Shooting pictures of fish in an aquarium can be tricky and I've seen tourists from all over the world firing away with their cellular phones, point and shoot and DSLR cameras; ending the day buying postcards instead of going home with the pictures they wish they'd have been able to take themselves. The worst mistake you can make is using your flash. In most cases, it will bounce back off the glass and do very little as far as improving the lighting on your subject.
Here's a little trick I used to get this shot. Look in your camera manual and see if it's possible to turn-off the Laser that sends out a beam when you AUTO FOCUS. If you can turn it off, you won't have to use Manual Focus and the fish won't know you are focusing. I used AUTO FOCUS in this shot because I was in a hurry and was expecting excited children coming around the corner of the aquarium to smudge the glass and scare the fish away in about 3 seconds. I removed my lens hood, pressed the lens flat against the glass, set my 2 second timer, let the camera auto focus and snapped the shot. This photo was made with a Panasonic DMC-FZ50 handheld f/3.2 1/4sec ISO 100 Lens@7mm an impossible shot without a tripod, had I not steadied the camera by pressing it against the glass. Practice aquarium shots at home or at a friend's house, so the next time you visit a world class aquarium you come home with more than just postcards. Happy shooting!
A wildlife photographer living in Okinawa, Japan, Mike has been featured in Matador Abroad and is published in Apogee Photo Magazine, Boots N all, The Nihon Sun and Photo Guide Japan. He has recently joined the ranks of travel writers, capturing Nature, Festivals, Castles and Cultural shots of the Ryukyu Islands to share with the world.