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Old 03/19/2012, 07:08 PM   #1
Stephy
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Do monolights/strobes harm fish and corals?

Has anyone ever noticed ill-effects of studio lighting on corals or fish during picture taking sessions? I only ask because I have had a two hamsters who died within a few days of their photo sessions and I don't want that to happen again. I think it was the lights though I don't know for sure.

Anyone who shoots with 400ws monolights have trouble?

I don't have any pictures of corals (I only have FS tank), just the hamster.




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Old 03/19/2012, 09:08 PM   #2
gemini aquarius(t)
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I cant imagine that flashes have too much of an effect because the new LEDS have a "storm" mode that flashes pretty frequently.. and it is bright

... although not 400w bright


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Old 03/19/2012, 10:47 PM   #3
Recty
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If it did, during major thunder/lighting storms, we would see a huge die off of all life in the area...

I've never shot with a 400w monolight, but I use my 580exII all the time and have never noticed anything. In fact, after the first couple times using it, the fish dont even react to it at all.


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Old 03/20/2012, 07:48 AM   #4
Sahara6971
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I don't have an answer for you.

Cute shot. Poor little guys


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Old 03/22/2012, 08:10 PM   #5
Stephy
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Thanks for the answers! I'll probably shoot with the 580exII at first and then try the 400ws monolights on low power.


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Old 03/31/2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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I've killed fish photographing them with a flash in a photo tank...I felt just awful about it; I let the drive for me to get a good image come above what I knew was right for the fish.

When I see pictures people take of their new fish in a acclimation container - and the flash is reflected off their eyes - I just cringe.

I no longer use a flash on fish that cannot get out of the path of the light if they want to.

Octopus, mantis and seadragons are all commonly cited as animals that can die from photo flashes...

Oh, and there is more than one aquarium out there with melted acrylic from when a studio light was placed too close to the tank front....


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Old 04/01/2012, 05:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBraker View Post
I've killed fish photographing them with a flash in a photo tank...I felt just awful about it; I let the drive for me to get a good image come above what I knew was right for the fish.
How can you prove that you killed them with the flash? Did they up and die right then?

I've photographed literally thousands of fish with a flash, my trusty 580EXii and I've NEVER EVER seen anything even remotely resembling a life threatening reaction. The most I ever see is a fish darting away a little bit then coming back out. I took pictures for a fish store, of every single fish they had besides things like damsels and chromis, for their website, and I did that for over two years, and never saw anything like what you're describing.

Now, granted, very fragile fish like sea dragons, I can understand if you kept flash away at them and stressing them out, they might go off food... but did the flash actually KILL them or did you just notice them stop eating at the time of the photo session and never resume again?

I've never heard of a mantis yet that's been killed by a flash, I'm not sure how you say it is common. I browse three different fish forums and am a frequent visitor of the mantis page on all of them. I have a G. smithii, commonly called a purple spot mantis. He certainly doesnt mind flashing, he comes out and eats literally 2 seconds after I get my pictures. I've never seen or heard of anyone claiming a flash can kill a mantis. I do know peacock mantis can be susceptible to long term high light exposure... but we are talking living in a reef tank, not a couple bright flashes...

Octopus I have no experience with taking pictures of in tanks, but in Hawaii we photographed quite a few. They were the small variety, under a foot with tentacles spread, but we all used flashes, some people had double strobes and major cameras set up (this was before I was interested much in photography) and I certainly never saw anything resembling stress, most of them just changed colors and looked irritated.

Anyway, I'd like to hear more on your story/experience. It just sounds like an old wives tale to me, to be honest. I'm not the worlds best photographer and I'm certainly not the world's most prolific photographer, but I've done thousands of fish photos (30,000 shutter actuations on my 50D and at least half were fish photos for the store) and I've got about 15,000 on my 5DmkII, probably 25-30% of them are fish photos. I'd say half of all the store photos were flash photography before I had full frame and could have a useful high ISO. All I'm saying is I'm an experienced fish photographer and never in my years have I seen what you're saying happens happen.


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Old 04/01/2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recty View Post
How can you prove that you killed them with the flash? Did they up and die right then?

Anyway, I'd like to hear more on your story/experience. It just sounds like an old wives tale to me, to be honest. I'm not the worlds best photographer and I'm certainly not the world's most prolific photographer, but I've done thousands of fish photos (30,000 shutter actuations on my 50D and at least half were fish photos for the store) and I've got about 15,000 on my 5DmkII, probably 25-30% of them are fish photos. I'd say half of all the store photos were flash photography before I had full frame and could have a useful high ISO. All I'm saying is I'm an experienced fish photographer and never in my years have I seen what you're saying happens happen.
Recty,

It was definately "cause and effect" - In the two cases that come to mind, the fish were in quarantine tanks, had finished their quarantine period and were not moved or handled prior to photographing them. One was a deepwater albomarginata grouper. It died 18 hours after an extended photo session - necropsy showed no issues. The other was an africanus angel. It died 6 hours after a series of photos. However, I found an undiagnosed nematode infection in that fish upon necropsy. So, while the flash certainly precipitated its death, would it have died later on anyway? - I don't know, but the fish had NO symptoms when I photographed it.

I've had multiple issues with the "Axelrod photo tank" method and stopped using that method 15+ years ago. Of course, not only can the fish not get away from the flash in those tanks, but you have to catch the fish up and wedge it tight with a piece of glass, adding to the stress!

You misunderstood - I've taken 10s of thousands of fish photos as well - and have also NEVER had a problem EXCEPT in photo tanks or in these quarantine cubicals. I no longer photograph fish (or inverts with eyes) if they are in a position where they cannot get away from the flash....like those "acclimation photos" that proud new fish owners are so prone to taking.



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Old 04/01/2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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I just was curious mainly if you were saying you were snapping away flash flash flash and the fish turned belly up and died... that's what your original post sounded like to me.

Yes, removing the fish to a special tank just for photography and snapping bright lights in their faces while they are stuck in a small area they cant get away from, I can see how that could stress some of the more delicate fishes to the point of death. Of course, the moving the fish to a separate tank alone can do that, the flash doesnt necessarily have anything to do with it.

Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but the way your original post sounded made it seem like you're outright killing fish with a flash and no one should take pictures of their new fish, which to me seems like poor advice and since people come here for photography advice... I just wanted to clarify what you meant.


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Old 04/06/2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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ya i would think that the new LED thing should effect them as well is the 400w bright does, but on the other hand. I guess for the hamster it might depend on how many times the light is going off and how fast? Lightning strikes in the wild a lot but its never really the same area. meaning in a 10 square foot area it does not strike 20 times in 30 mins, so the fish in that area are not getting pounded by bright intense light.


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