Betta fish are the most photographed fish in the world and this statement does not surprise any of the hobbyists, as they are one of the most beautiful fishes to exhibit character and color.

To photograph betta fish is not so easy because they exhibit complex movements and we need to be ready to capture the complex movement and this requires a lot of patience and technique. Capturing the complex movement in the right way would result in stunning Betta Photos.

In this post we have detailed the art of capturing your favorite betta fish photos like a professional photographer

How to photograph BETTA fish like a professional

BETTA Fish are not so expensive, however, the pictures of them are priceless. It is important to pick the correct hardware either a smartphone, DSLR, or a digital camera according to your comfort. Now that we have identified the hardware with which we are comfortable, we should also know how to set up the tank, choose the right light for the photoshoot.

What is needed for a professional photoshoot?

  • Two square vases/tank (to capture only a fish without aquarium background)
  • Two BETTA fish (main fish and one assistant fish)
  • Extra lighting
  • A Mirror
  • DSLR / Smartphone / digital camera
  • Tripod
  • Black cloth & 1 white cardboard sheet.

Set up betta tank for the photoshoot

If you want a very professional picture of your BETTA you can set up a separate small tank or square vases for taking only pictures.

The tank should be crystal clearly cleaned without any dusty particles to avoid clumsy pictures and the air circulation pumps should keep in off while taking photos in the aquarium to avoid air bubbles in water and it may make cloudy water too. After finishing the photos don’t forget to turn on the aerator or circulation pump. Remove the air bubbles from the tank using some pipette or air sucker.

The water for the small tank should be taken from main aquarium because there will be enough oxygen for in the aquarium water due our routine maintenance. This will keep fish smoothy without any stress of relocation, our little charm should be happy during photoshoot. Continuously stay cautious in observing any abnormal signs in the appearance and character of your BETTA.

BETTA photo aquarium is kept beside or behind one another and it is hidden with white or black sheet according to what background we need. If we need any green background little corals, pebbles or plants can be added.

Perfect Lighting for Betta Photography

Make sure that lighting is most important for best photography so set up spotlights or LED lights or flashlights around the tank. Check for any leftover food or fish waste in the tank before the photoshoot. Clear glass and water make for sharp photographs.

To get the perfect shots without reflections on the glass turn off the exterior lights on only have to focus light on the fish tank. While you are taking photos in the main aquarium you may get refraction problems, this can be avoided by taking pictures perpendicular to the tank face.

Select the right capturing device – Camera

  • Smartphone / DSLR / Digital camera of your comfort
  • Tripod
  • Lens hood (flexible rubber material)
  • External flashes

Now that we have selected the right capturing device, let us understand what would be best hardware options to choose from

Identify the best DSLR for Betta Photography

  • The five top DSLRs are Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, and Sony. The reflex design is the unique difference between other digital cameras and DSLR so it a camera for professional photographers.
  • While coming to BETTA fish photography with interchangeable lenses is perfect.
  • The camera should keep in full manual mode, high ISO and high shutter speed with a tripod are better.
example for camera settings
  • While the photo is taken very close to the BETTA tank for closure picture lens hood should be used and the camera can rest on the glass without shaky.
  • The 10-30mm lens is likely to be your best choice of lens for this type of photography.
  • Now coming to the BETTA, 2 BETTA fishes were kept in separate tanks but very close to each other.

In this picture the reflection of light can be seen on the aquarium glass to avoid this a black cloth or sheet can be used to cover the camera except leaving or hole up for the lens. As shown in the figure below or proper black cover can be purchased which is available for photoshoot. Adjust the position of the camera so that you are shooting perpendicular to the glass to prevent refraction.

For photographing BETTA fish, flat glass tanks are better than a curvy bowl. Setup camera straight to fish tank. when nearing to tank it may feel something fishy is going to happen so it started moving to-forth and up-down.

Be more patient and monitor each and every movement of little is considered as an ornamental fish they swim very gracefully the BETTA varieties like Halfmoon, crown tail and dumbo ear BETTA are very beautiful for great pictures.

It’s better to capture when they are hungry to get good motion pictures because they constantly move when feeding. As they are aggressive fish when two male BETTAs leave together, they try to attack each other so they should keep in separate tanks and keep nearby.

In between the tanks a white sheet or black sheet is kept as a barrier, it should be removed slowly to make them see each other while they trying to defeat each other that movements should be captured, when two male BETTAs see one another, they flare-up. It is a way of making themselves look bigger to defend their territory. This is the perfect timing to photograph a BETTA fish. While they are aggressive their color will be bright than they are in normal.

Remove the cardboard or A4 sheet and insert it, continue process until you get the good posture. If it doesn’t work of you try another method by keeping mirror in the tank with single BETTA fish. When BETTA is flaring at his reflection this also works.

Sometimes BETTAs flare due to excitement. It enables them to stretch, giving them a workout of sorts and keeping them in shape. With some patience, repetition of this method, and some practice you may get a beautiful snap of fish. Black background pictures are also amazing in BETTA photography.

Shooting Betta fish with Smartphone

Smartphone cameras are amazing. That mixed with some photo editing magic can happen for better BETTA pictures.

  • To get a natural picture to avoid using flash to avoid the reflection from the glass, if want more light the external flash can be used on the outside of lens hood.
  • A macro lens in smartphones allows focusing the subject depth into the field.
  • For capturing the moving organisms shutter speed should be increased and this can be done by choosing the burst shot option.
  • The lighting of aquariums can vary, using your camera’s auto white balance and ISO settings might be your best option.
  • Gridlines can be set to appear or not on the camera screen when taking pictures.
  • The camera takes 3 shots (bright, balanced, and dark) and combines all three into a single picture that has more details all over the brightness range in HDR mode.

whether you have picked the right camera and the ideal focal point, settings like ISO and opening can seriously influence the nature of the picture you take. If you don’t have a tripod, set the camera up on a desk or chair. If holding the camera in hand is the only option, brace your elbows against your torso and keep the camera as still as possible.

Shooting the betta fish with a digital camera

This digital camera also helps for good quality aquarium photos with proper aperture setting, high shutter speed, and high ISO. The camera should be kept in manual mode. LED flashlights can be used above the betta aquarium don’t use the flashlight or camera it will disturb the fish and some reflections of the flash may see on the glass. The digital camera is lightweight easy to carry so maximumly we can try to take pictures without shaky. But the digital camera needs more brightness for better photos we may keep the tank outside during the daytime to get bright sunlight. Photos under sunlight will be magical. A macro lens is perfect for aquarium photography.

The main disadvantage of this type of digital camera is low ISO, so we need an external flashlight.

Tips to photograph your Betta Fish

Basic terms for best photography is should be known about the exposure triangle in any of these devices are aperture, shutter speed, raised ISO.

  • Aperture- the opening in a lens through which light passes to enter the camera. It is expressed in f-numbers like f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, and so on.
  • Shutter speed- the length of time the camera shutter is open, exposing light onto the camera sensor.
  • ISO- ISO is simply a camera setting that will brighten or darken a photo. As you increase your ISO number, your photos will grow progressively brighter.

Photo processing for showing off your Betta fish

After taking several photo shots of your betta fish in different angles and lightings to add more sharpness and accuracy photo editing software will help a lot. To get better photos software or apps like Adobe photoshop etc., are used. In cameras good to take in RAW format than jpeg and can be edited with software.


It is worth spending time to get the perfect picture of your BETTA fish with getting some tips and tricks from our source. Don’t get fed up with your betta when not posing, when the perfect pose is captured it will be a pride to show off to fellow hobbyists. You can also make some dollars, if you can get these BETTA breeding, there will always be other hobbyists keen to get some of your offspring.