in the glass of the aquarium.

3) The best aquarium fish photography professionals will tell you that patience is the best asset in your gear bag. Wait for your subject fish to swim into the ideal spot for your photo. You pick that spot beforehand and wait. Eventually, your fish will swim into the area you need. Don’t track him around the tank snapping away… this will result in a lot of wasted pics because the exposure won’t be ideal, the image will be blurry, or you didn’t frame the subject the way you wanted to.

4) Make sure the aquarium glass is clean and the water is clear before you set up for your photo session. If you are shooting pictures in a public aquarium, you can carry a soft microfiber cloth in your gear bag to wipe away the smudges on the glass from little kids getting close and personal with their favorite fish.

5) In a public aquarium, don’t hog the display taking pictures. Other people may be wanting to check it out, too. Be courteous. Snap a few shots, then step back and let others move up to the glass. Again, patience is an asset. You can check with the guides to find out when the slowest times are. Typically, early in the day. That would be the best time for aquarium fish photography activities, uninterrupted by crowds of people.


Fishlore provides aquarium fish information for both freshwater and saltwater hobbyists. They present information in an easy-to-understand way so that more can enjoy our wonderful hobby!

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