Aquatic Photography

    Amano's picture's look great for several reasons.  Not only does he use
top notch equipment, but he uses top notch medium and large format equipment,
with negatives at least three times that of 35 mm.  Not that excellent
pictures can't or aren't taken with 35 mm, it's just that the detail and
color saturation generally isn't as great, even with pro slide films.  If
you're out to photograph your tank, just about any 35 mm SLR will be as good
as any other but a quality macro lens is worth the money.  If you don't have
a macro you can use extension tubes or close-up lenses for exceptable
results.  You'll definately want a tripod and an off camera flash also.
  After a water change (for the optimum in water clarity) leave your filters
off and let the tank settle.  Turn off all the room lights to eliminate
reflections.  If you have an off camera flash, you can photograph straight-on
with the flash aimed in at a 45 degree angle from above.  For slides I would
highly recommend Kodack Ektachrome 100sw and for prints I would suggest Fuji
Reala 100.  If you have daylight or full spectrum bulbs on your aquarium, you
shouldn't need any filters with these films.  The short depth of field is an
unfortunate consequence of working close to your subject matter unless you've
got 10 grand lieing around earmarked for camera equipment.

P.S.- This advice goes for plant tanks alone, if you want to capture your
fish on film, you can through everything I said out the window.

Nathan Lujan, in bitterly cold and windy Grand Rapids