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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL


Dwarf Shrimp Photography

Bee Shrimp   Cherry Shrimp 

Over the past five years or so my two hobbies have been raising dwarf shrimp and photography.  I have found that dwarf shrimp are one of the more difficult things to photograph.  They are always moving, they are small, and they live in an environment not ideal for photography.

In my photography hobby I used to be a purist.  I would only shoot on 35mm film.  I felt the colors were superior and that depth of field could not be matched.  Due to the expense of processing 35mm film, and the MANY bad pictures that one must take of dwarf shrimp to get ONE good one I never used my high-end cameras for dwarf shrimp pictures.

I bought my wife a point-and-shoot digital camera so she could snap as many shots of our nieces, our family, and our dog as she wanted.  Selfishly I made sure the camera had a macro mode (the ability to focus up close on small objects).  With this camera I took a ton of pictures of shrimp, and out of 100 I would get one that was useable on my website. 

I experimented with putting different types of glass in front of the lens.  I used magnifying glasses, this worked a little better than just the point-and-shoot, about a 75-1 ratio.  I tried using a lens from my high-end camera and placed it in reverse in front of the point-and-shoot lens.  With this technique I was getting about a 25-1 ratio.

Here is a typical picture using a point-and-shoot digital camera with a lens from one of my high end cameras in front of it

Tiger Shrimp

When shooting with the point-and-shoot digital camera I found it necessary to have a lot of light over the fish tank and a tripod was essential.  After doing this for a few years digital SLR cameras improved leaps and bounds.  I decided that it was time to give one a try.

I bought a very nice, entry level DSLR.  The Nikon D40.  It does everything I need as an armature photographer and more.  I also invested in a few macro lenses.  With this camera and lens set up I get about a 4:1 ratio now, and the quality is leaps and bounds above what I used to get with the point-and-shoot camera.

Here are two pictures of the same shrimp.  The first is typical of a blurry, out of focus shot that about 3 out of 4 pictures look like.  The second is the keeper of the series.  Click picture for full size.

Tiger Shrimp Blurry  Tiger Shrimp good

I will be writing an article for about dwarf shrimp photography soon with tutorials on both point-and-shoot as well as DSLR cameras.  But if you have the money to invest in a DSLR, you do get what you pay for and I would highly recommend it.