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Amazing Light Fantasy

Amazing Light Fantasy
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-06
Categories: Fish
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Fishes from around the world, Underwater World #2, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Different Fish, Pretoria Zoo 1, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1, A study in Ichthyology (fish) 1, Underwater Wonder World 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-05-08 16:28
Viewed: 10022
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 78
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Koran Angelfish - Pomacanthus semicirculatus

This photo was taken at the aquarium in the Pretoria Zoo and it is the 2nd photo of this species on TrekNature. I quickly realised that zoo photography is not as easy as one tends to anticipate. In this case the glass (reflection & marks) was a handicap. Add to that the density of the water, the shiny surface of the fish, other fish that continuously come in between, all ads to a difficult shoot. Fortunately we have digital which means we can experiment and throw away what is not quite right. The workshop is especially for Janice – something I encountered on the way back home.

Cool facts about the Pretoria Zoo

- The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa was established in 1899.
- It is rated as one of the top zoos in the world.
- It is the largest zoo in South Africa and covers an area of about 80 ha.
- The total length of the walkways in the Zoo is about 6 km.
- The aquarium has the biggest inland seawater tank in South Africa.
- It has the third largest collection of exotic trees in South Africa.
- The Zoo also operates a cableway that offers a seven-minute ride to the mountain-top. Source

As a juvenile the Koran is easily confused with a plethora of other blue, black and white banded young angelfish species. Their other common name, semicircle angel, only applies to specimens of about 2.5-7.5cm in total length. Older, larger individuals transform their irregular rear semicircles to sweeping lines. At 10-18cm they show what appears as Arabic script (hence the name Koran) in blue against black between blue lines on the tail fin. They have four or five wider-distinctive white body band-lines that sweep back dorsally and ventrally. Other species of large angel’s young have more striping that is more vertical (or more circular in the case of the imperator). Adult coloration patterns are attained in a few years at a size of 18cm plus. The white stripes and blue fade to an overall pattern of dark spots on a yellowish-green background.

The color change from a juvenile to an adult in the Semicirculatus or Koran Angelfish is truly amazing!

Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales, and New Guinea. Also common in the Indian Ocean from South Africa, the Red Sea, Sri Lanka eastward to Indonesia and the Western Pacific from New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa, northward to Japan.

They are found at depths less than 25m. They forage and hide around coral and rocky reefs, not in open, upper waters or over sandy bottoms.

Korans feed on algae and associated fauna primarily as juveniles; adults eat copious amounts of sponges, corals, and algae with the remaining bulk made up mostly of worms of all sorts, crustaceans and mollusks.

Adults are generally solitary. They are not aggressive. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

Luc, saguzar, cosmln, SkyF, Dando, Janice, zeca, TAZ, wallhalla15, SunToucher, jeanpaul, elefantino, valy67, dew77, Athila, coasties, aido, goutham_ramesh, scottevers7, firelord, peter_stoeckl, Signal-Womb, dantor, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, betsie, Rehanna has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To goutham_ramesh: No filtersloot 1 05-11 08:03
To Athila: No sharksloot 1 05-10 21:12
Thanks to ALLloot 1 05-10 09:33
To zeca: Divers responseloot 1 05-09 02:25
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot,
Nice week end you have. Yes, its difficult take good photos in acquariums, for glasses and because is prohibited here the use of flash. Last year I visited one in a great zoo near Buenos Aires and it has a really good acquarium.
Despite all you say is excellent!, perfect details and colours; composition and note are very good.

  • Great 
  • cosmln Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 201 W: 12 N: 493] (1952)
  • [2006-05-08 16:51]

hi Loot,

it is really perfect.
the fish is perfect. your shot is perfect....

maybe something about how to you eliminate the flash reflection from glass (the is lens is very close to the glass? or?)


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  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-05-08 17:06]

Excellente prise Loot

Les couleurs sont éclatantes et la netteté est parfaite. Félicitations pour la qualité.



I like this very much. I agree it is difficult to take good pictures in a acquarium.
I have tried it myself a few weeks ago, but nothing like this ...
Very nice picture!!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-05-08 17:59]

Hi Loot,
you sure make it look easy with this excellent shot. The color and clearity is amazing.

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  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-05-08 18:27]

Hi Loot, excellent shot with beautiful golds and blues. Excellent sharp details, looks like it's going to swim out of my monitor. Very well done and TFS.

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-05-08 23:02]

Kia ora Loot and other TNers. What a find. There must be a KIWI link there Loot, thank you for thinking of me on your way home!!!

As you said, it isn't easy to take decent photos in an aquarium. But this has come out very well, with teh edges lighting up like colourful fluorescent lights. You've managed this one perfectly my friend, Good one!
Kia ora

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  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2006-05-09 0:31]
  • [+]

I usually don´t like to critique aquarium photos, Loot, just because I´m a diver and its hard to take photos down there. But you present a very sharp picture here! Very well done!

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  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-05-09 1:25]

Hi Loot, I never succeeded in taking a good photo in the aquarium. You did a really nive job here. Especially the blue colours are a pleasure for the eye. Compliments. TFS Reina

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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-05-09 3:12]

Hi Loot,
So glad you are back. We missed you too.
But it looks like you had a very exciting weekend.
This is a fantastic shot of the Koran fish. You did very well despite the difficulties of shooting through glass. The details are excellent, and the colors are just stunning. You managed to catch this fish in a perfect POV for showing off his remarkable markings.
Can't wait to see what else you saw in Pretoria. TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-05-09 4:51]

Wooow ! What a wonderful fish that you have very well captured ! This guy seems to have some tuning with blue neon ;-) I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Loot and thanks for sharing.

Hello Loot,
this is a brilliant shot! Excellent details and sharpness, perfect composition and great colours. Fantastic work! Thank you for posting.

Hi Loot,
Great to see a change in your subjects. You've done an excellent job of photographing this tropical fish through a thick glass aquarium. Your flash has given this fish a beautiful reflecting blue outline and that without any reflections from the glass.
Excellent shrarpness and color.

What a beautiful photo Loot, I love the bright glowing colors, and the green background. I've tried to take some photos of fish at the zoo also, not so easy as you say, well done.

Amazing for sharpness, details and colors.
Well done.

Bonsoir Loot
Je vois que tu est revenu de ton voyage et qu'il fut agréable.
Ce poisson est de toute beauté,avec des couleurs magnifiques et une très grande qualité de l'image.
Bravo et merci....JP

Hi Loot,
this is a very nice picture of the colourful fish.
It's amazing that it's not any reflections ater the flash.
The compostion and POV are very good. Lovely colours and good details.
You did a great job, my friend

Hi Loot!
Fantastic capture. You've done a very nice job, especially considering the conditions at the aquarium..
Excellent light, sharp detail, and colors. The BG has just the right amount of blur, making the subject stand out nicley in the frame..
I enjoyed the footnote to your trip in the WS as well :)
Very well done and TFS!

A very nice shot with excellent details and wonderful bright colors, I love this blue stripes on the fish. Even if it was shot through glass, quality of the photo is perfect. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-05-10 11:17]

Hello Loot!
I have tried such shots many times but without success.
Your capture is wonderful.Exposure and focus couldn't be better.Vivid colors,3D effect.details and composition are beautiful.No glass reflection is seen here.Looks like taken in water:)Excellent work!TFS...:-)

  • Great 
  • Gudule Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 248 W: 11 N: 288] (1204)
  • [2006-05-10 11:42]

Congratulations, Loot, for this exceptional photo. Yes, it is not easy at all to take a shot in an aquarium and have such excellent result.
I have tried many time, and I had a good result of a Sturgeon two years ago. (Published on TL)

Colors are so real, with precision in details.
A good shot, Loot.


  • Great 
  • Jannie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 6 N: 264] (1227)
  • [2006-05-10 12:00]

Great capture Loot

Awesome detail and beautiful colours.

Great work

Excellent shot of this beautiful fish, the blue stripe definitely feels neon electric and certainly enhances the final image. :)

Hi Loot!

I getting competition ;o)
But you didn't get wet for it ;o)

Still a splendid image, extremly sharp and well exposed. Tight cropping and blured BG create a nice composition.

Wellcome in UW photography my friend. And TFS this superbe image.


Hi Loot

Well what do we have here? A submerged neon light.... The thumbnail glowed, and simply asked to be opened to full size. What a visual feast you have shared with us. Magnificent... thanks you!

This is a marvelous shot loot,
It is not easy to made a shot like this, but you did do it very good the pov is great just as the great lightning colours, fantastic job.
gr. jaap

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  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-05-11 5:24]

Hi Loot,
Possibly the best aquarium shot I've seen on TN, the quality is superb. There is no hint of glass there, no reflections at all (none that I can see anyway). Fantastic colours, excellent detail and well isolated against a natural looking background. Great shot and as always a great note. Excellent post.

Hi Loot,
Gtreat capture , but i wonder did you use any filter(Polarizer!) to avoid the reflection on glass?
Great colors and as always a very good and informative note from you.
Goutham R

Hi Loot,
These shots are extremely difficult. You have overcome many obstacles to get this amazing shot. The lighting quality and colors in this are superb. This one goes in the WOW! catagory. Excellent work my friend!

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-05-13 11:59]

Very well done Loot, it looks as if you were in the tank not outside. Technically very good, nice subject well shot. Thanks.


Hi Loot,
now you have started to portrait fish - I am very impressed by the broad spectre of nature photography you are an expert in. That picture is clear and sharp, with excellent colours - no underwater tint to be noticed. Very well focussed, no mirroring from the flash in the glass in between - just perfectly well done. Congratulations!
Best regards,

Wow! Amazing, wonderful textures, colors, contrasts and sharpness!
Great light and note!
Thanks Ana:)

Hello Loot,
Amazing capture of this beautiful fish, something about this ones colours that really catches my eye. I think it is the electric blue that outlines the fish and then concentrates in the tail. Sharpness is very good and colour saturation is excellent. Composition is fine although the fin is a little close. Very nice post with informative note, well done.

Hi Loot,
Fantastic capture! Amazing colours and perfect lighting, superb details and well framing.
Thanks for sharing!

Wonderful galleries, so happy see your fantastic photographs..

Hi Loot,

Tt is really perfect. Excellent Shot.
I was thinking why I have not seen this before.


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  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-05-19 6:16]

Hello Loot
Well, all good things come to an end and this is the last photo of your "Ichthyology" gallery that I could enjoy. Funny enough, it was the first aquarium photo you posted and the last one I critiqued (so far). It seems like it is time for you to post another fishy story. I've said it before and I'll say it again, because it is amazing how you manage to take these aquarium shots with so much colour from the coral in the background and how you succeed to isolate the fish from the background and make it stand out in the photo. This little angelfish is another beaut in your collection of perfect aquarium postings. I think you should consider donating some of your photos to the aquariums (Pretoria Zoo & uShaka). I am sure they do not have nearly such great photos of their fishes and I am sure they will appreciate it very much.

PS. I am killing time before the big rugby match this afternoon and what better way than to get stuck on your "Ichthyology" gallery (I even learnt what that big word means). Thanks, I have enjoyed every moment of it.

Hi Loot
Dis ongelooflik dat jy hierdie foto so mooi duidelik kon kry sonder hoegenaamd bewys dat daar glas voor is.

Dear Loot
Excellent image of this is Koran Angelfish. The image is very sharp and the colours are strong and portrayed well. You would never know it was taken through glass and your preparations beforehand have without doubt worked well, or let's rather say you certainly know the does and don'ts about fish photography. Nice, colourful background and I also like the composition as well as the point of view of the fish swimming from left to right. The title is great as it is indeed an Amazing Light Fantasy as it looks as if 1000's of lights are shining from inside the fish. Good frame created by the coral to finish it off. Thanks for sharing. Love.

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