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Re: Aquarium plant photography / "Introducing" an indgenous sp.

I'd add you should use extra lighting from the top. I've had great success
w/ two inexpensive "home depot" halogen bulbs mounted on homemade wooden
stands shining down at 45-degree angles into the tank. 

Use a tri-pod (or fashion one). This greatly improves the quality and
detail of the shot especially w/ low speed film. The slightest twitch of
the camera as you take the shot distorts the pic unless you use a
high-speed film, but this captures less detail. 

I use a low speed film (100-200) to enhance detail. 

Cover all room surfaces behind you with black cloth while taking the shot.

Remove the fish that won't be still. 

Don't use a digital camera. The quality just "isn't ready yet." Besides,
with photos by e-mail services so widespread, straight to digital
development of your analog shots has never been easier. 

Use a camera with a short focal length. I use a Yasica T4 super D ($199)
because of its tight focal length of just 13 inches. You won't get much
from a $10 "fun-in-the-sun" Publix disposable standing its minimum 4-feet

Sensei Amano set a high standard for aquatic photography, but you don't
need an expensive photo studio to get great pics!

On another note, its more likely Karen, that our little red Val friends
survived in my abused apartment lake because they can hack it in 15-cm of
water as well as 100cm of water whereas the other Val species can't survive
this man-made shift in waterlevel. Surface water from the complex is
channeled into the lake causing wild swings in water level everytime it rains.

They also have protective colouration that minimizes their profile from the
surface where those D@*# moscovy ducks (man-introduced, NON-native, scat
generating, pest) rip at any true aquatic plant they can reach. I've seen
the number they do on the native Val patch I "introduced" whenever the
water level drops to put them within their reach. This patch survives only
because I placed it in an artificially deep close-shore depression hollowed
out by a parking lot drainpipe whenever it rains. The water-excavated sand
then forms a barrier to diploid carp and gigantic 50cm Plecos that live in
the main lake (both man introduced and NON-native). This poor lake is
almost devoid of plants both emersed due to surface mowing and submersed
due to the moscovys, carp and Plecos.

I only chanced upon that tiny red Val patch the day of the hurricane because
of a few bits of leaves the moscoys got to that floated up. I followed the
leaf trail to the only two-foot patch of little red Val I found so far.

Point being man may well indirectly already be the direct and indirect
source of the selective pressure that lead to the emergence of this little
red val.