Monday Archives: Flash, or not to Flash?

by | Aug 8, 2022 | Photography | 1 comment

While it may sound like the perverted thoughts of a flasher, it really has to do with reefkeeping. The reefkeeping hobby often leads to new related hobbies. For some it’s diving, for me its photography. Photographing the reef creatures in the confines of a tank provides an excellent opportunity to photograph exotic specimens without having to leave the comforts of your own house. However, it comes with its own set of challenges. Shooting through aquarium glass and water adds an extra twist to photography. Even more challenging is the fact that the lighting is, more often than not, inadequate for photography. Using a flash can offset the lighting limitation, and works well in a lot of cases, especially when photographing fish. While there are certain “tips” that can be followed to prevent the flash from reflecting back into the pictures, I have encountered some issues especially when photographing fish with a lot of blue color. Using a flash tends to create an iridescent blue which to my eyes does not truly represent the color of the fish. While some may find it appealing, I do not like the rather unnatural appearance of the fish in the photographs. The 2 pictures below illustrate this effect. The pictures on the left are taken with a flash and the ones on the right without a flash.

  • Sanjay Joshi

    Sanjay Joshi in real life is a Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. He has been a reef addict since 1992, and currently keeps several reef aquariums at home including a 500G SPS coral dominated reef. He also co-manages the 500G aquarium at Penn State. He has published several articles in magazines such as Marine Fish and Reef Annual, Aquarium Frontiers, Aquarium Fish, and Advanced Aquarist. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at several marine aquarium society meetings in the US and Europe. He received the MASNA award in 2006, for his contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.

1 Comment

  1. Randy Donowitz

    No flash looks much better to me as well.


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