<< Previous Next >>

Pompadour Discus

Pompadour Discus
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: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The pictures more views, Fishes from around the world, Underwater World #2, !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! (II), Different Fish, Pretoria Zoo 1, A study in Ichthyology (fish) 1, Underwater Wonder World 1, !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-29 19:38
Viewed: 41587
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Red discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus discus

Another photo taken at the aquarium in the Pretoria Zoo. I've said enough about the Pretoria Zoo or about aquarium photography (shooting through glass) in my previous 3 postings from this venue. Those can be viewed here, here, and here.


Sometimes called the "King of the Aquarium", the Discus is one of the most beautiful of all tropical fishes. Their proud bearing and wonderful colours made them seem worthy of the title. They have been in the aquarium hobby for over 75 years and its popularity shows.

All Discuses are in the genus Symphysodon and all wild Discuses belong to one of two species:
- Symphysodon aequifasciatus,
- Symphysodon heckeli, known by the common name Heckel Discus.

Symphysodon aequifasciatus is a little more complicated and are divided into 4 distinct sub-species:
- Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi - Brown Discus,
- Symphysodon aequifasciatus discus - Red Discus,
- Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi - Blue Discus,
- Symphysodon aequifasciatus aequifasciatus - Green Discus.

The first special characteristic of the discus is its flattened body shape. It is compressed from the sides to a dish or discus shape. Although patternation varies, most are showily coloured in shades of green, red, brown, and blue. The height and length of the grown fish are both about 20-25cm and they mature at about half that size. The second special characteristic of the discus is its care for the larvae. Like all cichlids, the parents care for the young but the discus has a unique way of doing so: the parents produce a secretion through their skin, off which the larvae live during their first few days. The young can be seen grazing off their parents.

Distribution & Habitat
The discus is found throughout the Amazon River and many of the river's tributaries. Their natural habitat provides them with soft acidic, warm water. They prefer a ph around 6.5 and the water temperature should be a little on the warm side, about 84°F. However, they can handle water temperatures into the 90's. In the aquarium they need regular water changes.

White worms, blood worms, and mature brine shrimp. In the aquarium they accept frozen beef heart and other life foods willingly, but this fish should not be fed on any one food exclusively, as it needs variety. Tubifex- or black worms, and daphnia should not be fed because of the uncertainty of introducing intestinal parasites.

Source: "Exotic Tropical Fishes", by Herbert R. Axelrod, T.F.H. Publications.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

jeanpaul, zeca, Janice, CTP, dew77, aido, soccer, Signal-Womb, ramthakur, Dando, pilonm, jchemas, scottevers7, marhowie, SkyF, coasties, jmp, Anton, csmnlm, ddg, kazan, thor68, PDP, firelord, John_F_Kennedy, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Messrs Handsome and Beauty Queenswinterpalace 1 12-19 06:21
under waterwinterpalace 1 12-18 06:57
To thor68: Fishy through the glassloot 1 07-02 18:54
To marhowie: ISO etc.loot 1 07-02 18:42
To zeca: Buy wiseloot 1 06-29 22:13
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2006-06-29 21:13]
  • [+]

Hello Loot!
Your fish looks like flying on air! Perfect focus! The contrast to the BG is excelent. I´m glad to see that you´ve used a canon 350D with a Sigma, because it is the equipment I´m planning to buy. The lights are also perfect! It´s a pro work, for sure. Well done!
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-06-30 0:35]

No! I think it's a cardboard cutout Loot - and you spent the night colouring him on! I can't see any water either!!

It is a beautiful fish, so pretty and colourful. Awesome patterns and tonings, and very sharp. What a super capture. what size is it? Good shot my friend,
Kia ora

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-06-30 1:51]

Hi Loot,
Excellent fish close-up behind thick glass without glares.This is a very cute looking fish:)
Excellent pov,dof,focus,sharpness,colors,blurred bf,framing and note.
Well Done.TFS
Have a Great Weekend,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-06-30 3:24]

Absolutely stunning colors, Loot. : )
As you mentioned, aquarium shots are not at all easy.
You captured this beautiful discus with perfect focus and exposure, and no glare whatsoever.
Cannot ask for a better POV. It looks like it is posing for you, though I know well how hard you have to work to catch it just at the right angle.
The blurred green BG is the optimal complement to your subject with the vivid red, white, and orange.
A masterpiece! TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-06-30 3:48]

Hello Loot,
Beautiful capture,looks like taken underwater.Vivid colors,POV,details,sharpness,DOF,use of light are wonderful.Exposure is spot on and focus couldn't be better.Excellent work!

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-30 5:00]

Hi Loot,
Another of your amazing aquarium shots. I think you have this down to a fine art now, no signs of reflections, haze, nothing to indicate this was taken in low light through glass. Great exposure, beautiful colours in the fish and also in the background, no odd-coloured rocks which seem to be fairly common. Flash levels are perfect, no shadows, no glare, no artifacts at all. Excellent work!

What a stunningly beautiful fish this is. The colours are jumping of my screen Loot. Your square post gives us as much of this beauty as my eyes can handle. Great post with very informative note. Very good work.


Another very well composed and colourful pic. The sharpness, detail, POV and Lighting are all great. TFS,

Simply put, you are the master of these images through the glass, Loot.
A superb picture without a blemish.
The colours are a feast to the eyes.
Thanks for sharing it and have a great weekend.

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-06-30 6:22]

Hi loot, I hope this wasn't taken through your car window, getting stuck in mud is one thing but water a bit more tricky :-) Great shot especially as it was taken through glass. Amazing colours and details and I think the aquarium has given some dramatic lighting to the shot. All good technically and as usual good detailed notes. Keep them coming and TFS.

Hi Loot,
Excellent shot on this beautiful fish, good lighting and great contrasting, nice colours and sharp details.
Very well done!

You are becoming a professional of aquarium photography, Loot! Your pictures are awesome (I look at the four). Do you bring a towel to clean the glass? This picture of a discus is excellent! You managed the exposure so well! The nice green blurry bg makes the fish looks like he is not swimmimg but just hanging in the air! The colors looks very natural too. Great job and TFS,


Bonsoir Loot!

Félicitations pour l'éclat des couleurs et la netteté. Bravo pour le bel éclairage.C'est une excellente prise de vue.

Merci pour le partage et au reviue...JP.

Hi Loot,
It is a good thing you are such an honest guy. I am sure you could brag about how you strapped on your dive gear and went down to get this shot in shark infested waters. No one would be able to refute it!
The colors and detail in this are amazing. Lighting is perfect. This is some superb camera work my friend!

Hello Loot.
Another great one my friend.
Looks like the cute little discus fish is posing for you.
Are you paying them to do it????
Great composition with superb colors and details.
Excellent POV and I really love the BG.
It is another great shot my friend.
Regards and have a wounderful weekend.

Hello Loot, excllent details, perfect colors, Balance, BG, POV, DOF perfect details are crisp,Great shot, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-06-30 10:30]

Hello Loot,
amazing shot especially through the glas, Wonderful clear and great sharpness. Colors are wonderful. A very well composed shot.

Hello Loot

A great shot, well composed with nicely saturated colours and good light. Crisp, clear and sharp with great POV. You really make fish interesting to view. Excellent camera work. TFS.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-06-30 17:02]

Hi Loot,
Is very normal to read in TN: "good color, pov, neat image,..." and always is true. But with this photo, I need stronger superlatives in english. So I'm going to be short: I like a lot this fish flying in the water! Metallic reflection and color are spot on!
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • Anton Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 46 W: 11 N: 154] (595)
  • [2006-07-01 4:21]

This aquarium shot is great. The rich saturated colours attracts attention and the sharpness and compostion of this picture makes it a real winner.

Hi Loot,
I can see you have done diving again:-)
This is a lovely fish, both in colours and pattern.
The aperture is perfect, the entire fish is sharp and the BG is out of focus, it's very nice.
The composition and and POV are also very nice.
Excellent work, my friend.

  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2006-07-01 11:14]

Hello Loot,
Fantastic colors and details. Very sharp and perfect lighting.
Great shot and well done.

Hi Loot
That is an amazing photo.It is a beautiful fish, so pretty and colourful.Excellent pov,dof,focus and sharpness...

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-07-01 14:51]

Hello Loot, great shot with this beautiful fish. Colors and sharpness are perfect and without refects!! very well done, good week end, Didier.

Who needs a waterproof camera and all that silly diving gear? You take wonderful photos through the glass. I'll have to read the "recipe" in more detail, although I doubt I'll be able to get anywhere near this clarity and fine colors, well done.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-07-02 5:53]

Hi Loot
Wow great colourfull shot. Great colours, light, sharpnes, details, DOF and POV. Also good note and BG.
Well done Loot


  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-07-02 14:54]

Hello Loot , Een prachtige foto van de discus vis ,mooi licht kleuren heel scherp en een prachtige achtergrond .
nog bedankt voor uw commentaar , wij waren op vakantie daarom duurde het even , Groeten teunie .

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-07-02 16:25]

Hi Loot, nice shot. The colours are great and well done on the use of the flash.

I can't quite figure out why you used F13, you could have achieved a nice blurred BG and a faster shutter speed with a larger aperture. Especially as this fish is laterally flat.

come here, fishy, come here..*g*
is this really taken through the glass, loot?! :-)
the photo is so amazingly clear and sharp,
as if you were diving next to the fish.
the aquariums i know, like the one at the cologne zoo,
are all so dark and not very clean, so i have never really
thought about taking photos there.
maybe i should try it next time...
the discus you are presenting us has such beautiful colors and patterns.
and he has even got an eye on you!
well done & take care, thorsten.

Hello Loot,
Really an excellent capture. I took a stab at shooting in an aquarium setting at Moody Gardens, Galveston. Quite an exhibit there.
Like shooting at the butterfly house, difficult conditions to overcome..(mostly not enough light). I used the sigma 17-70mm F2.8 and for the most part stayed away from flash use because of the glass. Even so, I had ghosting on the glass from backlighting, etc..Very frustrating. Even at ISO 400, I could not reach these shutter-speeds (1/200th)..
What ISO did you use here?
This has excellent PP to bring out some very nice vibrant colors. Excellent DOF, detail, BG, POV, and framing.
Very well done and Thank You!

Hi Loot,
Another excellent photo and was taken in acquarium, has great work because is beauty and there is no signal of glass in front of you.
The use of flash is perfect, allowing watch all the details of skin and its nice colours and design.

Loot, that is some stunning picture. no nettles, but you overcame a lot of oher techincal problems. ISO-100 with flash! WOW... now we wait for RAW.

excellent work and ditto to everything above. it hardly needs repeating, but you did an excellent job there.


  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-09-19 18:35]

En el año 1979, comencé la cría de Discos marrones como parte de mi aprendizaje en la crianza de distintas especies de cíclidos... una de las primeras experiencias en Argentina sobre esto.
Una gran imagen Loot por la belleza del POV capturado, por la fidelidad de los colores obtenidos además de su nitidez, por un DOF que brinda un trasfondo excelente y por la ausencia absoluta de brillos o reflejos producidos por el vidrio del acuario.
Felicitaciones y gracias... Ricardo

In 1979, I began the breeding of Brown Disks as part of my learning in the upbringing of different species of Cichlids... one of the first experiences in Argentina on this.
A great image Loot for the beauty of POV captured, for the fidelity of the colors obtained besides their clarity, a DOF that offers an excellent background and for the absence absolute of shines or reflections produced by the glass of the aquarium.
Congratulations and thank you... Ricardo

Hi Loot,
This is fascinating with its bright colors and great detail.
I will have to try and get aquarium shots after seeing this one.
Just looked at the other ones as well and they are all amazing - great work!
TFS - Shir

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-05-19 5:03]

Hello Loot
I am following your "Ichthyology" gallery and I must say that you have some amazing fish photos. I notice that in some of the photos certain underwater divers gave you tributes even though they say they normally never critique aquarium shots. Your shots looks so convincingly true to real nature shots that one cannot believe it was taken through aquarium glass. This little discus is fabulous. It was probably not much more than 3-4 inches yet you caught it with amazing clarity. The way how you managed to isolate it from its surroundings is brilliant.

Still on "Mohamed's" list/gallery!

I'm on it!

Confirmation of removal received
from Multiply Inc.

Hello Loot

Beautiful colours, lovely detail and fine features. All together in one image. That is how it should be done. Presented in your normal charming way, accompanied with an excellent note, I can also say splendid photography, excellent camera work and super sharp focus.
Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • rommel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 446 W: 0 N: 287] (3628)
  • [2010-01-09 20:13]

Hallow Loot,
Very nice close up with pinsharp image and spot on exposure.The warm colours are well pronounced against a lighter contrsting BG.Interesting patterns and colour variation as the yellows lead into reds. Great capture.

Hi Loot

In my theme ''Messrs Handsome'' it should get 1st prize.



Calibration Check