Today I finished (a day before deadline) an article on lyretail mollies for my column in Tropical Fish Hobbyist (TFH) magazine. Unfortunately, I still have to take photos of the mollies. I’m not a photographer and my editor and her staffers at TFH insist on what I deem “artistic” photos. Whereas I prefer “scientific” photos. It seems artistic photos have to have rocks, gravel, plants, etc., not just fish. I prefer monochrome dark backgrounds so the fish is the entire focus of the photo. Such photos are routinely rejected by TFH.
So, I laboriously set up a 20 long photography tank complete with rocks, gravel, and plants. For the first time in years I bought a filter; things have changed since the last time I set up an aquarium (1997). For lighting a got a four foot fixture with two fluorescent tubes from Home Depot.
I dropped the lyretail mollies in the tank. Not being used to being able to see out (they live in opaque tanks in our greenhouses), the mollies promptly hid. It took hours before they ventured out long enough for me to take photos. This would have never worked in pre-digital camera days. I must have taken 300 shots to get maybe a half dozen that will work; at least I hope my editor deems them acceptable. If not, it’ll be back to tank and camera.