Thinking outside the box is something we, as reef aquarists, find ourselves doing more often than not. It could be for something as simple as a water chemistry problem, or something requiring a little more imagination, like aquascaping… for that tenth time! We do our best to keep our very own slice of the reef in our home, but more often than not we are faced with the limitations of the glass enclosure itself. The idea of illusion can be a helpful tool in this regard. This month, we will explore the wonderful reflective property of water and glass, with some beautiful photographs. All of these photographs have the common theme of reflection.

While we spend hours upon hours viewing our tanks from all angles, at all times of day or night, and under various light sources, we sometimes forget to simply look up! So, next time you are snapping a few pictures of your latest corals or fish purchase, consider a new view on things. Try taking a few photos or your reef from the bottom, looking up. Here are a few tips that can help you take these elegant shots:

Turn off all the water movement in the tank. This will not only allow any micro-bubbles to rise to the surface, but also keep the water surface nice and glassy, giving that mirror effect. If the water is still moving, perhaps some pumps are on battery back up, or cooling fans are moving the surface. With the tank totally still, the fish may alter their normal path, posing beautifully. The key to capturing images is a very stable camera. Using a tripod is best, and remotely triggering the camera would avoid any possible shudder that causes blurred images. If no tripod is available, stabilize the camera against the viewing panel of the tank, against a tall-backed chair, or hold the camera firmly against your cheek. Depending on the angle of the picture taken, the reflection's area can be increased or decreased. Try lying on the floor in front of your tank and frame the shot to see what works best to showcase your reef.

With some patience, and a little trial and error, you too can instantly increase the size of your reef aquarium. Well, at least in a photograph!

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Many thanks to SDguy and Jessy. for their assistance with this project.
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