Studio Skwit and the quest for the perfect shrimp picture

So like I said I started this blog because lately lots of people ask me how I do things. In a way I like that but I am also a lazy person so I prefer now to write it down in this blog and later I can give the link too this blog. When you check my Flickr-page you see an example of all my pictures I’ve made lately. So if you go to the older pictures they are made with a Nikon D3100 + Sigma 105 mm macro.

I think I did sometimes a really great job, specially knowing it’s the starters camera of Nikon. But I always had to take a lot of pictures and I was not happy with my high iso (1600)and slow shutterspeeds (around 1/10 sec). To achieve lower iso I thought about buying a new camera. I was looking for the Nikon D610 but the high price and other lenses you need on this one made me look for the Nikon D7100. Since a big month I have this camera. I am really happy with it and also the way to operate it. But did it help me for my shrimp photography? NO LOL. Did I regret I bought it? NO :-). The camera is really a big step forward and specially it shows a much bigger amount of detail in the pictures and I also like the 24 Mp instead of 12. Gives me the ability to crop in the picture without loosing too much pixels.

Then I start to experiment with an offset flash on my aquarium with a downwards flash direction (same direction of my aquarium light). First of all I don’t like to flash in the direction of my shrimps but i tried it and it really doesn’t work well, also I had too much reflection in my aquarium glass from the flash on my camera who has to trigger the off-set flash. So another option that didn’t work in my quest for the perfect Shrimp picture 🙂

Few weeks ago I went to my favourit camerashop and ask him for solutions to have extra light and he showed me something nice. A portable continous Led Light from Manfrotto. The idea was good but 199 euro was too much. On internet I started to look for alternative and i found one for 70 euro. Now i put it up my aquarium and it does really do good job without disturbing my shrimps. I can even lower the iso sometimes under 400 (ok then I still have a slow shutterspeed) but it gaves a very noiseless sharp image. Or sometimes i raise the iso up again towards 1600 and I can enjoy shutterspeeds up to 1/50 that makes the little claws visible of the shrimp who are continues moving for eating. So now I am still experimenting with it.

I always send my best pics to shutterstock in the hope they accept them. So with my latest set-up I hope to achieve a higher ratio of accepted picture. The point of sending them to shutterstock is in the first place of course to sell them but also to give shrimp-webshop-owners a cheap and legal alternative to use nice pictures on their sites.

So shortly what can i say more for the Quest:
– Always use a tripod
– Use a shutter release cable
– Always shoot in raw format

After making the pictures you have to post process the pics on your computer. I will tell more about this later.

Last word, English is not my native language so excuse me for mistakes or not correct things. Maybe an advantage of it is that i use easy English.
Also I am not a professional. Never followed photography school and everything I have learned comes from internet. Since 2011 I am busy with it and also I love it a lot to photoshop pictures. So I am still learning and don’t shoot me if I say something that is not correct. It comes all from my own experience and my obsession for the quest 🙂

Hope you enjoyed reading this,

Studio Skwit