Help me take good pictures

LobsterOfJustice

Recovering Detritophobe
Hello all,

Let me start of by saying I dont know much (..anything...) about photography. I used to take pretty good pictures of my tank when it had 10Ks, but I changed out my lights with new 20Ks and all my pictures look terrible.

My pictures used to look like this (10K EVC):
FTS.jpg


Not great, a little "overexposed" in the white areas, but much better than what I am seeing now (20K XM):
100_1271.jpg


So I know the key word(s) here is "white balance". I am using a Kodak EasyShare Z700. On the camera, I can't seem to adjust the white balance. I go into "PAS" to access the manual settings, go into the menu, and the white balance options are auto, daylight, tungsten, and flourescent. They all look the same when taking pictures of the tank. I dont know how to, or if I even can, change it any other way, so that the pictures look correct on the camera.

I have not bought any photo editing software. I have a macbook so whatever software came with this, if any. When I right click on a picture, I have the option to open it in "colorsync utility" and "HP photosmart edit" (maybe came with my printer?), among other things. These programs have color slider bars and wheels, all I know is that when I move them around, it just changes the above picture from all blue to all green or all red. HP photosmart edit has a "set white balance" option, but every time I set it the picture comes out similar to what I mentioned before... the same overall look of one overexposed color, but yellow or red. I have tried setting the white balance by choosing a few different areas, like the sand, the bar of a clown, the PVC, or the absolute tip of a coral, but it never makes the picture look correct.

Can anyone help me work with this camera and this software to take decent pictures that dont look like they are taken under all actinic?
 

KurtsReef

Premium Member
Your 20k light is a much bluer light. I am not familiar with your camera however if you cannot change the white balance in camera you can if you have the ability to shoot RAW files and buy a copy of Photoshop Elements (about 80.00)
 

gregr

New member
Unfortunately you're very limited by the white balance options of that camera, plus the lights are so blue even top of the line cameras have a hard time getting proper balance. No RAW mode so you're stuck with what comes out of the camera, except for what you can do on the computer. Speaking of which, you probably have Iphoto- I'd give that a try. Small adjustments are best- move those sliders slowly until you see a positive change. Try to find the part of the program where you can adjust the colors and then try to remove blue by adding yellow (yellow is the opposite of blue). I'll check out Iphoto on my laptop and see what is what.
 

gregr

New member
I looked in iphoto- once you have the photo open look for the adjustments icon at the bottom of the screen and click on it. Then look for the temperature slider- play with that and you should see the colors improve. I don't think you'll be able to get it to look perfect but this should help a lot.
 
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