I have been receiving questions from a few folks wanting to know how I take pictures of my bettas and what kind of camera that I am using. As a help, I will share what I have found to work for me.
Taking pictures of your betta can be tricky but once you find a way to make it work for you it is a lot of fun! I am by no means a pro when it comes to picture taking, not at all. I am about as generic as all get out! However, through much trial, error, and determination, I have found a way that works for me.
I use a 35mm (Canon EOS RebelX/S)camera, auto focus on, but on a manual setting so that the auto flash does not pop up.
The main thing is lighting, I personally had no luck with using the flash on my camera. It would either hot spot from its reflection on the tank, or result in completely changing the color of my bettas on the final picture. (i.e., Hecter appeared to be a bright royal blue betta, instead of the dark purplish blue betta that he really is) I light the top of my tanks (a lamp would work fine) and use a spotlight to shine into the side of the tanks. It works great. My bettas seem perplexed by what the heck I am doing but it does not seem to bother them.
Alright, now that you have them all lit up it is time to start taking pictures. The best film I have found to use is the Kodak Max Versatility Plus 800 speed film. This film is specially designed for taking pictures in low light, no flash situations. It also features blur reduction, which comes in pretty handy when taking pictures of swimming fish!
I also purchased myself a tripod to help hold my camera still, low light pictures tend to blur if you don’t hold your camera real steady.
Now the fun part, trying to get good pictures of your betta!
Just keep your eye to the view finder of the camera, push the picture taking button in just far enough that the auto focus takes over, then you just wait for that right moment and Click!!
Bettas seem to know when a camera is in front of them and will have moments when they will make it as difficult as they possibly can for you to get a good shot. You need patience and a good sense of humor! It is a lot of fun, I really enjoy taking pictures of my little fella’s.
It sounds like more trouble than it is actually. Expect a lot of duds initially, I went through 2 rolls of film with only a couple of pictures turning out well enough to use, that was before I switched over to the 800 speed film though. Since making the “film speed” switch, my turn out is much better now. It is possible to get some great pictures without using a digital camera or a web cam.